Weterani operacji wojskowych poza granicami kraju XX i XXI wieku. Konstruowanie kategorii społecznej

  1. Olga Nowaczyk

Abstract

 

VETERANS OF THE TWENTIETH- AND TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY MILITARY OPERATIONS. THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW SOCIAL GROUP

This article explores the case of Poland to discuss the theoretical problems of studying veterans’ policy. An important feature of civil-military relations is the way in which states recognize the sacrifices that the men and women of the armed forces make to their country and provide care and support for them and their families once they leave the military as veterans. Yet states differ not only in the levels and kinds of support provided for ex-service personnel but also in the very definition of who a veteran is. This article examines the case of Poland from an international perspective. It explains how Poland has developed a particular definition of veteran and, in conjunction with veterans’ interest groups, a strategy for allocating scarce resources to this group. The article analyzes attempts to mitigate the effects of social exclusion suffered by some subgroups within the veteran population. The aim of the theoretical review is also to underline the limits of traditional ways of viewing veterans’ policy, which consider veterans’ policy as a consequence of the development of military institutions. The article stresses the importance of taking into account the effect of societal factors in explaining veterans’ policy. An examination of the case of Poland demonstrates the historical development of an exclusive veterans’ policy, including the construction of the privileged position for veterans of the World War II. It also analyzes the changes of veterans’ policy in the case of the participants of the military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. It concludes with an analysis of the dilemmas that are likely to be faced by those responsible for developing policy on veterans in the future, especially with respect to targeting scarce resources in such an exclusively defined group of the population.

 

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Socjologia LII. Socjologiczne portrety grup społecznych. Tom szkiców i studiów III

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