Activation of the social capital of Poles and Britons for war refugees from Ukraine
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Military University of Technology
Częstochowa University of Technology
University of Leicester, United Kingdom
These authors had equal contribution to this work
Submission date: 2023-11-17
Final revision date: 2024-04-02
Acceptance date: 2024-04-15
Publication date: 2024-06-27
Corresponding author
Aleksandra Skrabacz   

Military University of Technology
JoMS 2024;56(2):285-309
To present the attitudes, reactions and concerns of Polish and British societies towards refugees from Ukraine based on an analysis of the stock of social capital. The benchmark of Polish refugee activism was compared to British society. Its choice was justified by the fact of the UK's high political activity in the international arena in relation to Russian military aggression, as well as British support for the Ukrainian people.

Material and methods:
The theoretical layer was based on analysis and synthesis and induction and deduction. The empirical layer used nationwide statistical data and the results of our own research, carried out by means of a diagnostic survey using the author's survey questionnaire on a randomly selected research sample of Poles and Britons. The research was conducted in late 2022 and early 2023 in Poland and the UK.

The multi-million pound influx of war refugees from Ukraine, observed from February 2022 onwards, has unexpectedly triggered huge amounts of social capital among Poles and Britons. Both societies became involved in helping people in need, although each society to a different extent. The Poles offered direct aid, first at the national border, then at home. The British supported the refugees financially and materially by offering assistance programmes. Both societies feared the conflict in Ukraine, feeling threats to their homeland, including fear, anger, irritation and anxiety.

The conducted research confirms the assumption that social capital has a direct impact on people's ability to organise themselves in emergencies to help those in need. The study confirmed, based on the data presented earlier on levels of social capital and civic involvement, that the indicators for the two societies are comparable.

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