Karolis Dambrauskas (Lithuania 2019) is a PhD student and junior research assistant at the Lithuanian Social Research Center Institute for Ethnic Studies. He holds a BA in Political sciences from the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas (Lithuania), an MA in Literary studies from the Vilnius University (Lithuania), and his second MA is in Nationalism Studies from Central European University. His research interests include social anthropology, governmentality studies, nationalism and minority governance. His work has appeared in Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics.
Topic: Lithuanian Polish minority politicians’ minority politics, Lithuania’s post-socialist minority politics
Karolis Dambrauskas’ research builds on the argument that political marginalization of the Lithuanian Polish minority after the 90s pushed Lithuanian Polish politicians towards a closer cooperation with politicians from the Lithuanian Russian minority. This cooperation allowed the Poles to preserve their party’s position in the field of Lithuanian politics. Yet, it also resulted in the party’s greater political marginalization and lead towards formation of an internal cleavage within the minority, because substantial part of Lithuanian Poles disliked the party’s pro-Russian politics.
This research focuses on twofold marginalisation – Lithuanian elite’s led marginalisation of Poles and Poles’ self-marginalization – and relies on theories of post-modern sociology, which analyse power relations, and criticize various modernization projects. Although, it is clear that national majority-minority relations are about power relations, so far theories of post-modernist sociology have been rarely used in the field of nationalism studies.
However, the research also aims at contributing to the studies on the hollowing of democracy. Over the last few decades Lithuanian Polish minority party has developed into a centralized political party, which has its power based on patronage, clientelism and the usage of welfare as a mean of political control. However, the research suggest that the party and its various policies is a historical product, that has been very much shaped by unequal power relations through the years of Lithuanian democratisation and nation-building process.