This project explores spatial patterns in Poles’ contact with, and perceptions of, neighbouring nations. The research entails a face-to-face survey of Poles, conducted by Ipsos Poland in 2017. The aim is to analyse patterns of contact with members of four neighbouring nations (the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania and Ukraine) and to examine the relationship between contact and favourable perceptions.
The results will be of interest to scholars of public opinion, social psychologists as well as political geographers. They are highly relevant to practitioners in border regions, particularly in the EU, where there are funds available to stimulate favourable opinions towards people from the other side of the border. The research indicates that personal cross-border contact alone is insufficient to explain the development of trust and favourable attitudes in border regions more broadly; we also need to take into account contextual factors, such as the history of bilateral relations, or the possible ‘boomerang’ effect of international contact on the attitudes of those who live in high-contact neighbourhoods but do not themselves engage in such contact.