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A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central EuropeVolume I: Negotiating Modernity in the 'Long Nineteenth Century'$
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Balázs Trencsényi, Maciej Janowski, Monika Baar, Maria Falina, and Michal Kopecek

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737148

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198737148.001.0001

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Coping with Diversity

Coping with Diversity

(p.495) 12 Coping with Diversity
A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe

Balázs Trencsényi

Maciej Janowski

Mónika Baár

Maria Falina

Michal Kopeček

Oxford University Press

The rise of mass politics, the anti-positivist turn in social sciences, and the general radicalization of political life led to new views on how to handle the region’s national multiplicity. At least two approaches coexisted in this new intellectual and political situation. Some insisted on the inevitability of ethnic conflict and emphasized the Darwinian struggle for survival as the paradigm of national existence. Meanwhile, various authors proposed practical solutions for the peaceful cohabitation of many nationalities in one state. The Austro-Marxist theory of “personal autonomy” was particularly popular but was contested by advocates of territorialization. The federalist tradition was invoked for administrative and political reform by the political left and the right. Pan-national and supranational ideologies, for example pan-Slavism, were another way of getting around the nation-state. Connected to these discussions, the period saw a dynamic debate on the “Jewish question,” focusing on the issues of assimilation, anti-Semitism, and Zionism.

Keywords:   national multiplicity, ethnic conflict, struggle for survival, Austro-Marxism, personal autonomy, federalism, pan-nationalism, “Jewish question,” assimilation, anti-Semitism

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