Based on a systematic analysis of three databases of court decisions and a comprehensive overview of out-of-court use of cultural expertise in dispute resolution across various institutional contexts, this article investigates how Polish authorities tackle emerging issues of cultural diversity. Although Poland remains one of the European Union’s (EU) most ethnically and culturally homogeneous countries, increased immigration and internal pluralism bring new challenges for the courts and other public institutions involved in dispute resolution. Increasingly, generic references and commonsense understandings are replaced by more precise indications of sources, uses of academic sources or reports by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and appointment of relevant experts. On the other hand, judges still tend to attempt their own interpretations and usually reject motions to instruct social scientists as expert witnesses, choosing the approach once aptly described as “strategic ignorance.”2 Thus, in this article, I look at how Polish courts justify instruction (or rejection of motions to instruct) social scientists as expert witnesses and where they draw the line between common sense and expert interpretations of culture. I also survey the rising demand for cultural expertise in dispute settlement in immigration services, detention centers, the military, and education.
Burdziej, S. (2022). Cultural Expertise versus Strategic Ignorance: Confronting Cultural Diversity In and Out of Court in Poland. East European Politics and Societies. https://doi.org/10.1177/08883254221096169
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