Polish people currently form the largest ethnic minority in Northern Ireland.
Sectarian divides within Northern Irish society have affected how Poles have
felt included and excluded in local communities. The focus of this chapter
is on perceptions of inclusion and exclusion among Polish migrants in
Belfast. It critically examines migrants’ constructions of space in Belfast,
which is a city entrenched with social divisions, along lines of religion,
ethnicity and class. The chapter draws on longitudinal interviews with
fifteen Poles who have lived in Belfast for a decade in Protestant, Catholic
and mixed areas of the city. Particular attention is paid to how the Polish
migrants make sense of spaces ‘in between’, which include streets,
alleyways, sidewalks, bus stops, parks and open spaces. The chapter sheds
light on the everyday experiences of exclusion and inclusion and how the
perceptions of Polish settlers have shifted over time. It also addresses the
reactions of interviewees to changes in social and political attitudes in
the UK in the wake of the Brexit vote.
This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores how experiences in Kosovo have changed the discourse of European security. It provides new and stimulating perspectives on how 'Kosovo' has shaped European post-post-Cold War reality. The book aims to contribute to the insecurity of the field of security studies by sidelining the theoretical worldview that underlies mainstream strategic thinking on the Kosovo events. It investigates how 'Kosovo' has developed into this principal paradigmatic sign in the complex text of European security. The book also investigates how its very marginality has emphasised the unravelling fringes and limits of the sovereign presence of what 'Europe' thinks it stands for, and how it affects the discourse on European security.