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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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The Interplay of National and Imperial Principles of Organization

The Interplay of National and Imperial Principles of Organization

(p.281) 7 The Interplay of National and Imperial Principles of Organization
A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe

Balázs Trencsényi

Maciej Janowski

Mónika Baár

Maria Falina

Michal Kopeček

Oxford University Press

The post-1848 period saw a proliferation of theories regarding the reorganization of empires, including the establishment of constitutional freedoms and political representation for all national groups. They sought theoretical justification for dividing central (imperial) and local (national, provincial) levels of governmental competence, to find a middle way between imperial sovereignty and the logic of nation-statehood. The Eastern Question originally focused on the relationship between the Great Powers and the Ottoman Empire, but in East Central Europe it provided a framework for defining national projects in the face of imperial pressures. Those who could find sufficient evidence in history evoked the doctrine of state right, while others combined historical arguments with an appeal to natural rights. New pan-national ideologies linked national and supranational levels of identification: most importantly, plans for carving out a Slav unit in the Habsburg Empire, or the foundation of a South Slav state, were formulated.

Keywords:   Eastern Question, constitutionalism, federalism, imperialism, state rights, pan-national ideologies

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