Exploring Lay People’s Views on The Polish Police

Anna Matczak


The Polish police have come a long way in transforming from highly politicised state policing that functioned under socialism (1949-1989), to that of a service to the public. The aim of this paper is to examine the views on Polish police and contextualise them within a broader, sociological framework by way of presenting selected findings from my doctoral research. My participants’ opinions on the police formed a chronologically-constructed picture, which shed light on the pre- and post-1989 policing in Poland and corroborated Ian Loader’s argument that there is a reciprocal relationship between lay people and the police/quality of policing, and that views on the police remain an avenue by which lay people of a given society share stories about themselves. In this article I argue that lay views on the Polish Police are embedded in a wider perception of the ‘world that they have lost’, post-socialism nostalgia, remembering of the post-1989 transformation processes and constant comparison with the perception of Western standards in police work. The views also serve as an avenue to look into the notion of the Polish legal culture.

Słowa kluczowe: lay views, Polish police, policing, public perception, transformation

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Półrocznik interdyscyplinarny

Pierwotną wersją czasopisma jest wersja elektroniczna publikowana w Internecie. Czasopismo ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.