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A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central EuropeVolume II: Negotiating Modernity in the 'Short Twentieth Century' and Beyond, Part I: 1918-1968$
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Balázs Trencsényi, Michal Kopeček, Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič, Maria Falina, Mónika Baár, and Maciej Janowski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737155

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737155.001.0001

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Nation-State Building and its Alternatives

Nation-State Building and its Alternatives

Chapter:
(p.5) 1 Nation-State Building and its Alternatives
Source:
A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe
Author(s):

Balázs Trencsényi

Michal Kopeček

Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič

Maria Falina

Mónika Baár

Maciej Janowski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198737155.003.0001

The end of the First World War saw a shift in the political expectations of the national elites in East Central Europe from autonomy to national sovereignty. The acceptance of democratic values and promise of social improvement informed the debate over the meaning of national self-determination and forms of its implementation. In this context, the reality of an ethnically mixed population presented a challenge. While cultural autonomy continued to occupy an important place in the political thought of especially Jewish and German communities, generally the vision of a unitary nation became dominant, with minorities’ territorial demands perceived as a threat. Discourses of regionalism, democratic decentralization, and intrastate federalism kept challenging this model. Federalist projects and visions of regional cooperation addressed the issue of the sustainability of order based on small nation-states. It was in this context Nationalism Studies emerged as an academic subdiscipline, studying nationalism from legal, sociological, and political perspectives.

Keywords:   national self-determination, autonomy, minorities, centralism, federalism, regionalism, nationalism, state-building

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