While the importance of a nation’s history for its current national issues is well established, whether and how that history may be leveraged to promote inclusive and amicable intergroup relationships is less clear. We offer answers to these questions by showing that the referencing of a multiethnic past of a nation is a form of indirect intergroup contact that increases the perceived inclusiveness of the current nation. Firstly, in a nationally representative sample of Poles, we demonstrate that after referring to Poland’s multiethnic history before and during World War II, respondents expressed a greater preference for civic rather than ethnic nationalism. In other words, they expressed more inclusive understanding of their national identity. Secondly, in the follow-up experiment, we further explore this effect by replicating it in one of the targeted samples. Overall, our findings demonstrate how nations may benefit from utilising some parts of their history to promote inclusiveness.
Link to the whole article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0147176723000214?dgcid=author