The Jagiellonian Idea and Poland's Eastern Policy: Historical Echoes in Today's Approach


  • Christopher Reeves Jesuit University of Philosophy and Education ‘Ignatianum’



Jagiellonian idea, Polish foreign policy, Eastern Partnership, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine


The Jagiellonian Idea and Poland's Eastern Policy: Historical Echoes in Today's Approach

This paper analyses the extent to which the Jagiellonian idea still has a discernible influence over contemporary Polish foreign policy. More particularly, it addresses the question whether this tradition in some way still informs Poland’s approach towards its eastern neighbours that possess territories that once belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The paper argues that it is possible to discern the legacy (or afterlife) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth when it comes to the way in which Poland manages its relations with its eastern neighbours. The civilizing mission that was once associated with the Jagiellonian idea can still be seen in Poland’s efforts to promote democracy and liberal values in the East; this is most evident in the contribution that Poland has made to the European Union’s Eastern Partnership. Nevertheless, differing collective memories among these states also continue to cause tensions between them.


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Author Biography

Christopher Reeves, Jesuit University of Philosophy and Education ‘Ignatianum’

Is a lecturer in International Relations at the Jesuit University of Education and Philosophy ‘Ignatianum’ and the Jagiellonian University.


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How to Cite

Reeves, Christopher. 2017. “The Jagiellonian Idea and Poland’s Eastern Policy: Historical Echoes in Today’s Approach”. Politeja 14 (6(51):141-63.