Boleslaw DOMANSKI, Jagiellonian University, Poland
Grzegorz MICEK, Jagiellonian University, Poland
Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (2017) in his influential paper entitled The revenge of the places that don’t matter (and what to do about it) argued that economic marginalization and lack of opportunities make lagging-behind areas ‘places that don’t matter’, the inhabitants of which believe that their problems are ignored by the elites from the metropolitan areas. Their discontent finds expression in voting for populist candidates. Territorial divide appears as a new dichotomy which replaces traditional class politics (voting patterns). This coincides with the opinion of Rodrik ( 2017, 149) that ‘what arouses popular opposition is not inequality per se, but perceived unfairness’. The authors aim at verifying the hypothesis of the relationships between political preferences on the one hand and social and economic conditions and trends of various areas on the other in the context of Poland. The empirical analysis includes a broad range of social and economic indicators of unemployment, poverty, educational achievements, psychological well-being, economic structures, migration trends and economic growth. Location in (non)metropolitan areas and historical regions of the country is also taken into account together with the accessibility of major cities. The analysis is carried out at both regional and local levels and allows to identify several types of lagging behind areas and those losing their economic functions. Multiple regression is used to test the hypothesis of the link between voting patterns and socio-economic marginalization of some areas. The results show that contemporary political preferences in Poland cannot be easily explained in the category of ‘places that don’t matter’, even though they are clearly correlated with social and economic features of regions and localities. This can be attributed to the striking stability of the major political divide of the country, specific political legacies and peculiarities of post-socialist transition.
Mots clés : social and economic marginalization|political preferences|post-socialism|Poland