Polish Political Science Yearbook
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Poland’s Reason of State in the Creation of a New International Order.
Foreign Policy as Poland’s Reason of State in the 21st Century
To cite this article please include the following information:
• Journal title: Polish Political Science Yearbook
• Volume number: 50
• Year of publication: 2021
• Published ahead-of-print
[APA Style]: Lewandowski, P. (2021). Poland’s Reason of State in the Creation of a New Interna-
tional Order. Foreign Policy as Poland’s Reason of State in the 21st Century. Polish Political Science
Yearbook, 50(issue number), pages. https://doi.org/10.15804/ppsy202140
[Chicago Style]: Piotr Lewandowski, “Poland’s Reason of State in the Creation of a New Interna-
tional Order. Foreign Policy as Poland’s Reason of State in the 21st Century” Polish Political Science
Yearbook 50, no. [issue number] (2021).
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Published online: 19 July 2021
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Polish Political science Yearbook, vol. 50 (2021), pp. 1–15
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppsy202140 PL ISSN 0208-7375
War Studies University (Poland)
Poland’s Reason of State in the Creation of a New
International Order. Foreign Policy as Poland’s Reason
of State in the 21st Century
Abstract: e article analyzes the Polish reason of state in changing international order un-
derstood as the loss of hegemon position by the United States. e author deﬁnes the reason
of state as an analytical operant and relates it to the security and sovereignty of astate in the
international environment. e text also outlines possibilities of development of Poland’s
reason of state in the region and global geopolitics.
Keywords: security, Poland’s reason of state, geopolitics, new international order
e changes taking place nowadays in the area of international relations arouse concerns and
require standing political observers. ere are also certain constant features of states that
need to adjust themselves to the variables originating from the environment of international
security. Such constants are, for instance, sovereignty and the reason of state. ey need
permanent adjustment to the prevailing condition, even though they are not susceptible to
substantial and rapid changes that sometimes are required by the situation.
is text deals with the issues relating to the Polish reason of state in the transforming
environment of international security. e ﬁrst problem conforming to the assumption
relating to the reason of state studies (Swi, 2010) is the implementation of this notion in
the conditions of the science of national and international security. Another issue is to deﬁne
Poland’s reason of state in the context of the qualitative change of contemporary interna-
tional relations determining global and regional security. e main adopted assumption
has been the need to work out Poland’s reason of state given the changing policies, position,
and strategy of the United States in the world and the area of the eastern ﬂank of NATO.
is text also presumes that recognition of political realism is an appropriate approach to
constructing the sectors of implementation of the Polish reason of state in the context of
the crisis of the Atlantic option of national and regional security.
e methodology used in the article comes from social sciences and studies on security.
Owing to the characteristics of the described phenomena, aturn toward prognostics and
heuristic methods has been applied. Aconsiderable part of the study has been based on
the scenario method, which is adescription of a future possible and probable situation
characterizing the researched phenomenon (object, system, process) (Świeboda, 2017) while
its aim is to determine the future logical and coherent system of events as aresult of proposed
decisions (Perycz, 2009). e scenario methodology has been modiﬁed and adapted to the
analytical features since such aform allows for generating possible policy options in the
future and investigating their consequences (Bodio & Chodubski, 2003). e scenarios have
been based on existing (in combination with analyzing relevant literature) and hypothetical
information (Świeboda, 2015). Also, the methods of deduction and induction typical of the
prognostic approach have been used (Secomski, 1971).
Reason of State – An Attempt to Describe and Deﬁne
e Polish scientiﬁc literature on the subject struggles with the problem of deﬁning the
reason of state. Ryszard Zięba, Czesław Maj, and Kazimierz Łastawski point out the problems
arising because of the multitude of views regarding the reason of state arising from diﬀerent
traditions and more or less successful attempts to transplant this notion from Anglo-Saxon
literature onto the Polish soil. e reason of state is not astandalone concept which – as it
was indicated – is hard to deﬁne. However, this aspect should be looked at from adiﬀerent
angle – as an opportunity provided by this type of phenomenon. For the needs of analysis,
for the needs of research, the reason of state may be deﬁned each time diﬀerently, keeping
in mind individual guidelines that are typical of this notion.
Alongside the assumption of numerous approaches and interdisciplinarity of research,
operationalization and conceptualization of the reason of state should refer to the essence
of this concept with aneed to consider the minimum scope of its meaning. is notion has
been devalued by its being used in public discourse, has assumed symbolic and narrational
references, and has become aconcept of mythical dimensions, which can be placed in ever
diﬀerent sequences of meaningful elements or included in new contexts since they contain
akind of aminimum residuum of meaning that makes it possible to recognize the same
signs in diﬀerent contexts (Howarth, 2008). erefore, it is worth attempting to determine the
minimum elementary scope of meaning of the reason of state, which in analytical contexts
may assume abroader form of aresearch operant.
e basis of reference for understanding the notion of the reason of state is the state and
its prerogatives. In the traditional sense, it was the state to which determination of reason
Poland’s Reason of State in the Creation of a New International Order 3
or interest referred to (Łastawski, 2016). e very notion of the reason of state has been
given an enormous number of deﬁnitions and has been used to describe diverse situations
With aview to the above postulate for the need to determine the minimum semantic
ﬁeld of the reason of state, it should be deﬁned generally enough to constitute abasis for
interdisciplinary approaches and at the same time in suﬃcient detail to grasp the crux of
the matter without introducing additional redundant descriptions and enhancements. e
holistic approach to deﬁning the reason of state is needed because of the functioning of
this notion in many disciplines of political and administrative, security, historical science,
or legal sciences. Precision eﬀects rather from the postulate of the need to understand the
reason of state within the same categorization framework.
Abroad approach to the reason of state demands that it is referred to the securitization of
state existence. Securement is understood as apolitical process in the form of amechanism of
creating strategies for resolving problems of and threats to state security (Szalacha-Jarmużek,
2013): “securitization itself can be interpreted as atechnique or tool of governmental security
practices” (Gupta, 2006). It takes place in the following areas of the state security sector:
political (which refers to the protection of sovereignty), military– with regard to survival,
social – in the protection of identity, economic – for protection and improvement of well-
being, environmental protection – as protection and building of sustainable development
of the state (Musioł, 2018).
e notion of the reason of state may be narrowed down and made more speciﬁc through
anatural synthesis of political realism and national interest since it is political realism that
“transfers the notion of interest deﬁned in the categories of power” (Morgenthau, 2010).
Concerning the reason of state and its minimum assumptions, such acategory will be power
(maximization of opportunities), development, and progress (minimization of threats). In
political realism, the latter are more attainable for medium-sized states aspiring toward
the category of power, although it should always be the state’s goal, also identiﬁed by the
reason of state.
Equating the reason of state to the category of national interest may be misinterpreted.
It is avital interest of the state that is at stake, which directly in the discourse are frequently
identiﬁed with the reason of state (Kuźniar, 2006). Not every state’s interest shall ﬁt into
the category of the reason of state (Kałążna & Rosicki, 2013), which means that there is
aneed for the hierarchization of national interests. It shall allow narrowing and broadening
the analytical category of the reason of state to match the needs of research and scientiﬁc
inquiries. Because the categorization of the reason of state was to be the narrowing one, it
should be pointed out that these are vital interests of the state, that is, those that refer to its
substance: sovereignty, integrity, and society. Protection of those three shall always refer to
the notion of the reason of state.
As aresult of the above ﬁndings, the reason of state shall be deﬁned as securitization
of vital interests of the state. Such an approach opens up several research options since
securitization is aprocess, apolitical mechanism, i.e., an empirical, sequential and structured
feature. On the other hand, vital interests can be determined, deﬁned, and described in
conceptual, quantitative, and qualitative terms. Such an approach to the understanding of
the reason of state allows for the determination of the “eﬀorts made in order to minimize
threats [securitization] and maximize development opportunities of the state” (Łastawski,
eoretical Relations of the Raison d’État, Sovereignty and National
Interest in the Context of the eory of Political Realism
e disintegration of the bi-polar system caused disorientation of the international situation.
Paradoxically, the cold war period guaranteed relative stability. e disorientation of states,
especially those that had liberated their sovereign potential, anarchized the international
e lack of insight of Polish elites into the international structure resulted in the adop-
tion of the security paradigm based on the alliance with the most powerful pro-democratic
country in the world as it was recognized that “the strategic support on the part of another
political entity capable of successful action in the case of potential conﬂicts […]and special
relations either with the United States or the European Union are of fundamental importance
for Poland’s security”. (Furmański, 2007). e adopted prerequisite recognizes the US as the
global power it used to be at the end of the 20th century and the hopes pinned on the EU as
astrategic partner and building of common security. Polish thinker professed the myth of
the United States as amilitary power which outdistanced the rest of the world, as Roman
Kuźniar wrote: “in 2003, the US military budget will be equal to about 40% of global defense
spending and will exceed the military budget of 14 successive countries (including China
and Russia) taken together” (Kuźniar, 2003).
However, that situation did not last long. e end of the 20
and the beginning of the 21
century is aperiod that Jacek Bartosiak calls ageopolitical pause (Bartosiak, 2018). Although
this perspective is not speciﬁc enough and is repeatedly used in his work, it indicates that that
period was characterized by instability in the transformation of the international order from
the bi-polar one, through short-lived unipolarity, to forming the germs of multi-polarity. at
period was decisive for Poland’s having worked out its reason of state based on accession to
the NATO structures under the US leadership.
e problem to be pointed out concerns the direction and strength of Poland’s alli-
ance with the US. At the beginning of the 21st century, there were visible symptoms of the
decay of US power because of its hegemonic attitude toward the globe as awhole. Samuel
Huntington forewarned that as a“benevolent hegemon”, the United States will become
an object of attacks for other civilizations’ forces or political/military blocs (Huntington,
1999). Despite some people’s skepticism, the US continued to promote itself as amilitary
power, which was particularly visible in the security strategy adopted at that time. Charles
Poland’s Reason of State in the Creation of a New International Order 5
Krauthammer aﬃrmed, however, that the US was not only aglobal military, technological,
diplomatic, or cultural power, but that its inﬂuence was constantly on the rise (Krauthammer,
e United States undoubtedly reached the peak of its might at the beginning of the
century, right aer the paciﬁcation of Iraq. Added to this should be the earlier ideologi-
cal success connected with the defeat of communism, the triumph of liberal democracy
(Kissinger, 1994), as well as the pressures exerted on the countries of Central Europe, Africa,
Latin America, and Asia to become societies of “free access” and through the introduction
of the “Washington consensus” (Stańczyk, 2004) facilitated institutional penetration by
international organizations (Ferguson, 2017). Although the US scores much more successes
in international politics, its hegemonic failure caused the collapse of the post-cold war order
of the world (Brzeziński, 1999; Czornik, 2018).
e US is losing its primary role in the world in several important aspects. e wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan exhibited the maximum operational potential of the American army
(Okrasa, 2017). e United States faced the dilemma of positioning itself in the new struc-
ture, which had pushed regional powers up to the international rank (Miłoszewska, 2009). It
was particularly evident aer the ﬁnancial crisis, which had undermined the standing of the
US, especially among Western economies. Further neo-imperial activities of Russia, which
as a(seemingly) dying power, disclosed the weakness of US diplomacy already during the
2nd war in Chechnya, and even more brutally on the example of Georgia and Ukraine.
ose events, especially the conﬂict in Ukraine, are ongoing, which means that in the
current decade, the world is in the process of forming the poles of empires. e world will
not become “normal” as Robert Kagan wants to see it (Kagan, 2009). Sooner, new trends
of international dependencies will become crystallized, preceded by periods of unrest and
uncertainty or, as John Gaddis said: periods of integration and fragmentation (Gaddis,
Within the perspective of forming anew system aer the end of the post-cold war
order, the Polish reason of state should be particularly sensitized to primary issues, such as
sovereignty. As note by Bolesław Balcerowicz, the authors of anew international order in
Europe are welfare states, which build and expand their networks of dependencies. at will
lead to the weakening of attributes of nation-states, especially sovereignty, and egoistically
formulated national interest, including the reason of state. It will also translate into the
crystallization of anew organizational structure of those states (Balcerowicz, 2005).
erefore, Poland’s reason of state should not focus on the protection of sovereignty. More
precisely, transformation into post-sovereignty is anatural and evolutionary phenomenon
(perhaps reversible, but it seems that it would require the making of autarchy, that is, utopia).
According to Balcerowicz, it should not focus even on the protection of national interests. It
is, however, an error resulting from over-conﬁdence in the objectivity and independence of
international institutions (Kaczyńska, 2016). Poland’s reason of state at the time of shaping
anew international order should be aﬁrm elaboration of non-partisan national interests in
the form of protection of sovereignty (Giddens, 2009), or rather its gradual loss for the high-
est price possible, in exchange for the greatest beneﬁts for the state rather than for its elites,
at the same time recognizing that the loss of sovereignty is an evolutionary phenomenon in
line with the contemporary dimension of international relations and security.
e United States gradually give way to the emerging powers, especially China. e
model of “defensive” imperialism they promulgate in the material, institutional or legal
dimension may prove insuﬃcient on the international scale (Cooper, 2003). Moreover,
aconﬂict with Germany and acollision course vis-à-vis the entire EU may germinate many
threats concerning hard power control and the existent well-shaped American so power
in Europe. As aUS advocate in the old continent, awould-be intermediary between Russia,
the EU, and the US, Poland needs to ﬁnd anew task to raise its rank and gain broader
Added to this is also the process of reversal of political polarity in the US. Donald Trump’s
policies were visibly oriented toward Asia. Its military and economic attention are focused
on Chinese and Middle East activities (Strategiczny, 2019). It is an evident threat to Poland
since the attention of the US, “at present the most important political and military ally of
Poland, moves to Asia. It directly aﬀects Poland’s security” (Sykulski, 2018).
Arealistic approach is needed for the determination of the Polish reason of state. e
decay of the hitherto international order, creating anew unipolar, networked, and globalized
one, as has been described, requires substantial political and intellectual involvement of
nation-states. It is nowadays, in the era of globalization, in the times when post-sovereignty
and extraterritoriality are prophesized, that the fundamental features of states are excep-
tionally needed. States continued to constitute afundamental component of international
political relations (Łoś-Nowak, 2013), and it seems not to change in the forthcoming future,
although non-state actors ever more intensively aﬀect changes in this respect and determine
the ultimate quality of regional or bilateral relations of states (Gruszko, 2013). e reason
of state in contemporary relations should be its adjustment to new challenges. Since the
times of the Peace of Westphalia, states have been evolving, and this capability to introduce
changes and adapt oneself to diverse external conditions (organic vision of the state) seems
to suggest that it is sensitivity to certain variables and insensitivity to others will be decisive
for the longest possible existence of asovereign state.
In its substantial categories, the state should fulﬁll itself through earlier mentioned po-
litical realism. Seeking aplace for oneself in the international structure through tasks and
dependencies proves insuﬃcient. e range of possibilities of contemporary medium-sized
states has been substantially limited by the primacy of organizations and institutionalization
of international order. at is why arealistic and cool-headed insight into the state of aﬀairs
should not be rejected. It is necessary to continue the autonomous and necessary state policy
based on political realism with the doctrinal liberal democratic ideology (Kissinger, 2016).
In the classical thought of Hans Morgenthau, political realism assumes the need to treat
the states and behaviors in international order as typically societal activities characterized
Poland’s Reason of State in the Creation of a New International Order 7
by human deﬁciencies. However, most important for Poland is to utilize the geographical
principles. Morgenthau directly says that political realism in international relations is based
on geography, which determines the possible and probable foreign policy goals (Morgenthau,
2010). Two more dimensions are added to the geographical characteristics of the state:
transnational (Dumala, 2012) and cybernetic (Lakomy, 2015).
Acombination of political realism with critical geopolitics may materialize since it
“deﬁned the role of geography in the political theory of strategy, is atheory of spatial link-
ages” (Mondry, 2000). It is not, however, asuﬃcient approach, since it is necessary to “take
into account the aspect of deterritorialization of the world and the fact that today alarge
part of the social and political activity takes place in the transnational area as well as in
cyberspace and is relatively detached from aspeciﬁc territorial location” (Potulski, 2010).
at is why the classical concepts of empires and powers need to be redeﬁned.
Acontribution of the concept of political realism to geopolitical research and analysis
may be “the transfer of the notion of interest deﬁned in the categories of power” (Morgenthau,
2010) to the area of political and international activities. Hence geopolitics, analytics, and
prognostics are of special importance in constructing realistic national interests deﬁned by
the reason of state. erefore, the comments prescribe expansion of the intellectual base in
Poland, equipped with suitable analytical tools, which would be capable of building apolitical
scenarios and models of international developments. Its extent should not be geographically
restricted due to the globalization of international relations (one may speak about cybernetic
spatiality) (O’Tuathail, 1998) and the continuous growth of interrelations between states
from beyond civilizational and cultural regions.
Political realism is ﬁrmly based on geographical determinism. e context of globali-
zation of international relations, the deterritorialization of states, and the emergence of
cyberspace as asocio-political platform of network relationships requires adiﬀerent than
classical look at astate’s reason of state from the viewpoint of political realism. Political
realism directly reveals that extreme inequality of state prevails in international reality
(O’Tuathail, 1998). Likewise, in the network international order, organizational and corporate
structures absorb or control other smaller regional branches. e same goes for cyberspace,
which appears as aprimacy of equality and freedom. In contrast, in reality, it upholds the
division between the center and the peripheries, where the “centers are sources generating
new values, attitudes, and behaviors, while the peripheries are usually recipients of models
and values coming from the centers” (Potulski, 2010).
Poland’s reason of state perceived from the viewpoint of the above and deriving from
political realism is to recognize its status of amedium-sized state, appreciate it, and “work
out apolitical order which will take it into account” (Morgenthau, 2010). at political order
involves astrategy of state security and astrategy of its internal development, as aresult
of which the resources and means can be distributed and transformed into international
proﬁts. It is where the need to retain sovereignty in the strategic sectors of the state, such as
energy, critical infrastructure, or information and media security, proves to be necessary.
Both concepts of sovereignty and raison d’état have been redeﬁned under conditions
of globalization and the interdependence of states. e reason of state of medium-sized
states, developing states, understood in the categories of national interest, is in the interest
of states perceived as powers. States that orient their reason of state toward protecting
national interest behave in line with the expectations of imperial states, which in this
way – endangering vital interest – divert attention from what is fundamental, namely
sovereignty. “Alongside expansion of state structures, the reason of state started to be
associated with the elementary rules of the functioning of the state” (Łastawski, 2016), and
the destruction of state structures marked the beginning of particularization of the reason
of state and its detachment from the need to protect sovereignty. Transnational economic
and political phenomena facilitate the eternal ﬁeld of the rivalry of world powers, namely
elimination of nation-states and their replacement by “larger entities of adiﬀerent nature,
which will better harmonize with technical and moral requirement of the contemporary
world” (Morgenthau, 2010).
As adeveloped state (Dołączyliśmy, 2019), having accepted its international position,
having counted its forces and means, Poland can realize itself in the categories of power
within the global system, gaining a“due international status” understood as a“set of bilateral
and multilateral relations with other states” (Kaczyński, 2011). It is arealistic approach to the
reason of state understood in the categories of interest (which in the medieval and modern
realities would be perceived rather as an homage) through the loss of Bodinian sovereignty
to preserve certain spatial and administrative prerogatives. However, the primacy of the
reason of state and interest over sovereignty makes states determined to reintegrate into
post-sovereignty perceived and reduced to the suitability of choice (Kaczmarski, 2015).
erefore, as long as the state is free to choose, independent, and sovereign, its sovereignty
is not threatened, contrary to the reason of state and national interest.
Polish Reason of State – Its State and Prospects
It is extremely diﬃcult to deﬁne the Polish reason of state in the perspective of political
realism and geopolitics. e ﬁrst basic diﬃculty is posed by analyzing the geopolitical
situation in the region and worldwide – and it should be the initial one. To acertain ex-
tent, this need is fulﬁlled by power-metric indicators, though they cannot be translated
into real activities of astate but only help realize the speciﬁc regional or global averages.
e underlying data are far from what has been expected and rather serve the purposes
of objectiﬁcation. Another diﬃculty involves analyzing the international relationships of
acountry, its dependencies, and obligations vis-à-vis the international network of states,
organizations, and institutions.
It is worth looking at the Polish reason of state in this respect with aview to the crisis
in the Atlantic option caused by achange in the international arena, i.e., devaluation of
the US position in the world. Poland’s status in US politics has recently changed. So far,
Poland’s Reason of State in the Creation of a New International Order 9
Poland and the plan of building the missile defense shield were treated as an object of
American-Russian gameplay (Kiwerska, 2015). e United States itself has abandoned the
policy of post-Kissingerian ideology in favor of pragmatism toward changes in the structure
of international dependencies. e struggle against terrorism has consumed the forces and
means of the US, and the Russian neo-imperial policy in Europe suits it since it pushes the
European countries (as the US elites wish to see it) into astronger alliance with America as
acommon civilizational and cultural circle (Laruelle, 2012).
Apart from the hitherto comments relating to astrategic partnership, ever more fre-
quently, the issues of cooperation and mutual beneﬁts in the contacts with Washington are
raised: “Astrategic partnership with the United States is ahuge value. With aview of the
military and political witness of the European Union, Washington’s guarantees are the sole
possibility of ensuring security for such countries as Poland. However, this should not be
tantamount to waving the struggle for national interests. It is our tenacity, determination,
and courage that will decide to what extent we shall beneﬁt from the American partnership”
(Pacuła, 2008). e alliance with the US is not and should not be the sole solution as it
restricts the spectrum of Polish international eﬀorts and at the same time deprives Poland
of the possibility to exert pressure on the American side, thus building an asymmetric web
of interdependencies. at is why it is necessary to have asober approach to this type of
assessment and realize own interests, especially in national security.
Poland’s reason of state is astrategic partnership with the US, but it should be made
clear that neither the alliance is permanent nor the reason of state is unchangeable. All this
is because Poland is treated as an object of international gameplay by its Western partners
(Grosse, 2016). Achange in the perception of Poland in the 21st century consists in aban-
doning the politics of the ideological struggle of the end of the 20th century in favor of the
pragmatic economic policy conducted by the US vis-à-vis all of its partners. Apartnership
with the US gives us “strategic political rather than economic beneﬁts” (Pacuła, 2008). e
United States is acountry which is involved in ﬁnancial draining through companies and
corporation which are of adeﬁnitely national or even nationalistic character since the ﬁnan-
cial circles “draw aconsiderable part of their proﬁts from imperialist exploitation exercised
over the rest of the world” (Bidet & Dumenil, 2011; Klein, 2017) as well as political protection
of the global empire. e very creation of the illusion of aworld power draws other states
into the alliance, in exchange for which the US demands cooperation (which in consequence
boils down to strong correlations of its capital with the capital of nation-states).
Polish reason of state in the last decade of the 20
century was determined by the
Atlantic option of national and international security. At present, to change this option
appears impossible or diﬃcult, and it seems to be an eventuality in the case of astrong
crisis of NATO structures. However, there are all indications that this crisis already takes
place due to the dwindling role of the United States in the world. Polish reason of state at
the beginning of the 21
century should be at present the working out of diﬀerent strategies
of national security, an alternative to the Atlantic option, since the existence of NATO in no
event “does relieve the Polish state of the obligation to make eﬀorts to maintain the armed
forces at the level suﬃcient to defend its territory” (Kaczyński, 2011).
e deepening of the crisis could be an alternative path of the development of Poland’s
national security. Such an option could trigger the domino eﬀect among the developing
countries, especially from the region of Central and Eastern Europe, which would be against
the US interests, especially in the context of its rivalry with China. Nevertheless, security
strategies in the event of acrisis of Euro-Atlantic structures should be constantly on the table
and even slowly realized as an alternative and potential counterweight to dwindle American
domination in the world. at is why Poland’s reason of state should be to work out such
astatus in which, owing to its geopolitical location as atransit and bridging country, the
Polish state becomes ajunction (in the web structure) connecting the globalized system of
regional security with the Atlantic option.
In practice, this would mean areturn to the concept of national security, promoting the
emergence of aregional security structure with Poland as the leader. Such structures would
be characterized by political duality: they would constitute an alternative to the Euro-Atlantic
option and pressure the US as the NATO leader. is concept has, in away, passed the test
as NATO-bis (Jureńczyk, 2015). At present, it may be emphasized as aree Seas Initiative
understood as enhancing Poland’s activity in regional and international relations (Sienkiewicz,
2016). It is worth reminding that initially, that concept was based on the 16+1 format, where
China was to be astrategic partner and patron of the whole scheme: “Ageneral goal of the
16+1 collaboration format is ﬁrst of all consolidation of economic relations with China and
working out solutions that would contribute to the development of investment and growth of
trade among partners”. (Bochenek, 2020). However, Poland changed its geopolitical orientation
again toward the Atlantic option, and asubsequent ree Seas summit was held under the
patronage of Donald Trump. e situation as awhole could be played much better, not resting
only on American promises and assurances but real assistance programmes.
e ree Seas Initiative and aproject of military security are, in away, correct as-
sumptions. e ree Seas Initiative should constitute Polish reason of state, non-partisan,
implemented systemically and by stages. e Initiative provides an opportunity for building
aplatform of regional security in the economic, energy, social, and cultural dimensions. It
is the ﬁrst stage that oﬀers the greatest opportunities for success that were ﬁrst put forward
at the beginning of the 1990s – the ideas for constructing asecurity bloc in Central and
Eastern Europe (Karkoszka, 1994). Diﬀerences in political interests of Central and Eastern
European countries have been put aside in the new concept, and programmes in which
every state sees beneﬁts rather than ill intentions are implemented. It may be the key to
paving aplane for reaching political (as in the case of the Visegrád Group) and then military
understanding by those states.
Polish reason of state should be characterized not only by pragmatism and political
realism but also pro-defense ideology. Securitization of individual sectors, beginning with
infrastructure, economy, ecology, energy to the community, and pro-defense policy, should
Poland’s Reason of State in the Creation of a New International Order 11
be supplemented with supranational eﬀorts authenticating the legitimacy of action and
show evident beneﬁts. Ideologizing international relations helps liberate what the Polish
state was involved in centuries ago: cultural so power. e geopolitical situation seems to
be exceptionally favorable for it (Siudak, 2020).
e ree Seas Initiative oﬀers opportunities and threats (Ukielski, 2016), though from
the geostrategic point of view seems rather ambivalent. On the one hand, it constitutes
arejection of the ree Seas concept proposed by Jerzy Giedroyć as ULB (Ukraine, Lithuania,
Belarus). From the geopolitical point of view, this ﬁeld should be considered lost in the
rivalry with Russian neo-imperialism. e war against Ukraine and plans to incorporate
Belarus are examples indicating that Russia slowly but determinedly and by stated returns
to geopolitics in the form of aterritorial empire. Poland may try to weaken Russian inﬂu-
ences solely by oﬀering examples and symbolic political actions, that is, act ideologically
and pragmatically at the same time.
e situation is diﬀerent regarding the ree Seas Initiative, where the countries of
Central Europe are mostly out of touch with the former empire. New opportunities crop
up, for example, Poland’s acting as an umpire with regard to numerous conﬂicts between
states in this territory, operating its so power (culture, democracy, the rule of law, example
of economic development) and hard power (alliance with the US, own military force).
However, it is not the reason of state to incite conﬂicts and antagonize states to build alli-
ances and coalitions with the select few. e strength of the ree Seas Initiative will be the
minimization of conﬂicts and the attainment of unanimity in operating own autonomous
In the networked and ever more polarized system of international relations, the Polish
reason of state is to produce such political, military, social, economic, energy, and military
linkages which will constitute aplatform of cooperation and regional security in Central
Europe. Poland’s location as atransit and bridging country, as Polish geo-politicians would
like to see it, is not asuﬃcient determinant to achieve success in the form of getting astatus
of the peg. It is an error to assume that the “key to the development of the Polish center of
strength becomes not the building of own geopolitical bloc but rather geo-economic policy
oriented toward development of the country as an economic peg” (Sykulski, 2018). It is
supposedly going to happen in cooperation with China. However, close cooperation with
China under the New Silk Road initiative is but adream. It is stated in the report of the
Centre for Security Studies indicating that Poland does not take advantage of its position,
does not participate in atrade that crosses its territory (Iwanek, 2017). Apart from this, it
may be noted aer Jacek Bartosiak (2018) the “current level of the movement of goods by
railway may be handled by eight additional large ships annually. From this it follows that
in order to be ageopolitical factor, traﬃc along the New Silk Road must be greater, more
frequent, faster”. Besides, Poland’s economic structure nowadays reminds the structure of
aneo-colonial country (Romaniszyn, 2016), making building sovereignty even more diﬃcult
and explains why Poland is treated as atransit country.
Another alternative could be to build astrategy based on the concept of perpetual
neutrality. However, given its proximity to Russia, Poland cannot achieve the military
capability to ensure asuﬃcient level of defense and deterrence on its own, which does not
change the fact that Poland, as a‘frontline’ state, should have an adequately numerous and
well-equipped army, which must, however, be integrated into Euro-Atlantic structures in
the best possible way.
It is impossible to achieve neutrality because of geography and geopolitics. Under the
present condition, it would mean that Poland would have to get guarantees from European
powers: Germany, France, Russian, and Britain, as well as the United States. However, such
acombination seems abstract. Bolesław Balcerowicz notes that neutrality of medium-sized
states such as Poland requires international guarantees of powers and asecond mandatory
condition: the strategy of determwelfent (Kopeć & Mazur, 2017), which entails having
such force which would discourage potential aggressors (Balcerowicz, 2010). It seems,
however, that meeting that second condition only, possession of nuclear weapons (Waltz,
1990), could prove exceptionally positive for Poland: the United States would be forced to
consolidate its role in the strategic partnership, while Poland would be perceived among
the countries of Central and Eastern Europe as suﬃciently credible to build around itself
an axis of regional security.
Conclusions and Recommendations
e notion of the reason of state proposed in this study in the form of securitization of
vital interests of the state allows for supplementing the deﬁnitional operant with aset of
measurable characteristics, features, and veriﬁable facts that may be investigated under the
conditions of both national and international security. In case of the reason of state in the
situation of globalization and contemporary changes, most important seems to be the loss
of conﬁdence in the US as the hegemon of the international order. It entails an immedi-
ate threat to security and requires modiﬁcation of the reason of state into astate security
operant (securitization) through maintaining military security and thus sovereignty.
At the same time, there exist real needs to work out alternatives for international de-
velopment and recognize the US as one of the poles of international order. Such asituation
requires deliberate getting rid of the prerogatives of sovereignty in favor of state security in
the international environment. It should be accepted that Poland, if aperipheral country in
international geopolitics and opportunities, should be veriﬁed from this perspective with
the simultaneous and continued striving at increasing the might of the state in the region.
It seems that the ree Seas or B9 format oﬀers real opportunities for turning Poland into
aregional leader, though they require forces and means which the Polish state does not
have (Lewandowski, 2019). e change of status and attainment of structural might (e.g.,
concerning military security) could raise the level of conﬁdence of the countries of the
region toward Poland.
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