Today’s fights for new forms of sovereignty – or the restoration of old ones – might look surprising to those who thought the days of nationalism or even the concept of national sovereignty were over, however, beneath the present-day conflicts we can observe deeply rooted and repeating historical patterns. The heyday of these struggles was after the “Great War” in Europe, when new questions arose concerning who, in fact, “the people” were, who (in the border regions) wanted to be a citizen of which nation, who constituted the “majority” and who now counted – suddenly – as part of a minority. Modern statehood in East Central Europe started, in the first instance, with the collapse of the empires. All post-imperial states had to cope with a double transformation from ruling monarchy to democracy and from Empire to nation-state (which were multi-ethnic in character). Democratizing and nationalizing politics were two tightly interwoven parts of all post-imperial state building processes. The simultaneous implementation of the nation-state and democracy was hard to organize at a national level, but it was even harder at the regional and local levels. In particular, the implementation of democratic ideas at the regional and local level ended in failure. Furthermore, the citizens‘ affection toward the new nation-states depended highly on the “nation” of the citizen. The panel aims to discuss if, and how, processes of nationalization contributed to the failure of almost all democratization processes in East Central Europe after the “Great War”. The panel is a workshop for a planned special issue on the topic.
Chair and Introduction: Steffen Kailitz, (HAIT, Dresden)
Co-Chair: Heidi Hein-Kircher, (Herder Institute, Marburg)
Steffen Kailitz, Matthäus Wehowski: Nationalization and Democratization at the Regional Level in Interwar Europe: The Border Regions of Upper Silesia, Teschen and Orava
Heidi Hein-Kircher: „The Challenges of Double Transformations in East Central Europe and their Failure in Local and Regional Contexts – Eastern Galicia as an Example“
Maciej Górny: A State of Disappointment. Democratization in Interwar Poland (DHI Warschau)
Kati Katajisto: Democratization in Finland after the Civil War (University of Helsinki)
Discussant: Peter Haslinger (Herder Institute, Marburg)