The “last” wave of decommunization of urbanonimics in Ukraine and Poland: a comparative analysis

  • Oleksandr Kuczabski University of Gdansk
  • Krzysztof Kopec University of Gdańsk
Keywords: decommunization, urbanonymics, toponymic policy, historical memory, Institute of National Memory, city, local governments, Ukraine, Poland

Abstract

The features of decommunization on the example of the toponymic policy of Ukraine and Poland are explored in the article. The “last” wave of decommunization of the city toponymics, which began in 2014 and peaked in 2015–2017, was the object of interest. 14 Ukrainian and Polish cities were selected for comparative research. The study covered all decommunization legal acts in selected cities. 451 urbanonims were analyzed, the vast majority of which were decommunizated in Ukraine (89%). Polish cities accounted for 11% of the total renamed amount, respectively.The content-statistical analysis made it possible to determine the scale of urbanonymy changes, the recurrence of old and new urbanonymy in the sample under study. The classification of old and new names has been carried out in terms of persons, events, or other objects and phenomena. As a result, objective information was obtained to assess the scale, intensity, and territorial characteristics of urban changes in both states. It has been established that, although in general toponymic decommunization was supported and understood in both states by a significant part of society, it caused certain ideological, political, organizational, and competence contradictions. Decommunization toponymic policy in Ukraine and Poland has not only common but also distinctive features. In particular, the renaming in Ukraine turned out to be several times larger than the Polish one. Along with the signs of decommunization, it also bore signs of de-Russification of symbolic space. Decommunized names in Ukraine turned out to be, on the whole, more neutral, compromise and de-ideologized. It was revealed that, unlike the Ukrainian one, the Polish judicial system often defended local self-government bodies from attempts by the central government under the guise of decommunization to interfere in local urbanonymy politics.

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Published
2020-10-20
How to Cite
Kuczabski, O., & Kopec, K. (2020). The “last” wave of decommunization of urbanonimics in Ukraine and Poland: a comparative analysis . Scientific and Theoretical Almanac Grani, 23(8), 37-48. https://doi.org/10.15421/172073
Section
SOCIOLOGY