Herr Sebastian Paul fungiert auf der ASEEES 51th Annual Convention im Panel „Beyond Centre and Periphery. Mapping Transnational Spaces in Interwar Czechoslovakia“ als Chair und hält gleichzeitig einen Vortrag zum Thema „Between Democratization and Securitization. Perceptions of Subcarpathian Ruthenia by Czech State Officials in Prague and Uzhhorod“.
The discursive process of forming Czechoslovakia as a nation state of Czechs and Slovaks can be traced back until the 19th century and was dominated mainly by Czech nationalist actors. Even the very last programs in the year 1918 showed territorial aspirations, which were limited on the historical Czech Lands and those parts of northern Hungary, which were inhabited by a Slovak speaking majority. The incorporation of later Subcarpathian Ruthenia was not part of Czech or Slovak nation state programs, but rather a result of geostrategic motivations and unexpected political possibilities during the chaotic autumn of 1918. In practice it turned out that incorporating the administrative structure of Ruthenia into the centralized system of Czechoslovakia was a challenging task, because the local civil service was dominated by ethnic Hungarians and those Ruthenians, who stayed loyal to the Hungarian crown. As it was executed in Slovakia, “reliable” Czechs occupied most of the leading administrative positions in Subcarpathian Ruthenia – a territory, which was widely unknown in the Czech lands. The paper focuses on the perceptions of Subcarpathian Ruthenia as a potentially “insecure” and “backward” territory, that needed to be “civilized”. As such, the discourses initiated by Czech state officials in Prague and Uzhhorod oscillated between democratization and securitization.