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Understanding Central Europe
 0415791596, 9780415791595

Table of contents :
Cover
Title
Copyright
Contents
Contributors
Acknowledgements
Making sense of Central Europe: political concepts of the region
Part I Positioning Central Europe
1 Positioning in global hierarchies: the case of Central Europe
2 Centers of Europe
3 Creating Central Europe in Polish and Czech Samizdat
4 Transition/transformation, state capture or varieties of capitalism?
5 Europeanization
Part II Orientalism
6 Which way east? A conceptual misunderstanding
7 Problem of “Western” approach to the “East”: a need for more careful listening and better understanding
8 Poland and the East
9 The East in the Czech perspective
10 On “East”, “Central” and “Eastern” Europe: Belarus and Central European politics of identity
Part III Geopolitics
11 Regional geopolitics perspective of contemporary Poland: same or different as other V4 countries?
12 Geopolitics in Polish national strategies
13 Towards a sustainable Visegrad: some reflections on the future role of Central Europe in the EU
14 Popular geopolitics: understanding the Central European space in the Czech Republic
15 Regional geopolitics: the case of Hungary
Part IV Nationalism
16 Nation: Central European context
17 The normative isomorphism of language, nation and state
18 Nation and region in Central Europe
19 My hero, your enemy: competing national memory cultures and symbolic politics in Central Europe
20 The concept of “nation” in Polish educational books
21 Narratives of trauma and suffering in Slovak–Hungarian relations
22 Nationalism in historical constructs of the nation in Hungary
23 Nationalism as civil religion: the case of Hungary
24 Czech Republic: dream to be nationalistic
25 Historical consciousness: Czech and Slovak examples
Part V Federalism
26 No federation without separation: István Bibó about the prerequisites of regional and European integration
27 The ghost of Judeopolonia or the never-existing Eastern European confederation
28 Feliks Koneczny’s theory of civilizations
Part VI Liberalism
29 Liberalism in the Czech lands: between nationalism and party marginality
30 A fall of liberalism foretold? Liberal politics in Hungary at the turn of two centuries
31 Liberalism in Poland: past experiences – present challenges
32 Liberalism and its tradition in Slovakia
Part VII Civil society
33 The rise and fall of civil society in East-Central Europe
34 Individualized vs. organized civic engagement in CEE countries
35 Contention and the civil society
36 Civil society as a jargon: Central European experience of civic activity after 1989
Part VIII Participatory democracy
37 Participatory democracy in Hungary: out of practice due to lack of interest
38 Understanding and political use of participation in Polish urban politics
39 The opportunities and threats for multilevel governance in Central Europe
40 Too many actors reshape the plot: why the rise of participatory democracy undermines the old ideological framework
41 Environmentalism and civil activism in Hungary
Part IX Information society
42 Startup ecosystem in the Visegrad Group and its main challenges
43 Impact of ITC on the information society in the Visegrad Group states
Part X Lustration
44 Lustration: Ukrainian case
45 Lustration in Poland
46 Lustration in Slovakia
47 Lustration in Czech Politics
Part XI Power
48 The Kundera paradox: dying for Ukraine and EUrope? What the Ukraine crisis can tell us about European power
49 Polish power: potentia and its limits
50 Power and the liberal conscience: context of Central Eastern Europe
51 The power of the Visegrad cooperation
Part XII Solidarity
52 European solidarity from the Central European perspective
53 “Round table” talks as a conflict resolution tool: the Central and Eastern European experience
54 Between anti-politics and post-politics: a history of the idea of solidarity
55 Solidarity by decree: a view from Hungary
Part XIII Politics of health
56 Sterilization in the name of public health
57 Eugenics in the Polish context: from racial hygiene to new genetics
58 From eugenics and “race protection” to preventive medicine and family planning in Hungary
59 The matrix of the physician–patient relationship within the context of medical ethics in Slovakia
Part XIV Cities
60 Urban solemnity and warped public space in Poland
61 The city as an actor, arena and topic of political conflicts in contemporary Poland
62 Five tales of a city: dysfunction and potential in a Central European capital
63 Civic initiatives and city culture, a case study: Szeged
Part XV Languages of art
64 Languages of art in Central Europe: participation, recognition, identity
65 An isolated archipelago or simply one of many islands?
66 Visualizing, mocking and enacting: vocabularies of Eastern European artistic activism
67 Roma contemporary art – the language of European de-coloniality
Index

Citation preview

Understanding Central Europe

“Central Europe” is a vague and ambiguous term, more to do with outlook and a state of mind than with a firmly defined geographical region. In the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Iron Curtain, Central Europeans considered themselves to be culturally part of the West, which had been politically handicapped by the Eastern Soviet bloc. More recently, and with European Union membership, Central Europeans are increasingly thinking of themselves as politically part of the West, but culturally part of the East. This book, with contributions from a large number of scholars from the region, explores the concept of “Central Europe” and a number of other political concepts from an openly Central European perspective. It considers a wide range of issues including politics, nationalism, democracy, and the impact of culture, art and history. Overall, the book casts a great deal of light on the complex nature of “Central Europe”. Marcin Moskalewicz is a Fellow at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Sciences, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poland. Wojciech Przybylski is the Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight – a magazine on Central Europe – and Chairman of Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw.

BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies For a full list of available titles please visit: https://www.routledge.com/BASEESRoutledge-Series-on-Russian-and-East-European-Studies/book-series/BASEES Series editor: Richard Sakwa, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent Editorial Committee: Roy Allison, St Antony’s College, Oxford Birgit Beumers, Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, University of Aberystwyth Richard Connolly, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham Terry Cox, Department of Central and East European Studies, University of Glasgow Peter Duncan, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London Zoe Knox, School of History, University of Leicester Rosalind Marsh, Department of European Studies and Modern Languages, University of Bath David Moon, Department of History, University of York Hilary Pilkington, Department of Sociology, University of Manchester Graham Timmins, Department of Politics, University of Birmingham Stephen White, Department of Politics, University of Glasgow Founding Editorial Committee Member: George Blazyca, Centre for Contemporary European Studies, University of Paisley This series is published on behalf of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). The series comprises original, high-quality, researchlevel work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet and East European Studies in humanities and social science subjects. 115.  Understanding Central Europe Edited by Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski 116.  Rethinking the Russian Revolution as Historical Divide Edited by Matthias Neumann and Andy Willimott 117.  Post-Soviet Armenia The New National Elite and the New National Narrative Irina Ghaplanyan

Understanding Central Europe Edited by Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski

T H O U G H T

P R O V O K I N G

First published 2018 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2018 selection and editorial matter, Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-0-415-79159-5 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-315-15773-3 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Apex CoVantage, LLC

Contents

Contributors Acknowledgements

Making sense of Central Europe: political concepts of the region

xiii xxviii 1

MARCIN MOSKALEWICZ AND WOJCIECH PRZYBYLSKI

PART I

Positioning Central Europe

23

  1 Positioning in global hierarchies: the case of Central Europe

25

ATTILA MELEGH

  2 Centers of Europe

32

MÁTÉ ZOMBORY

  3 Creating Central Europe in Polish and Czech Samizdat

43

WERONIKA PARFIANOWICZ-VERTUN

  4 Transition/transformation, state capture or varieties of capitalism?

52

MARCEL TOMÁŠEK

 5 Europeanization

59

MICHAŁ WENZEL

PART II

Orientalism67   6 Which way east? A conceptual misunderstanding ADAM REICHARDT

69

vi  Contents   7 Problem of “Western” approach to the “East”: a need for more careful listening and better understanding

75

IGOR LYUBASHENKO

  8 Poland and the East

80

TOMASZ ZARYCKI

  9 The East in the Czech perspective

86

RADOMÍR SZTWIERTNIA

10 On “East”, “Central” and “Eastern” Europe: Belarus and Central European politics of identity

91

ALIAKSEI KAZHARSKI

PART III

Geopolitics 11 Regional geopolitics perspective of contemporary Poland: same or different as other V4 countries?

99 101

WOJCIECH KAZANECKI

12 Geopolitics in Polish national strategies

107

ŁUKASZ MEDEKSZA

13 Towards a sustainable Visegrad: some reflections on the future role of Central Europe in the EU

115

TOMÁŠ STRÁŽAY

14 Popular geopolitics: understanding the Central European space in the Czech Republic

119

MATÚŠ HALÁS

15 Regional geopolitics: the case of Hungary

127

ATTILA JAKAB

PART IV

Nationalism

135

16 Nation: Central European context

137

RADOSŁAW ZENDEROWSKI

Contents vii 17 The normative isomorphism of language, nation and state

144

TOMASZ KAMUSELLA

18 Nation and region in Central Europe

151

BÁLINT VARGA

19 My hero, your enemy: competing national memory cultures and symbolic politics in Central Europe

156

BÁLINT VARGA

20 The concept of “nation” in Polish educational books

163

DANIEL CIUNAJCIS

21 Narratives of trauma and suffering in Slovak–Hungarian relations

172

DAGMAR KUSÁ

22 Nationalism in historical constructs of the nation in Hungary

187

GÁBOR EGRY

23 Nationalism as civil religion: the case of Hungary

194

ATTILA B. PATÓ

24 Czech Republic: dream to be nationalistic

205

MARTIN EHL

25 Historical consciousness: Czech and Slovak examples

211

JIRI SUBRT

PART V

Federalism

219

26 No federation without separation: István Bibó about the prerequisites of regional and European integration

221

ZOLTÁN BRETTER

27 The ghost of Judeopolonia or the never-existing Eastern European confederation

229

ZOLTÁN HALASI

28 Feliks Koneczny’s theory of civilizations TOMASZ RABURSKI

238

viii  Contents PART VI

Liberalism

245

29 Liberalism in the Czech lands: between nationalism and party marginality

247

VÍT HLOUŠEK

30 A fall of liberalism foretold? Liberal politics in Hungary at the turn of two centuries

256

SZABOLCS POGONYI

31 Liberalism in Poland: past experiences – present challenges

264

MICHAŁ WARCHAŁA

32 Liberalism and its tradition in Slovakia

273

SAMUEL ABRAHÁM

PART VII

Civil society

279

33 The rise and fall of civil society in East-Central Europe

281

AGNES GAGYI AND MARIYA IVANCHEVA

34 Individualized vs. organized civic engagement in CEE countries

290

JIŘÍ NAVRÁTIL

35 Contention and the civil society

301

GRZEGORZ PIOTROWSKI

36 Civil society as a jargon: Central European experience of civic activity after 1989

308

JAN GRZYMSKI

PART VIII

Participatory democracy

317

37 Participatory democracy in Hungary: out of practice due to lack of interest

319

LÁSZLÓ KOMÁROMI

Contents  ix 38 Understanding and political use of participation in Polish urban politics

326

MARTA SIENKIEWICZ

39 The opportunities and threats for multilevel governance in Central Europe

334

ŁUKASZ MEDEKSZA

40 Too many actors reshape the plot: why the rise of participatory democracy undermines the old ideological framework

343

OKSANA FOROSTYNA

41 Environmentalism and civil activism in Hungary

349

DANIEL MIKECZ

PART IX

Information society

357

42 Startup ecosystem in the Visegrad Group and its main challenges

359

SARA KOSLINSKA

43 Impact of ITC on the information society in the Visegrad Group states

368

JAKUB GRADZIUK

PART X

Lustration

373

44 Lustration: Ukrainian case

375

BESSONOVA MARYNA

45 Lustration in Poland

385

SPASIMIR DOMARADZKI

46 Lustration in Slovakia

394

PAVLÍNA JANEBOVÁ

47 Lustration in Czech Politics MICHAL VIT

401

x  Contents PART XI

Power

407

48 The Kundera paradox: dying for Ukraine and EUrope? What the Ukraine crisis can tell us about European power

409

ALIAKSEI KAZHARSKI

49 Polish power: potentia and its limits

417

RODERICK PARKES

50 Power and the liberal conscience: context of Central Eastern Europe

423

AGNIESZKA ROSNER

51 The power of the Visegrad cooperation

431

ZSUZSANNA VÉGH

PART XII

Solidarity

441

52 European solidarity from the Central European perspective

443

MAGDALENA GÓRA

53 “Round table” talks as a conflict resolution tool: the Central and Eastern European experience

451

DARIUSZ DOBRZAŃSKI

54 Between anti-politics and post-politics: a history of the idea of solidarity

458

JACEK KOŁTAN

55 Solidarity by decree: a view from Hungary

465

SZABOLCS POGONYI

PART XIII

Politics of health

469

56 Sterilization in the name of public health

471

JOSEF KUŘE

Contents  xi 57 Eugenics in the Polish context: from racial hygiene to new genetics

480

AGNIESZKA ŻOK AND EWA BAUM

58 From eugenics and “race protection” to preventive medicine and family planning in Hungary

488

ENIKŐ DEMÉNY

59 The matrix of the physician–patient relationship within the context of medical ethics in Slovakia

498

ANDREA KLIMKOVÁ

PART XIV

Cities

507

60 Urban solemnity and warped public space in Poland

509

KACPER POBŁOCKI

61 The city as an actor, arena and topic of political conflicts in contemporary Poland

515

ŁUKASZ MEDEKSZA

62 Five tales of a city: dysfunction and potential in a Central European capital

524

LEVENTE POLYÁK

63 Civic initiatives and city culture, a case study: Szeged

529

ATTILA B. PATÓ

PART XV

Languages of art

539

64 Languages of art in Central Europe: participation, recognition, identity

541

MAGDALENA MOSKALEWICZ

65 An isolated archipelago or simply one of many islands? JAN ZÁLEŠÁK

549

xii  Contents 66 Visualizing, mocking and enacting: vocabularies of Eastern European artistic activism

557

MARGARET TALI

67 Roma contemporary art – the language of European de-coloniality

567

TÍMEA JUNGHAUS

Index

575

Contributors

Samuel Abrahám, PhD studied political science and political theory at the University of Toronto and Carleton University in Ottawa. In 1996 he returned back to his native Slovakia and has founded and edited journal Kritika & Kontext (www.kritika.sk). In 2001 he became member of Editorial Board of www.euro zine.com – Internet magazine of European cultural journals. Since 2006 he has been the rector of liberal arts college Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (www.bisla.eu). He is director of Bratislava Institute of Humanism which organizes various cultural events, political debates and also publishes Amenca, the only Roma student journal. Ewa Baum is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy of Medicine and Bioethics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poland. She is interested in the development of modern biomedicine and the ethical contexts that accompany these issues; in particular, she is involved with health-related quality of life aspects associated with dialysis patients. She authored the book Stem cells as a bioethical problem of modern medicine and she authored or co-authored (with M. Musielak, and K. Pawlaczyk) dozens of articles on ethical problems of the development of medicine. Maryna Bessonova, PhD in History is an Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow in State Institution “World History Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”, Kyiv, Ukraine. Recent publications include: “AntiAmericanism in the post-Soviet space: Russian and Ukrainian dimensions”, in United States of America in the Modern World politics, Economics, Law, Society: Collection of the Materials II International Scientific and Practical Conference (Lviv, 2015): 13–19 (in Ukrainian);”Czyściec lustracji” in Respublica: Daje do myślenia № 4. (Warsaw, 2014): 43–48 (in Polish); and “The East European Vector of the U.S. Foreign Policy in the Second half of the XX century: the Ukrainian Context” in Annual Journal of the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine, Vol. 20 (Kyiv, 2013): 232–243. Contact: [email protected] Zoltán Bretter, PhD earned a MA in Philosophy (1994), a MA in Sociology (1997), and a PhD (2002) in Philosophy. He is an Assistant Professor in Hungary at the University of Pécs, Department of Political Science and International Studies.

xiv  Contributors Enikő Demény is an Associate Research Fellow at the CEU Center for Ethics and Law in Biomedicine, Budapest, Hungary and has been a Visiting Lecturer at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj (1998–2009). She received her PhD in Philosophy in 2006 at Babes-Bolyai University. She also studied Cultural Anthropology, Gender Studies, Sociology, and Civil Engineering. Her research interest include: the social, ethical, legal and policy impacts of new converging technologies; gender and bioethics; social science and bioethics; gender and science; responsible research; and innovation in the field of biomedicine. Daniel Ciunajcis, (b. 1977) PhD in History. He studied at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland and Alberts Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany. Edited volumes include: Between historical studies and ideologisation of history (Poznan 2011), From the methodological problems of contemporary historiography (Poznan 2010), Present and future of the humanities and the role of academic reflection in the world (Poznan 2008), all in Polish. PhD thesis: “Historical semantic and the critical role of historiography”. Contact: [email protected] Dariusz Dobrzański is an associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. He has authored numerous articles in Polish and English concerning the philosophy of social and political philosophy. He is the author of The Principle of Solidarity: A Study into Social Philosophy (2013). Spasimir Domaradzki, PhD is an assistant professor in Political Science at Lazarski University, Warsaw, Poland. He is a member of the editorial board of Res Publica Nova and a holder of the Wilbur Foundation Fellowship in 2008 and the Sofia University Center for Excellence in 2010. He is a member of the Ideas Lab team at the Chancellery of the President of Republic of Poland 2013–2014. Email: [email protected] Gábor Egry, PhD (b. 1975) is an historian that holds a PhD from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, and is the head of research department and a senior research fellow at the Institute of Political History, Budapest. He is a former Bolyai János Fellow of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, an Europa Fellow at the New Europe College Institute for Advanced Study, Bucharest, a Visiting Fellow at the Imre Kertész Kolleg, Jena, a Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar at CREEES, Stanford University, a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Southeast European Studies, University of Regensburg, an Editor of Múltunk, a journal of political history, an associate editor of New Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Journal for East & Central European International Relations and Politics, and advisory board member of the PILAR:Croatian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. He was a visiting lecturer at the University of Miskolc and Stradins University, Riga. His primary research area is Central and Eastern European history, the history of nationalities and nationalism, and ethnicity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Contributors  xv Martin Ehl, PhD works as a reporter of the Czech economic daily Hospodářské noviny since 2001, and, since January 2006, as the Chief International Editor. He previously worked in various Czech written media since 1992, and he collaborates with public Czech TV and public Czech radio. Since April of 2011, his regular column on Central Europe, “Middle Europa”, appears at English-language Internet magazine Transitions Online (www.tol.cz). His articles are also published by the Serbian, Slovak and Polish presses. In 1999, he was a Research Fellow at the Institute of International Relations, Prague; from 2001–2006 he was a Lecturer at the University of West Bohemia, Pilsen teaching “Global issues and problems”; and from 2009–2011 he was a lecturer at Metropolitan University, Prague, teaching “Central and Eastern European Political Systems”. Oksana Forostyna is a former executive editor for Krytyka and Critical Solutions web-project. With a background in journalism, she has extensive professional experience as a Content Expert and Expert in Message Development and Verbalization at pro.mova consulting company (Ukraine). She is also a novelist, having published her first book, Duty Free, in 2013 and a former investigative journalist. The articles have been published in BusinessWeek, Transitions Online, Gazeta Wyborcza, and the Ukrainian Observer. Ms. Forostyna covered national politics in the local daily Lvivska Gazeta and has been the local reporter for Voice of America since 2004. In 2006, as an activist of Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine, Oksana Forostyna prepared, negotiated, and signed the Editorial Policy Agreement with Lvivska Gazeta management – the first such agreement in the Ukrainian press. She is currently a book publisher. Agnes Gagyi, PhD is a social movement researcher, focusing on East Central European movements and politics in a long-term global comparative framework. She is member of the Budapest-based Working Group for Public Sociology “Helyzet”. Magdalena Góra earned her degree in Political Science from Jagiellonian University (MA 2000). Her PhD (2007) was on the relations between Poland and Israel after the Second World War. From 2007 onwards, she has been researcher at the Institute of European Studies of the Jagiellonian University, primarily concentrating her work on the changes in foreign policy and international relations in Central and Eastern Europe in the context of European integration (in particular in the context of Common Foreign and Security Policy) as well as on collective identification changes in the European Union after Enlargement and its influence on democracy in the Europe. She has participated in several research projects, and currently, she is a leader of a project “Democratic control and legitimisation in European foreign policy. The case study of EU Enlargement Policy and European Neighbourhood Policy” conducted at the Jagiellonian University, funded by Polish National Science Centre. Jakub Gradziuk is a Managing Director at the Res Publica Foundation and a Member of the Board at Healthy State Movement. He is also a social activist

xvi  Contributors and a co-founder and coordinator of “Youth in Democracy” – a project awarded by the European Commission as one of the most important social initiatives in Poland. He graduated in regional studies and political science from Warsaw University and Stockholm University. He has a broad experience in regional and global governance, political communication, and NGOs. Jan Grzymski, PhD is a lecturer in International Relations, chair of the Department of Government Studies at the Lazarski University in Warsaw. He holds a doctoral degree in political scientist, majoring in political philosophy, political theory and political anthropology and was awarded the Mary and Clifford Corbridge Trust Scholarship (2015). Grzymski is the author of several scholarly articles concerning the transition period in Poland and Polish European aspiration from the critical perspective, published the book Rozmowa czy konfrontacja? (2008) and worked in the Institute of Public Affairs – the leading Polish NGO and think tank (2007–2008). Matúš Halás is a lecturer in strategic studies at the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia. He received a PhD in international relations from the Charles University in Prague and then worked at the Institute of European Studies and International Relations in Bratislava. Most of his research deals with political geography, game theory, and agent-based modeling. Articles written by Matúš appeared, for example, in Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Geopolitics, or Social & Cultural Geography. His edited volume, published in 2014, offers translated versions of the most important geopolitical texts of the 20th century. Zoltán Halasi is a writer in Budapest, Hungary. He won the Kalligram Publishing House Budapest Palladium Prize, Attila József Prize, Déry Prize, the Milán Füst Prize. [email protected] Vít Hloušek (b. 1977) studied history and political science. He serves as an Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations and European Studies FSS MU. He is a head of the International Institute of Political Science in the same time. He specializes in the problems of comparative political science, especially the comparison of political and party systems in Europe, contemporary history, and the shaping and development of modern mass politics in Central Europe. He is author of a number of articles in professional magazines and volumes, editor of several publications, and author of the monograph Konflikt versus konsensus. Konfliktní linie, politické strany a stranické systémy v Rakousku, 1860–2006. Mariya Ivancheva has a BA Philosophy (University of Sofia), MA Social theory (UCL) and is a PhD candidate at the department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. She is interested in and has published on the history, legacy and presence of socialism, intellectual dissent, alternative forms of social organization and civic education in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Mariya is a member of the

Contributors  xvii collectives of Social Center Xaspel, New Left Perspectives, and Transeuropa in Sofia, Bulgaria. Attila Jakab is a historian of religion at Civitas Europica Centralis (researcher), she earned a PhD from University of Strasbourg, and she is a co-editor of the collection “Christianismes anciens” published by Peter Lang, Bern. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of Classica et Christiana, Periodico annuale del Centro di Studi Classici e Cristiani della Facoltà di Storia dell’Università “Alexandru I. Cuza” di Iaşi, Romania (from 2007), a member of the Scientific Committee of Dialogues d’Histoire Ancienne and the Journal of Institut des Sciences et Techniques de l’Antiquité of the University of Besançon (France) (from 2015). [email protected] Pavlína Janebová is a PhD student of European Studies at the Department of IR and European Studies of the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Her professional specialties are political parties and their relation to the European integration with the emphasis on the V4 countries, Germany and Austria; relations between Central European countries; and Hungarian politics. She is the co-author of the chapter “Germany as a phenomenon in the EU”. Email: [email protected] Tomasz Kamusella is a Reader in Modern History in the Center for Transnational History, School of History, University of Saint Andrews, Saint Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom. He received an interdisciplinary education at universities in the Czech Republic, Poland and South Africa, among others, including: a MA in European Studies and International Relations from the Central European University in Prague/Budapest; a PhD in Political Science from the Institute of Western Affairs (Instytut Zachodni) in Poznań, Poland; and a Habilitation in Cultural Studies from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw. He has published widely, in English and Polish, on language politics, ethnicity and nationalism, European integration and the history of Central Europe. Wojciech Kazanecki specializes in geopolitical analysis of current world affairs. He is Visiting Lecturer of ICN Business School Nancy-Metz (France). Between 2004–2014, he has established and led Lower Silesian Centre of Strategic Studies (DOSS)  – a regional think tank devoted to global and local affairs. Currently, he works for leading global consulting firm advising on geopolitical risks. He is also a member of Young Scientists Team acting by the Forecasting Committee “Poland 2000 Plus” of Polish Academy of Science (since 2011). Cooperating with Res Publica since 2012, he has also published a number of articles in both academic journals and regional press. A full list of publications and additional information is available at his blog: kazanecki.wordpress.com Contact the author: [email protected] Aliaksei Kazharski, PhD (Comenius University 2015) is a Researcher at the Institute for European Studies and International Relations, Faculty of Social and

xviii  Contributors Economic Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava. He is an adjunct lecturer at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts. His recent publications include ”From ‘colony’ to ‘failing state’? Ukrainian sovereignty in the gaze of Russian foreign policy discourses”. In: Makarychev A., Yatsyk A. (eds.). Vocabularies of International Relations after the Crisis in Ukraine, Routledge, 2016. Andrea Klimková is an Assistant Professor working currently as Deputy of the Department of Applied Ethics, Faculty of Arts, P.J.Šafárik University Košice. She works as course lecturer of The Philosophy of Medicine, Nursing Ethics, Theory and Practice of Applied Ethics, Media Ethics, Environmental Policy, Ecological and Environmental Education. In the last decade, she was part of a scientific team in KEGA (Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education): Medical Ethics – context and perspective; she reviewed publications from Applied ethics, for example, the projekt Philosophy of Medicine in the Czech, Slovakia and Poland (Visegrad Fund, ID 21110004). She also co-authored a textbook for students: Contextual background of Medicine Ethics. Jacek Kołtan, PhD, philosopher and political scientist is the Deputy Director for Research at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk, Poland. He studied at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland), Humboldt University and Free University in Berlin (Germany). He was a visiting scholar of German KAAD Foundation in Berlin (2001–2007) and CUA in Washington DC (2012). His research interests cover social theory, political philosophy, solidarity ideas, new social movements, and hermeneutics as well as social design and anthropology. He is the editor of Solidarity and the Crisis of Trust (2016), European Solidarity Centre Permanent Exhibition. Anthology (2015) and the author of Der Mitmensch. Zur Identitätsproblematik des sozialen Selbst ausgehend von der Frühphilosophie Martin Heideggers und Karl Löwiths (2012). Contact: [email protected] László Komáromi, legal historian, holds a PhD in Law and Political Science (2008). He has been working as teacher at Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences in Budapest, Hungary since 2003 and since 2010 as associate professor at the Department of Legal History. His main research interests are: European legal and constitutional history, direct democracy (from a comparative and historical aspect). He published recently articles related to direct democratic experiences in the interwar period (e.g., “Parliaments and popular law-making: the German and Estonian experience in the interwar years” in Parliaments, Estates and Representation 34, 2014, pp. 55–75.) Email: [email protected] Sara Koslinska is an entrepreneur with an exposure to different players in the startup ecosystem including: corporate accelerator, venture capital funds, highgrowth Internet companies and early stage startups in different regions, which gives her a good understanding of how the tech market and its consumers are changing. So far, she has traveled thirty-six different countries getting to know local startup ecosystems. She has a cross-industry experience from Poland,

Contributors  xix Israel, the UK, Malaysia and Singapore and has engaged in a range of projects in support of entrepreneurship, including co-founding Startup Poland in cooperation with Google. Josef Kuře, philosopher and bioethicist, obtained his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Innsbruck (Austria). In 2000–2003, he was Visiting Researcher at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, Washington DC and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University (2001–2003). In 2009 he got his habilitation (Associate Professor) from the Masaryk University in Social Medicine. Currently, he is the Head of the Department of Medical Ethics, Masaryk University, Chair of Research Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University. He served as Vice Chair of Bioethics Committee of the Research and Development Council of the Czech Government (2005–2014). Dr. Kuře, having participated in several European projects, has published widely in scientific journals. Among his areas of research are bioethics, philosophical foundations of ethics, philosophy of medicine, research ethics and future oriented ethics. Dagmar Kusa, earned a PhD from Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts, Bratislava, Slovakia. Her specialties are human rights, citizenship, ethnicity, identity conflicts, collective memory and cultural trauma. His recent publications include, with Anne Nurse, “Juvenile Justice in Slovakia”, In: John Winterdyk, ed. 2015; and Juvenile Justice: International Perspectives, Models, and Trends, CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL. Email: [email protected] Igor Lyubashenko is an assistant professor at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS) in Warsaw and a contributing editor to New Eastern Europe bimonthly. He has a PhD in political science from the Maria CurieSklodowska University in Lublin. His current academic interests are focusing on different aspects of transition to democracy in post-communist states (in particular, Poland and Ukraine). His latest research is devoted to the problem of transitional justice in post-Euromaidan Ukraine. Bessonova Maryna, PhD in History is an Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow in State Institution “World History Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”, Kyiv, Ukraine. Recent publications include: “AntiAmericanism in the post-Soviet space: Russian and Ukrainian dimensions”, in United States of America in the Modern World politics, Economics, Law, Society: Collection of the Materials II International Scientific and Practical Conference (Lviv, 2015,): 13–19. (in Ukrainian).”Czyściec lustracji” in: Res Publica Nowa: Daje do myślenia № 4. (Warsaw, 2014): 43–48 (in Polish).”The East European Vector of the U.S. Foreign Policy in the Second half of the XX century: the Ukrainian Context” in: Annual Journal of the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine, Vol. 20 (Kyiv, 2013): 232–243. Contact: [email protected] Łukasz Medeksza is a culturologist. Coordinator of the Social Foresight Wrocław 2036/2056 – a project carried out as a part of the European Capital of Culture

xx  Contributors 2016. He is the secretary of the workgroup appointed by the President of Wrocław to prepare the new city strategy (from 2016). He is a member of the Board of The Society of Polish Town-Planners (from 2015). He is one of the founding members of the Polish Chapter of INTBAU – International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (2016). He is a member of the Council of ZIT WrOF – Integrated Territorial Investments of the Wrocław Functional Area (from 2015). In the years 2010–2016, he worked for the Office of the Regional Self-Government of the region of Lower Silesia – in that role he took part in preparing the Strategy of Development of Information Society in Lower Silesia and the Regional Operational Programme 2014–2020. He is the co-author (with Katarzyna Uczkiewicz) of a collection of interviews about the so-called Western Territories (Ziemie Zachodnie) in Poland – published as a book in 2015. He prepares his PhD thesis on value-oriented public development strategies in the Institute of Cultural Studies at the University of Wrocław. Attila Melegh is a sociologist, economist and historian by training. He has taught in the United States, Russia, Georgia and Hungary, and is now Associate Professor at Corvinus University, Budapest. As a Professor at Pal Tomori College (head of international studies program), he also works for the Demographic Research Institute as a senior researcher. In addition, he researches sociological and historical aspects of globalization, global social change and international migration. He is the author of the book On the East/West Slope and other volumes in English and Hungarian and has published over a hundred scientific papers. Daniel Mikecz graduated as a political scientist at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. He writes his doctoral thesis on the Hungarian global justice movement. Since 2013, he is a Junior Research Fellow at the Institute of Political Science at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. From 2010, he teaches various courses at the Eötvös Loránd University on protest movements and political participation. Since 2015, he is also a researcher of the Republikon Institute, a liberal think tank in Budapest. Magdalena Moskalewicz , PhD, is an art historian, curator and editor specializing in 20th and 21st century art from Central and Eastern Europe. Awarded a PhD in art history from Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań for her research into Polish art of the 1960s, in 2012, she served as Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral C-MAP Fellow at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, in 2012-2015. Moskalewicz has since taught at New York University, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and is currently based in Chicago, where she teaches at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. In her scholarly, editorial, and curatorial work, Moskalewicz critically investigates local art histories and representations of identities in order to reshape dominant historical narratives. To that end, she curated Halka/Haiti 18°48’05″N 72°23’01″W for the Polish Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015) and The Travellers: Voyage and Migration

Contributors  xxi in New Art from Central and Eastern Europe  (Zachęta, Warsaw, 2016 and Kumu, Tallinn, 2017), both accompanied by books. In 2014, Moskalewicz organized the panel “Politics of Art Languages in Central Europe” for the 3rd Central European Dictionary of Political Concepts Conference in Prague. [email protected] Marcin Moskalewicz is a Fellow at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Sciences at Poznań University of Medical Sciences in Poland. Previously a Marie Curie Fellow at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford, and a member of Christ Church College, a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Texas A&M University (United States), and EURIAS fellow at the Collegium Helveticum, University of Zurich/ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Born in Warsaw (Poland), Moskalewicz studied history and philosophy of science at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, University of California at Berkeley (2003) and Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (2005, 2007). In 2009 he defended a PhD in the philosophy of history in the “European Doctorate” framework (summa cum laude). Dr. Moskalewicz received three Marie Curie Research Fellowships, the Prime Minister of Poland Prize (2010), the Foundation for Polish Science scholarship (2011) and book prize (2012), the Polish National Science Center research grant (2011–2013), and the Polish Ministry of Science Award (2015). He is a member of the executive committees of The German-Polish Society for the History of Medicine and The Polish Phenomenological Association as well as a board member of the Warsaw-based Res Publica Foundation. Contact: [email protected] Jiří Navrátil is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Department of Public Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University in Brno and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil Society Studies at the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague. His research focus is on political theory, civil society, social movements and political protest. He has published on global justice movement and political activism in CEE. jiri. [email protected] Weronika Parfianowicz-Vertun, PhD, works at the Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw, member of Workshop for Urban Studies. She’s author of the book Teksty i działania. Europa Środkowa w polskich i czeskich dyskusjach (Warszawa 2016). Her research interests involve Central European urban culture, Czech avant-garde and underground. In 2012, she was a Višegrad Fund’s scholar at the Faculty of Arts (Charles University, Prague). She is the author of articles on contemporary Czech culture and Central European literature (published in Teksty Drugie, Kultura Współczesna and the Czech journal A2). Roderick Parkes joined the EU Institute for Security Studies in October 2015, where he works on international home affairs cooperation. His current focus is the management of the migration crisis and counterterrorism. He worked as a

xxii  Contributors researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin (2005–2009) before moving to Brussels and establishing SWP’s liaison office to the EU and NATO (2009–2012). In 2012, he moved to the Polish Institute of International Affairs, PISM, in Warsaw, where he ran the Europe Programme (2012–2015). He spent the year 2015 in Stockholm on a scholarship from the Swedish government examining the foreign policy dimension of the refugee crisis. Attila B. Pató, PhD (Szeged, Hungary  – Hradec Králové, Czech Republic) is affiliated with the Department of Foreign Languages, the Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové, and Charles the University in Prague. His professional interests include cultural, political, intellectual history, Central Europe. His latest publications include: “Arendt in Prague” In: Kellék (Pro Philosophia Foundation, Oradea/Cluj, 2014) Socio ‘50; “Reflections on the (Re)institutionalization of Sociology” In: Visegrad Insight (2/2013) “About the Czech opposition, Interview with Jiřina Šiklová” In: Magyar Lettre Internationale (Budapest, 87/2012/2013). “Svět, co se sdílí sám se sebou” (Dvě moderní maďarské prózy z venkovského prostředí). Souvislostí (Praha) 2/2016. Grzegorz Piotrowski is a project researcher at the School of Social Sciences at Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden, where he is involved in the research project “ ‘Unexpected’ alliances and mobilizations in the field of housing activism in Poland” funded by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies. Grzegorz defended his PhD in social and political sciences at the European University Institute in 2011, with a dissertation about the alterglobalist movement in post-socialist context in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary (forthcoming). His research interests revolve around the issues of anarchism, alterglobalism, squatting, social movements, post-socialism and urban movements. His latest publications include articles in Interface, a journal for and about social movements and the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia for Social and Political Movement. Kacper Poblocki is Assistant Professor at the Department of Anthropology (University of Poznań) and at the Centre for European Regional and Local Studies (Warsaw University). A  graduate of University College Utrecht and Central European University, he was in 2008/2009 a visiting fellow at the Center for Place, Culture and Politics (CUNY Graduate Center), directed by David Harvey. His doctoral dissertation on class, uneven development and urbanization in Poland received an award from the Polish Prime Minister for outstanding dissertations. He is a co-author of A Guide For the Helpless. The Right to the City in Practice (2013), a co-editor of Unhinged Architecture (2016) and the author of Capitalism – A Short Duree History (2017, all books in Polish). Between 2009 and 2014, he was actively involved in establishing urban movements in Poland, for example, as the initiator and coordinator of the nationwide Alliance of Urban Movements that run in municipal elections of 2014 in 11 cities.

Contributors  xxiii Szabolcs Pogonyi is Assistant Professor in the Nationalism Studies Program at the Central European University. Szabolcs Pogonyi received his PhD in 2008 in philosophy from ELTE, University of Budapest, where he specialized in political theory and ethics. His current research in political theory focuses on questions of citizenship theory, debates about multiculturalism, standards of minority rights protection and distributive justice. He is the author of several articles in political theory and editor of books in the history of political thought. Szabolcs Pogonyi also teaches political theory and ethics courses at ELTE, University of Budapest. In addition, he is also the editor of Phronesis, a Hungarian political philosophy quarterly, the editor of Metazin, a daily online review and BudaPost, a Hungarian review. Levente Polyák is an urban planner, researcher and policy adviser. He studied architecture, urbanism and sociology in Budapest and Paris, and he was visiting lecturer at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, the Budapest University of Technology and TU Wien, where he taught urban studies and architectural theory. He worked on urban regeneration projects for the New York, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Budapest and Pécs municipalities. He is the managing director of Eutropian GmbH (Vienna), vice president of Eutropian Association (Rome) and board member of the KÉK  – Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre (Budapest). He specialized on urban regeneration, cultural development, community participation, local economic development and social innovation, with a special focus on building development scenarios on existing resources. In the past years, he has been researching new organizational and economic models of community-led urban development projects, including the temporary use of vacant properties and community-run social services. Based on this research, he has been helping public administrations and NGOs of various sizes and geographic locations across Europe. For more information, visit eutropian.org and http://polyaklevente.net Wojciech Przybylski is the Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight – a magazine on Central Europe – and chairman of Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw. Previously editor-in-chief of Eurozine – a magazine representing a network of European cultural journals with an office in Vienna – and a Polish quarterly titled Res Publica Nowa. He is also the project leader of ‘New Europe 100’, a network bringing forward a community of successful innovators from CEE across the fields of business, research media, NGO, and public administration run jointly by Res Publica, Financial Times and Google. He is a member of the advisory board of the European Forum of New Ideas and the European Digital Forum think tank led by the Lisbon Council and Nesta in collaboration with the European Commission’s Startup Europe Initiative. He has been a lecturer at the Warsaw University and a junior research fellow at CEFRES in Prague. Wojciech is a political commentator, lecturer, and social entrepreneur. His expertise includes European and transatlantic affairs as well as policies related to innovation and culture. He has published in Foreign Policy, Politco Europe, EUObserver, VoxEurop, Gazeta Wyborcza, Hospodarske noviny, Internazzionale and several other media.

xxiv  Contributors Tomasz Raburski, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland. He studied sociology and law (MA) at Adam Mickiewicz University. His main interests are in law and society fields, contemporary political philosophy and Wikipedia studies. Email: [email protected] Adam Reichardt is the Editor-in-Chief of New Eastern Europe, an Englishlanguage bimonthly magazine published by the Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe. Dr. Reichardt is a Member of the editorial board/peer reviewer: Central European Journal of International and Security Studies (CEJISS). He has been named to the 2014 NewEurope 100 list of innovators in Central and Eastern Europe and short-listed for the European Press Prize 2012. Email: [email protected] Marta Sienkiewicz is an Urban Sociologist with a MSc Urban Sociology from the University of Amsterdam. She studied also at the University of Warsaw and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Originally from Warsaw, she currently resides in Amsterdam. She is a research contributor to the “City DNA” Programme run by Res Publica (PL), collaborated also with University of Oxford and a number of Polish NGOs in research and facilitation projects focused on public life. She is interested in political sociology of the city, particularly in relation to culture, creativity and sustainable social development. She holds the Student Excellence Award 2014 granted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland. Contact: [email protected] Tomáš Strážay is Senior Fellow and the Head of the Central and Southeastern Europe Research Program at the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava, Slovakia. He is the Coordinator of the Think Visegrad – V4 Think Tank Platform. He is the Editor of the International Issues and Slovak Foreign Policy Affair quarterly and an expert advisor to the European Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions rapporteurs, author and co-author of briefing notes for the European Parliament. He is the author of numerous publications on Visegrad Group, regional cooperation, Western Balkans and EU enlargement and a 2015 Marshall Memorial Fellow. Jiri Subrt lectures in sociology at the Faculty of the Humanities and at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University. Since 2009, he has been head of the Department of Historical Sociology at the Faculty of the Humanities. He is the author or co-author of several books (in Czech): The Civilization Theory of Norbert Elias (1996); Figures and Questions in Contemporary Theoretical Sociology (2001); Time and Society (2003); Historical Sociology (2007, editor), Contemporary Sociology Vols. I, II, III, and IV (2007, 2008, 2010 editor). [email protected] fhs.cuni.cz Radomír Sztwiertnia is an Assistant in the Department of Politics and European Studies at the Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. His research

Contributors  xxv interests include ethnic politics, local politics and contemporary Czech–Polish relations. He is a co-editor of publications on local politics and urban governance (e.g., Ganowicz, E., L. Rubisz and R. Sztwiertnia. 2013. Cities in Transition. Urban Governance in Olomouc Region and Opole Voivodeship. Olomouc: Civipolis). Email: [email protected] Margaret Tali is a lecturer and researcher in the Maastricht University, Department of Literature and Art. Her current research deals with the roles of testimonies in the context of Eastern European history, waves of migration and the transcultural memories of traumatic events. In 2014, she defended her PhD thesis “Speaking Absence. Art Museums, Representation and Knowledge Creation” at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis in the University of Amsterdam. Together with Tanel Rander she has edited the book Archives and Disobedience: Changing Tactics of Visual Culture in Eastern Europe (2016). Marcel Tomášek is currently a lecturer in the MA program in Historical Sociology at the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University and in the Institute of Theory and History of Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture of Czech Technical University in Prague. Previously, he has lectured and taken part in research at the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University in Brno (2002– 2007) and Metropolitan University in Prague (2010). He received a MA in Sociology from CEU (Warsaw) and MA in Politics/European Studies and History from Palacký University (Olomouc), and he further studied at the Graduate School for Social Research (Warsaw). He spent some time in the United States as a visiting fellow at the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies (New School, New York) and, earlier, as an exchange student at Miami University and was also an exchange student at the Aarhus University in Denmark before that. His research has touched primarily socio-economic and political changes in Central European countries in last two decades and also collective memory and social traumas in recent Central European past. Bálint Varga (Budapest, 1983) studied history and international relations in Budapest and Heidelberg and earned an MA in history from the Central European University. He was a Marie Curie doctoral fellow at the Slovak Academy of Sciences and an Ernst Mach visiting fellow at the University of Vienna. At the moment, he is a PhD candidate at the University of Mainz and a research fellow at the New Europe College, Bucharest. His research interest includes history of nationalism and historiography of Central Europe. He is the author of The Monumental Nation: Magyar Nationalism and Symbolic Politics in Finde-siècle Hungary (New York: Berghahn Books, 2016). Volume 20, Austrian and Habsburg Studies. Zsuzsanna Végh is a researcher at the Center for European Neighborhood Studies of the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) since 2012. Degrees: MA in international relations and European studies from the Central European University (2012) and MA in international studies from the Eötvös Loránd University (2011). Specialization: Visegrad countries’ foreign and international

xxvi  Contributors development policies, EU foreign policy with a focus on the Eastern neighborhood, Eastern Partnership. Email: [email protected] Michal Vit, is a Research Fellow at the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy Czech Republic, he is also working toward a doctorate degree jointly at Masaryk University in Brno and at the University of Leipzig. He was associated with the Institute for European Policy in Berlin. His research focuses on the national identity formation of political parties in Central East Europe and he is the editor-in-chief of the web page ceeidentity.eu. He graduated from Masaryk University with a degree in European Studies. Mailing adress: [email protected] europeum.org Michał Warchała PhD (b. 1977) is a sociologist, historian of ideas, and translator; he teaches at the Pedagogical University of Cracow and the University of Warsaw. His main publications include: Authenticity and Modernity (2006) and Poland-France: Mutual Perceptions after the EU-enlargement (2007). His essays appear in the liberal quarterly Przegląd Polityczny; he contributes as well to Res Publika Nowa, Literatura na Świecie and Teksty Drugie. He translated into Polish the books and essays by (among others): Pierre Manent, Alain Besançon, Alain Touraine, Slavoj Zizek and Derek Parfit. Michał Wenzel is adjunct professor at the Center for the Study of Democracy, Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS). Prior to his present position, he was a researcher and analyst at CBOS Public Opinion Research Center in Warsaw. He was a postdoctoral scholar at Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, where he was involved in a project Europeanization of social dialogue in the context of EU enlargement. He also worked as visiting scholar at University of Oxford, and at University of Michigan. He has held numerous teaching positions. He published in English and Polish about research methodology, labor relations, and social movements. He received a MA from University of Gdańsk, a MA from Central European University, and a PhD from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences. Jan Zálešák is curator, art critic and teacher. He is a PhD graduate of the Department of Art Education at Masaryk University in Brno. Between 2008 and 2010 he was a curator in Brno-based Galerie mladých (Youth Gallery). Since 2011, he has been an assistant professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology. A range of his interests is broad: from participatory art practice (Umění spolupráce, Praha 2011) to historiographical turn in Central European contemporary art (Past Future, Brno 2013), and post-Internet aesthetics (the exhibition/book project SSSSSS, Fait Gallery, Brno 2014 – together with artist Jan Brož). He is a regular contributor to Czech contemporary art magazines, such as Labyrint revue, Flash Art CZ/SK or Fotograf Magazine. Contact: jan. [email protected]

Contributors  xxvii Tomasz Zarycki is an Associate Professor and Director of the Robert B Zajonc Institute for Social Studies at the University of Warsaw, Poland. His research focuses on sociology of politics, sociology of culture, sociology of knowledge, critical sociology and discourse analysis. Radosław Zenderowski, born 1974, political scientist and sociologist is the Director of Institute of Politology at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. His research activity is focused on problems of national identity in Eastern and Central Europe, the relationship between politics and religion, and the theory of nationalism. He is a member of the International Political Science Association. Agnieszka Żok, PhD is an assistant in the Department of Social Science, University of Medical Sciences in Poznań, Poland. She received her MA in Cultural Studies. Her PhD thesis concentrates on sociological and cultural factors in the situation of LGB patients in the Polish healthcare system. In her research she focuses on sociology of sexuality, gender and queer theory, social aspects of new genetics and antidiscrimination politics. Contact: [email protected] Máté Zombory is research fellow at the Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and holds a PhD in sociology. His main research interests are cultural belongings, critical geography, memory studies and autobiography. He recently published the book titled Maps of Remembrance. Space, belongings and politics of memory in eastern Europe (L’Harmattan, 2012).

Acknowledgements

This book illustrates political discourse and its main ideas in Central Europe. It is a result of collaborative work of almost seventy scholars, writers and journalists of many nationalities specializing in politics, society, culture and history of the region. Our wish is to give an overview of ideas and concepts that are universal for contemporary Western politics and without which it would be hard to think about and practice politics both thirty years ago and today, yet to do this from within the unique context of the Central European experience, that is, from our own political perspective. As contentious as it is, for the purposes of this project, we have construed Central Europe as comprising of four countries – the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary – but we have tried to take into account the framework provided by neighboring countries and regions as well. Our explicit aim was to avoid unbiased scholarly objectivism, which regardless of its unquestionable merits tends to – especially in the political context – universalize both its subject matter and its own position. Hence, our major prejudice was our own Central European perspective, which we have not tried to hide behind purportedly objective academic language, but, on the contrary, have openly put to the fore. In the sixty-eight essays presented in this volume, the reader will find analyses and evaluations of some major themes of the public debate currently taking place in Central Europe. The authors of the essays attempt to analyze and clarify how seemingly universal concepts function in the regional context. While taking local histories and experiences into consideration, they do not lose sight of parallels between particular regional experiences and universal dimensions of modern politics. They keep interest in how specific regional terms translate into the global public discourse. All articles assembled in this volume were produced as a result of four workshops taking place in Prague (April 25th, 2010), Budapest (May 23rd 2010), Bratislava (June 23rd 2010), and Cracow (July 13th 2010); three public debates: Petty Hungarian Imperialism (at the Kossuth Club, Budapest, May  22nd 2010), Are We East or West? (at the Visegrad Salon, Bratislava, June 10th 2010), and Faces of Liberalism in Central Europe (at BISLA, Bratislava, June  22nd 2010); and four conferences: at the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (24–26th

Acknowledgements  xxix June 2011), at the Willa Decius in Cracow (12–14th October 2012), at the Centre Français de Recherche en Sciences Sociales  CEFRES in Prague (25–27th April 2014), and at The Castle of the President of the Republic of Poland National Heritage Complex in Wisla (12–13th July 2014). During these events, the authors had the opportunity to meet, present their papers, and exchange and discuss their views. All events were organized by Res Publica – a Polish think tank and editorial team of a journal on culture and politics by the same name – and were generously funded by the International Visegrad Fund, to whom we would like to express our most sincere gratitude. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank the organizers of the panels at our workshops and conferences, who did an excellent job of assembling the groups of authors around a given topic, being in most cases a particular political concept. These topics of the working groups formed the basis for the chapters presented in this book. The organizers of the panels were: Artur Celiński, Spasimir Domaradzki, C. Cain Eliott, Marcin Fronia. Agnes Gagyi, Magdalena Góra, Leszek Jażdżewski, Wojciech Kazanecki, Josef Kuře, Attila Melegh, Magdalena Moskalewicz, Adam Reichardt, Uwe Serdült, Marcel Tomášek, Anna Wójcik, Jan Zamojski, Máté Zombory, and Milan Zubíček. Their systematic work was made possible by the support and methodological advice given at the preliminary stages of our project by Eva Karadi, Danuta Glondys, Michal Kopecek, Michal Koran, Balazs Trencsenyi, and Peter Vagner, former executive director of the Visegrad Fund. On several occasions, our efforts have been generously supported with an in-kind contribution, for which we express many thanks to the Polish Institute in Budapest and its director, Katarzyna Sitko, Polish Embassy in Bratislava, Department of History of Ideas at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, and Central European University. We would also like to express our special thanks to Marcin Czardybon for technical editing of the footnotes, to Szymon Grela and Borys Jastrzębski for editorial assistance, to Joshua Walcott for collecting the authors’ bios and “Englishing” the manuscript, and to Anna Wójcik for her help in organizing 2012 and 2014 conferences. The book was originally conceived as a “Central European dictionary of political concepts” and its chapters were completed before the current immigration crisis erupted in Europe. But even though the political and social situation at the old continent has recently changed dramatically, we believe that the Central European understanding of political ideas has mostly not. Since our aim was to engage readers across Europe and stimulate public dialogue on Central Europe, we tried to keep things clear and simple. Hence, we avoided strictly academic language and tried to maintain a balance between essayistic form and concise information. We also limited footnotes to a minimum. We hope that this book shall be of interest to political scientists, diplomats, EU personnel and students of Central European subjects and also to the general reading public interested in contemporary political discourse. Last but not least, we wish that it will give the reader a sense of the unique experience of Central Europe. Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski December 2016

Making sense of Central Europe Political concepts of the region Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski

Shifting borders of Central Europe What is Central Europe? In order to understand Central Europe and political ideas that drive public debates in and about this region, we must first ask ourselves this question. What does the concept stand for? Should we not rather speak of Eastern or of Central Eastern Europe? Edward Lucas, senior editor at The Economist, preferring the use of the “Eastern” adjective, once noted that it is not simply a geographical expression but rather a collection of worries. Central Europe certainly represents a particular intellectual identity that is intertwined with its geographical location. This book elaborates on this seemingly uncomplicated question. It is an attempt to make sense of the complexity of thoughts related to the idea of Central Europe. The first thing to emphasize is that Central Europe does not simply denote a geographical space. Central Europe on a map does not overlap with the idea of Central Europe. Yet, more than that, the idea of Central Europe itself is far from being homogeneous and, indeed, it encompasses quite a lot. The reader might be familiar with a famous remark made by Milan Kundera, who, three decades ago, stated that Central Europe refers to that part of the cultural West which had been politically hijacked by the East, that is, forcefully and against its will, included into the Eastern Soviet bloc. This interpretation (widely accepted around the world in reference to Czech culture but not really established in Poland), which to a large extent shaped the political discourse of the 1980s, is no longer valid. Today, the reverse is an adequate reflection of reality. Central Europe, now a part of the European Union, is politically very much in the West, yet culturally, it remains distinctively different. Kundera’s victimizing narrative had its successes for Central European identity politics, but it has since expired. However, the very concept of Central Europe has prevailed and transformed itself, emancipated from the political power of the Soviet Union, especially after the 2004 EU enlargement. The challenging question  – what is Central Europe?  – explicitly guides the opening chapter of this book, entitled “Positioning Central Europe”. As Attila Melegh claims in his introductory essay, the idea of Central Europe in its (rough) contemporary sense is a descendant of a new civilizational discourse. This new

2  Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski discourse emerged in the late 1970s and gained impetus after the fall of the Eastern Bloc. The world came to be seen less in terms of a competition between real powers fighting for quantitative economic and military capabilities and more as a descending slope of regional cultures. Three spatial concepts became metaphors for cultural, political, or economic advancement from as low as “the East” to as high as “the West”, with “Central” being a transitory space. Being a part of this discursive transition, Central Europe was reconstructed as an object that represented emptiness – an emptiness of social and political categories, most notably the so-called “socialist block” and its contingent “cold war order”. The decomposition of the Soviet bloc into several regions (e.g. Baltic states, Visegrad countries, Balkan area, Eastern Partnership countries, New Europe, etc.) brought about ambiguous borders and an array of new regional identities. A crucial point in this emerging discourse was the view that Eastern borders of Europe cannot be fixed and can only be understood as a constant struggle over Central Europe – over pushing some parts of Europe more to the East or even outside of Europe. For instance, by preferring the Central European identity, Poland chose to distinguish itself from Eastern Europe, with which it was previously associated. Europe traditionally had a problem with its borders, but in the Central European context, this problem became associated with a hierarchy between the West and the East. Within this framework, the center appeared as not merely spatial, but also as political and symbolic concept. It might have been interpreted as a source of identity (the “heart” of something) or as a place that would define and control the borders. These practical consequences concerned the easternmost parts of Europe, with Russia and the Balkans being conceptually pushed away from it. Since the notion of the center cannot be separated from that of the border, the shifting center of Europe continues to redefine the borders of Europe itself. This phenomenon is analyzed by Máté Zombory. Geographically it is possible to calculate the many centers of Europe, which are all located in the region usually called Central Europe. The plurality and spatial dispersion of the centers is interesting because the very notion of center is exclusive. A center after all can only exist in the singular. Defining the geographic center does not solve the issue, as the definition is dependent upon what Zombory calls “practices of localization”, i.e., spatial reorganizations involving the relations of power that change the meaning within objective cartography. In this sense, geography legitimizes political claims through the authority of science – through spatial representations filled with symbolic meanings. Yet, we should accept the fact that science of geography will not help us to solve political issues and we must accept the existence of many centers in Europe – in Poland, in Lithuania, in Hungary and in Ukraine, among others. We should also accept the need for a constant self-positioning and reshaping of European borders. From this perspective, Central Europe might appear as a discursive fact. As Weronika Parfianowicz-Vertun maintains in the subsequent article, it is still more a project than an actual reality. Parfianowicz-Vertun analyses the idea of Central Europe through the 1980s debates of Czech and Polish dissidents, which created several interpretative models and the conceptual background of today’s

Making sense of Central Europe  3 discussions. These, often contradictory models are constitutive of the mixed Central European identity. This view is critical to the stereotypical and essentialist interpretations of Milan Kundera’s idea. As the collapse of authoritarian socialism in 1989 shaped the fate of CE countries in recent decades, a further 1990s debate concerning the dynamics of this change took place. This “transition or transformation” debate – covered here by Marcel Tomášek – constituted the departure point for further discussion on the developments in Central Europe. It dominated the field extensively, even at the beginning of the second decade of changes. The observable accounts of transition originated from an assessment of the developments of political transition in Latin America and in Southern Europe. The implementation of democratic processes and the establishment of democracy – “the only game in town” – was the fundamental issue. In most post-communist CE countries, the truly lasting core of transition was heralded by liberal economic changes. Tomášek claims that the unfolding economic changes became the key battleground and that the “game of economic transition” is the primary arena for transitory politics in the postcommunist context. In the explanatory frame of transition, societies breaking from their authoritarian/totalitarian past emerge as suitable terrain for erecting “capitalism by design”. Proponents of transformation find in this core theme fuel for their criticisms. Regardless of which answer the reader finds most convincing, it is undeniable to say that today’s Central European reality has been shaped by the phenomenon of Europeanization – the most important, long-term consequence of the collapse of communism. Europeanization comprises the processes that entail a state adapting to different national, legal, economic and political systems to conform to common European standards and spread common practices and ideas across Europe. As Michal Wenzel argues in the article closing the first part of the book, Europeanization is a conceptual frame that has allowed both policymakers and populations to conceive of transformation as a process, and that lead to the highly relevant 2004 accession of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary into the European Union. From that point on, Central Europe entered a post-transitionary period, with the differences between the old and the new Europe slowly dissipating. If we believe that contemporary Central Europe is the part of the former Soviet bloc that became Europeanized, then we have to put Eastern Europe on a map as well and establish a symbolic relationship between the two. Does contemporary Central Europe have its own original understanding of the “East”? Does it have its own, peculiar “Orientalism”? As Adam Reichardt shows in the article opening the second part of the book, the concept of Eastern Europe depends both on where one is situated physically and on one’s political perspective. The East is as a vague concept as the center is, but it undeniably contains higher emotional content. Being Eastern clearly implies a certain aspect of identity. Being Eastern European means more than coming from Eastern Europe – it means sharing some Eastern European characteristics. Eastern Europe was invented by Western Europe during the Enlightenment period, and the negative stereotype from that time have been reproduced again

4  Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski and again in different historical contexts. The Cold War, with its Iron Curtain, only added to a much older separation. Indeed, it has been re-conceptualized several times, most recently in 2004 as the border of the EU moved further to the East. What crucially changed with this last move is that previous Eastern – now Central – Europe ceased to denote the otherness of the West. In other words, that otherness moved further to the East. This problematic “Western” approach to the “East” is discussed in greater detail by Igor Lyubashenko, who criticizes the prevailing concept of the East within the contemporary European Union. This generalization allow us to focus on the superficial similarities between several Eastern European states. The concept also qualitatively distinguishes between these states and Western Europe. At the same time, the internal perspective of the Eastern countries is not taken into account. In conclusion, the author calls for a change in contemporary political paradigm, by using the term and employing the concept in a more geographical sense. Eastern European countries are not themselves free from sticking to the otherness paradigm. As Tomasz Zarycki demonstrates, the way the “East” is understood in contemporary Poland reflects classic mechanisms of the discourse of “Orientalism”, as described by Edward Said in 1978. Polish politics, with its two competing powers, is permeated by this orientalist discourse, which appears to have two facets – those of conservative and liberal orientalism. The East plays the role of a negative, significant other in both – it is backward, aggressive, dangerous and unpredictable. Zarycki analyzes the dynamics of this orientalist discourse in Polish history, arguing that the negative stereotyping of Eastern Europe was related to the crisis in the region, while decreasing orientalism was associated with the economic development. Since no state in the region desires to be of the East, it may be that the contemporary intensity of orientalism in Central Europe is a function of the economic weaknesses of the region and its growing dependence on the West. This issue looks quite similar from the contemporary Czech perspective, where – as Radomír Sztwiertnia argues – the notion of the East continues to bear a negative meaning. It is associated mostly with Russia, but also with the Baltic States and post-2007 EU members, Romania and Bulgaria. The Czechs continue to adhere to the negative stereotypes of the East, while regarding themselves as the most Western of the Eastern, post-communist countries. Feeling the East of the West and West of the East, and torn between both, they are constantly trying to get rid of the burden of their own “Eastness” and establish a new, Western identity. Moving further east, toward Belarus, whose case is analyzed by Aliaksei Kazharski, we find a quite similar function of the “East” category. The author claims that the East in Central Europe plays a twofold role – that of the other, against whom one wants to differentiate oneself, and, at the same time, that of the repressed part of the self. In Belarus, the concept of Eastern Europe does not have the same negative connotations, and this is because the emphasis is placed on “Europe” and not upon the “East”. From Belarus’ vantage point, the East is Russia and no longer Europe.

Making sense of Central Europe  5

Geopolitical settings Do the Visegrad countries share a similar understanding of their geopolitical setting? To what extent do they have their own geopolitical perspective? The opening article of the next chapter on “Regional Geopolitics” written by Wojciech Kazanecki gives an overview of a set of problems behind these questions and describes Polish geopolitical perspective. He takes into account differences in size, population and its ambitions to lead. Poland has an identity of a rampart protecting the EU from the wild East, an image only reinforced formally after joining the Schengen Area in 2007. But the notion of geopolitics is perceived in Poland mainly through the classic terms dating back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Even popular historical consciousness is based on these pretenses and shaped by the image of states competing for power. Poland’s fears are still significantly fueled by the traditional image of the impact of superpowers – Germany and Russia – on the region. As Kazanecki rightly notices, this does not help in creating an image of the European Union as a genuine political community. Łukasz Medeksza describes the Polish geopolitical perspective from the vantage point of several national strategies, including the Polish Foreign Policy Priorities 2012–2016, the Strategy of Development and National Security System, and the National Spatial Development Concept 2030. Poland aims to strengthen the EU and its position within, as well as to open the EU toward the East and toward the near South, willing to share its model of transformation with both Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans. Medeksza gives another argument as to why the aforementioned Kundera’s view is no longer valid. Today the Visegrad countries tend to define themselves in terms of their GDP instead of a particular culture. This identity shift toward the economy and the material side of life confirms that Central Europe follows the same route to modernization as the West. In the subsequent essay, we can speculate on the positive sides of the future for the V4 countries with Tomáš Strážay. Until now, the Visegrad Group has been very successful. The differences between the countries have been put aside, and the common goal of integration has been achieved. It almost seems that the old geopolitical traumas from which Central Europe suffered throughout the 20th century have been resolved after the region’s accession to the EU. Particular countries reveal substantial differences, though. For example, as Matúš Halás argues, popular Czech geopolitical thinking, as it functions in everyday cultural context, has an anti-geopolitical character. While foreign countries are perceived through the lens of orientalism, the Czech territory itself appears as an empty, meaningless space – a cause of frustration to its own citizens. The Hungarian case is different in the sense that the country never developed its own school of thought on geopolitics. The term itself was rarely used, and it was never really present in the scientific discourse of the 20th century. It continues to be non-existent in the academic field, and there are hardly any institutions and intellectual initiatives devoted to it. If we agree with Attila Jakab, we can say that while Hungary has no geopolitical conception or strategy, and while its leaders are

6  Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski unable to understand the global political situation, Hungary’s ambition to become the leader of the Carpathian Basin is cherished by its political elite, especially by Viktor Orbán. Yet, since political elites do not support and do not listen to autonomous intellectuals, the prospects for achieving these ambitions are quite low. There is a huge gap between actual geopolitical pretenses, or even imperial dreams, and a complete lack of geopolitical analyses.

Nationalist legacies in the region The most expansive chapter in this book is an elaboration of nationalism in Central Europe. This is no accident. In the context of Central Europe, the notions of nation and nationalism are not only different compared to those of Western Europe and the United States (as the concept is based on different historical experiences), but also, probably unlike any other ideas, they are shaped by the fate of the people living there. The Central European experience of nation building is structurally different from the Western experience; nationalism grew here under the rule of large, multinational empires. National projects were not initiated by state elites but were contesting existing political orders. The process of nation building was also thoroughly violent. In fact, the scale of the traumatic experiences of Central European peoples is almost unimaginable to contemporary inhabitants of the West, where collective traumas had rather particular, incidental character. In contrast, Central and Eastern Europe has suffered, almost continuously, throughout the 20th century. Its peoples have been jeopardized both by superpowers and by deep, internal conflicts. Changing political regimes, instability of harsh ideologies, totalitarian episodes and even genocide, were the norm rather than the exception. There are four essential differences between Central European and Western European perceptions of what nation is, as elaborated by Radosław Zenderowski. The first is the result of a weakened relationship between the nation and the state. The inhabitants of Central Europe predominantly recognize their nations as ethnocultural communities, formed in long historical processes, and they are well prepared to imagine their national existence independently from currently existing states and borderlines. The second difference comes from the role that has been played by religion in the process of nation formation. The third difference is the retrospective mentality of most Central European nations, the opposite of the Western, prospective one. The fourth difference stems from the traumatic fear of physical extermination, historically justified and often still shaping CE’s contemporary sense of nationhood. In addition, the prevalent sense of nationalism in Central Europe continues to be ethnolinguistic. As Tomasz Kamusella contends, it is guided by a normative isomorphism of language, nation and state. The basic requirement of this isomorphism is the idea that a nation should speak the same language  – identical with the official language of the nation state and one that does not function as an official language in any other polity. Prior to World War I, in Central and in Eastern Europe, there was no ethnolinguistic nation state fulfilling the isomorphism’s

Making sense of Central Europe 7 conditions. Later on, the quest for achieving ethnolinguistic homogeneity led to bloody struggles. This quest is easier to comprehend when we realize that excessive diversity – ethnic, linguistic and confessional – has always been a “problem” in Central Europe. In reality, as Bálint Varga shows, the processes of nation building both denied regional particularities and exploited them for their own purposes. Since the everyday experience of diversity was prevailing, it must have found an accommodation within national activities. A quest for national identity never fully entailed giving up regional distinctions. Varga also investigates another, related issue, a characteristic phenomenon of the entire Central and Eastern European region, namely, different and often completely contradictory interpretations of outstanding historical figures in national historiographies. Although the production and cultivation of heroes is a universal phenomenon, it assumes a very specific form in Central Europe. Regional particularities, actual ethnolinguistic diversity, and an orientation toward the past makes symbolic politics much more important here than it is in the West. As regionalism disappeared from the political arena of post-World War II Central Europe (to be rediscovered only after 1989), so did the competing memory cultures, which  – according to Varga’s thesis – re-appeared after 1989 and grew into an often contradictory market of commemoration, pervading public discourses in Central European countries. Today, nationalist discourse is strong in all V4 countries. In Poland, the concept of nation may even be claimed to be the core concept of the public sphere, a concept whose basic features have not changed, neither during the period of communism, nor through the turning point of 1989. Indeed, as Daniel Ciunajcis shows by analyzing popular Polish history textbooks (both from the interwar period and from communist and contemporary times), this is the case. Even Marxist ideology did not put the nationalist narration aside. National identity in contemporary Slovakia, a nation younger than most of its Central European neighbors, has been mostly formed against Hungary and against the West. The Treaty of Trianon was a landmark event that has served as an important reference point throughout the history of Slovak–Hungarian relations since 1918. Dagmar Kusa demonstrates that today it carries two opposite meanings in two national master narratives. For Slovaks it represents victory, redemption and liberation from the centuries of oppression – it is placed into a narrative of a natural and inevitable historical process, whose necessary outcome was the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Within the Hungarian context, it is a harmful, negative event and a source of cultural trauma holding symbolic and emotional power even today. Historians are mostly responsible as their narratives provide a common set of references later adopted by contesting nation building ideologues. Gábor Egry shows that Hungarian historiography played a formative role in the nation building process, from 19th century historicism through 20th century reconfigurations  – organicist, Marxist, liberal and constructivist. The long-term

8  Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski outcome of these developments is the contemporary Hungarian nationalism that functions  – as Attila Pató claims  – as a sort of civic religion combining a set of symbols: a national flag, an anthem, relics, statues of the mythical Turul bird, and rituals, all interacting in the public space. From this perspective, commemorations of events of the symbolic Hungarian past  – the foundation of the state by King Saint Stephen, the 1848 and 1956 revolutions – are civic religion-like rituals, performed on the conceptual framework of the concept of Hungarian nation. In the context of Czech political culture, this issue looks different. Nationalism – Martin Ehl maintains – should be interpreted here more as a national dream than as a real political ideology. An old historical nationalism, first based on the idea of Czechoslovakism and the destruction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and later (during and after the Second World War), based on anti-German attitudes, did not allow development into a full-fledged nationalism, due to the influences from the Soviet Union and a communist ideology of internationalism. Czech nationalism – in contrast to, for example, Polish nationalism – is also not especially aggressive. It is a more pragmatic version of a national idea, relying more on argument than on force. After 1989, this nationalism did not have space to develop, and it was quite inactive in terms of its expansion. Discussing opinion polls evaluating the relation of Czechs toward other nations and nationalities living in the Czech Republic, Ehl argues that in order to succeed with nationalism today, one must connect it with other positions, such as racism, social exclusion and attitude toward the Roma minority. In this cultural context, Jiri Subrt discusses the results of two surveys on the historical consciousness of the Czechs; the first survey was taken in September 1992 in the atmosphere of the approaching break-up of the common state of Czechoslovakia, and the second was conducted in the Czech Republic in October/ November 2011. The surveys reveal interesting caveats about how Czechs publicly evaluate selected figures of national history. Historical consciousness in the Central European perspective appears to be inextricably entwined with the issue of nationalism; developing for decades under the influence of political pressures, social changes and even hard-earned life experiences; it is fragile, manipulated, and vulnerable. Historical consciousness has been and continues to be abused and subject to political power. Though it retained some of its previous political force, and shows its violent face from time to time, even contemporarily, nationalism undeniably lost politically during the 2004 accession of the V4 countries to the EU; the project of a union of states – even if mostly nation states – won. Yet, dreams of different sorts of unification in Central Europe are much older that the EU itself. The chapter on “Federation” covers the thoughts of three nineteenth and twentieth century writers who had been concerned with this problem. Zoltán Bretter comments on the concept by István Bibó (1911–1979), one of the greatest political thinkers of modern Hungary, who saw a solution to the problems experienced by Central European countries: their territorial disagreements

Making sense of Central Europe  9 and wars over territory and over language. Describing the situation, Bibó notably introduced the concept of hysteria into the community level, one denoting a lack of balance between what is real and what is desirable, and an inner uncertainty of generally disturbed political culture. Bibó also thought of the possibility of a federation of East European states, but saw coming to peace with nationalism as its necessary prerequisite. Zoltán Halasi provides an overview of the ideas of Max Isidor Bodenheimer, a German lawyer and political activist, who at the beginning of the 20th century hypothesized a multiethnic Eastern European confederation under German protection  – the League of East European States. Tomasz Raburski comments on Polish conservative historian and philosopher of history Feliks Koneczny (1862– 1949) and his conception of civilization. Koneczny constructed a sophisticated and original theory of civilizations as structures above nations, societies and cultures, providing a framework for understanding human history. Koneczny saw the whole of contemporary Visegrad Group as belonging to the Latin civilization, being a boundary region, struggling between Byzantine Germany and Turanian Russia and constituting a line of defense of European Latinism. Some Polish conservatives who perceive multiculturalism as a threat follow Koneczny’s project of moral revival in Europe still today.

The new realities of liberalism, civil society, participatory democracy and information society The new realities associated with post-1989 freedom came mostly as a surprise. Liberalism was playing the role of an old and new motor ideology behind changes toward free market economy and toward democratization. It was presented as the only path toward modernization and westernization. As is the case with other political concepts, Central European liberalism was much different from its Western counterpart. Polish liberalism, described by Michał Warchała, had some peculiar features resulting from the influences of many different traditions, such as French Enlightenment, French physiocratic economical ideas, English political tradition, Prussian kameralist economics and the indigenous Polish tradition of “Sarmatian” noble freedom. Throughout the 19th century, the alliance of liberalism and nationalism was a characteristic feature of Polish political life; it was decisively broken in the interwar period of Polish independence (1918–1939). A total ideological disaster was brought about with the period of communism. Nevertheless, in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, the alternative ideas cherished by the dissident movements were proto-liberal. The process of revival of liberalism in Poland begun in the 1980s, when it came to be regarded as the only true alternative to communism, the alternative that filled the ideological void left by the collapsed ancien regime. Yet, at the beginning of the 2000s, with neoliberalism coming to the fore, it became a source of growing disappointment and populist reaction.

10  Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski Things were somewhat similar in Czech lands, whose story is presented by Vít Hloušek. The roots of Czech liberalism can already be found in the Czech Enlightenment, but full-fledged liberalism entered national politics only during the so-called “Spring of Nations”. Many liberal features were present in the political and economic life of the first Czechoslovak Republic, but the dissident movement during the communist period did not opt for liberal ideas, and, with the exception of a couple of liberal figures, it was influenced by a stronger conservatism. The renaissance of liberalism in Czech lands took place after 1989, when it became synonymous with Western democracy. Today, the ideology exists more in symbiosis with other political streams, especially with regard to conservatism on the right, than on its own. Liberalism has been also present in Slovakia, but – as Samuel Abrahám argues – manifested itself differently. Since gaining independence in 1993, Slovakia has blamed the liberal ideology for its new problems. Liberalism was targeted as a key enemy for Slovak conservatives. There were very few parties calling themselves liberal, and those who were, were minor and unsuccessful. In Hungary the situation has been similar, in a sense that though most of the parties in Parliament share some liberal ideas, there is no separate liberal party representing classical liberal voters. The adjective “liberal” is used mostly as an insult, not only by conservatives, but also by left-wing parties. Discussing inspirations and manifestations of liberalism in post-1989 Hungary, Szabolc Pogonyi confirms that twenty years after the regime change, liberal hopes have not been fulfilled. Contemporary liberal democracies in Central Europe were essentially tied to the “civil society” concept. Modeled after Western ideas, it was meant to be one of the pillars of the newly established democracies. Since the peaceful revolutions in the region, the concept has created a lot of controversies in the scholarly community, and it was both praised and criticized. Following Agnes Gagyi and Mariya Ivancheva, we can track civil society’s glorious rise and unpredictable fall in the last 25  years. Before the collapse of socialism, civil society was a medium of a dialogue between Eastern European dissidents and Western intellectuals. This dialogue was normatively concluded in 1989, as Eastern Europe was seen to be coming back to the “right track” of history. But it soon became clear that the anticipated success coded in this normative term collided with the facts, as the majority of societies did not engage and participate in community initiatives. The major flaw of the concept appeared to lie in its normative dimension, at times not being far from an ideological norm. The narrative of “catching up” with the West has been excluding an empirically oriented reflection on the actual situation in Central Europe. Jiri Navrátil’s assessment, based on the results of two comparative research projects from the Czech Republic, is slightly less pessimistic. About one-third of the adult population in Central European countries claim to be involved in civic activities. It is true that the level of organizational engagement is weak, but extra-organizational and individualized participation is relatively high. Grzegorz Piotrowski’s conclusions are also optimistic when it comes to grassroots groups

Making sense of Central Europe 11 and radical civic self-organizing initiatives as emerging from time to time around the whole of Central and Eastern Europe, yet these are usually excluded from typical definitions of civil society. Less optimistic is the situation of conventional third sector actors, i.e., nongovernmental organizations; they have become depoliticized, dependent on funding sources and much less sharp in achieving political goals. We might even claim, following Jan Grzymski, that an ideological, civil society project of the former anti-communist opposition was abandoned and has been transformed into an area of practice for thousands of non-governmental organizations, some of them offshoots of international NGOs, perceived by many as the embodiment of a new Western neo-imperial soft power. Thus, the concept of civil society became a sort of political jargon – a buzzword hiding the pitfalls of the granting system, the development of a corporate pattern of institutionalization, and the gap between the sense of mission and the actual degeneration of civic activity into a form of civic engineering. The next key political concept reflected and practiced in Central Europe is “participatory democracy”. But again, in post-communist Central European societies, it performs a particular role. Recent political changes in Ukraine show that the concept is still fresh and can be acted upon in a novel way. Oksana Forostyna maintains that the 2014 revolution in Ukraine is a textbook case of democratic revolt against political and economic institutions controlled by a narrow elite; a fight for personal safety and justice against legitimized state violence. The so-called Revolution of Dignity supposedly represented a new ideology for the future, a non-doctrinal approach toward wide (explicable neither by left nor right doctrines) middle class participation. As Ukraine is still fighting for liberal and democratic changes, the V4 countries seem to be already democratic. Yet, while it is true that the constitutions of these countries grant their citizens many political rights and enable popular participation, the turnout in local elections is very low and seldom does it exceed 50% in all V4 countries. In Poland, participatory democracy is still clearly a challenge for the future. It has problems gaining legitimacy and visibility in the mainstream media and within common social imagination. Recent developments in urban politics (since roughly mid-2000s) changed the picture a little, with city activists reaching municipal offices for the first time in 2011. Marta Sienkiewicz explores their success and distinguishes four narratives explaining the function and goals of participatory democracy as present in the Polish public sphere. Firstly, the leftist emancipatory narrative emphasizes the bottom-up processes, proposing a new democratic order, critical of the conservatism and the paternalism of contemporary representative democracy. Secondly, the mainstream middle class narrative is more inclusive, as it tends to be evolutionary in its inclusion of participatory mechanisms into the administrative processes. Thirdly, the communitarian narrative interprets participation as a key component of local government. Fourthly, the educational narrative is focused on increasing practical knowledge of the functioning public administration. Clearly, there is no universal essence of participation in Poland, as there are no common goals and no common understanding of the desired scope of involvement.

12  Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski A similar, if not higher, lack of interest in participatory democracy is visible in Hungary. Even though the country’s citizens have rights to local referendums and public hearings, these rights are often limited by restrictive amendments and interpretations. László Komáromi shows that we are witnessing today a reduction in the possibilities of popular participation in decision-making processes; this is for two reasons. Firstly, there are negative attitudes emanating from the authorities, which are accompanied by restrictive regulations. Secondly, there is a very poor demand of the weak Hungarian civil society, generally disappointed in democracy and especially despondent with regard to its place in the party system. This disappointment has manifested itself through the ecological party LMP (“Another Politics is Possible”), which gained representation in the 2010 Hungarian national assembly elections. Daniel Mikecz demonstrates that ecological movements were present in Hungary since the 1980s and acted in opposition to the political regime; yet environmentalism itself did not evolve into a political ecology. Alternatively, it has undergone a transformation in the new millennium and became associated with global anti-neoliberal forces. Green civil activism was therefore expressive of the general anti-political attitude of Hungarians, while in the context of crisis, environmental issues remained secondary. A solution to the aforementioned problems with participatory democracy may be the concept of multilevel governance, first proposed by Gary Marks in the early 1990s and commented upon in this volume by Łukasz Medeksza, who explores its uniquely Polish manifestation, specifically regarding self-government in Polish Lower Silesian. It is a system concept consisting of several – supranational, national, regional and local – levels of governance (both public and non-governmental), whose best illustration is probably contemporary Switzerland. While its foundations lie in the Treaty of Lisbon, its explosion in Central Europe in recent years is mostly credited to the fact that it is favored by the EU through the funds that are allotted to it. Multilevel governance can be claimed to be less populist and more responsible and realistic than traditional participatory democracy, especially in the context of Central Europe, with its myriad of nations, states, regions and traditions as well as the newly arising information society. The information society obviously tends to accelerate mostly social and economic developments, but it may also bring political opportunities further to the region. In fact, as Jakub Gradziuk proves, digitalization and the development of digital resources is one of the fundamental issues tackled by the Visegrad Group. It is backed up by the European Digital Agenda and coordinated by the European Commission, providing a stable legal framework, and stimulation of investments in high-speed Internet infrastructures. In the years of 2004–2015, the Internet has developed dynamically in the V4 countries, and the disparities between urban and rural areas have been gradually disappearing. However, the implementation of ICT solutions in public institutions still remains underestimated. The development of e-government represents a current challenge for all V4 countries. The Czech Republic leads in terms of e-government for entrepreneurs, followed by Poland and Slovakia, while Hungary lags in this respect. Also, the advantages of information and communication technologies in education still need improvement, as the

Making sense of Central Europe  13 V4 countries are still lagging behind most of the other EU member states. On a global scale, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are classified as intermediate. Nevertheless, the V4 lacks a coherent startup ecosystem, understood by Sara Koslinska as a network of public and private institutions enabling the growth of startups and providing them with both capital and knowledge. Today, the biggest startup centers in the V4 are in Warsaw, Budapest and Prague, and smaller ones include Bratislava, Cracow and Brno. Koslinska proposes six criteria when describing the efficiency of the startup ecosystem, and she adjusts them to the specificity of the region. The main obstacles for the startup growth are, in her opinion, the lack of maturity in the regional market, stemming from the communistic past, lack of global ambitions due to the undervaluation of one’s work, lack of mentoring, poor presentation skills and, last but not least, little cooperation between institutions and local and national ecosystems.

Reconciliations with the past The new realities of liberalism, civil society and participatory democracy in Central Europe have also brought the issue of reconciliation with the past to the public discourse. One of the key subjects shaping early post-transformation debates in Central and Eastern Europe was the so-called lustration. It is a term used to describe the process of screening people intending to or serving at public posts in reference to their cooperation with former communist regimes, especially its security services. The examples of Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic show that, despite being a key topic of public debate, lustration has always been a diversified and ambiguous subject causing social and political cleavages. The ambiguities of lustration, as Pavlína Jenebova indicates, often stem from historical differences between post-communist states; these include factors such as the practices of the old regime (especially the severity of repressions) as well as the extent to which the post-communist political parties participated in the creation of the new democratic order. This fact becomes apparent when we compare the lustration processes in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Despite the fact that in both countries lustration was based on the same laws passed before the velvet divorce, the paths taken later differed significantly. Slovakia suffered less from repressions as it had a smaller degree of political dissidence; this resulted in a much more moderate enforcement of lustration laws. The experiences of the Czech Republic with communism were much more severe, and they, therefore, resulted in a stronger emphasis on decommunisation process. As Michal Vit shows, the disagreements on lustration usually centered on magnitude (i.e., the issue of which types of posts should be scrutinized) and degree (i.e., the issue of whether it should be retributive or informative); lustration also involved a complicated process of building a sufficient institutional framework that could establish a credible and effective formula for the process. The inability to define a form of lustration was also observable in Ukraine. Maryna Bessonova explains that due to the political climate, the issue of lustration

14  Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski was not present in Ukraine until the Orange Revolution of 2004. But even later, despite some attempts from both the politicians and the third sector, Ukraine was unable to establish a strong institutional system that would enforce the process. Things have changed since the Euromaidan events, with the introduction of new laws by the Yatsenyuk government. Yet, these have already been criticized by experts and activists for not meeting European and international standards of human rights. Bessonova also indicates the difficulties faced by Ukraine concerning the establishment of a clear opinion on what lustration would entail. Caught between the radical “cleansing” advocated by the far right, and the view presented by more progressive movements that perceive lustration as a way of tackling corruption and assuring a swifter replacement of the political elites, the term remains in a definitional vacuum. In Poland the process was faster and more coherent, but also more problematic, mostly due to divisions among the political elites, as well as the general public, regarding its desirable magnitude. Spasimir Domaradzki underlines that even though the presence of ex-communists at the highest public posts postponed the beginning of the lustration process, it was the post-communist party that introduced the first lustration law in 1997 as a sort of pre-emptive measure, so as not to leave it to the former anti-communist opposition. But even before 1997, the importance of the issue was vivid. After the start of the process, lustration remained in the foreground, as it was vastly commented on in the media and in general public debate. Though Polish lustration attempts were extensive, the 1997 law was aimed at transparency rather than reprisal – confirmed collaboration did not entail a ban from serving at public posts, but the information had to be released to the public. An attempt to change that came in 2006 when the right-wing government ruling at the time tried to vastly expand the consequences of confirmed collaboration, yet the Constitutional Tribunal deemed it unconstitutional. In the end, in any of these countries, complete lustration never properly took place. The reasons were: lack of political consensus on the matter and an inability to create an institutional and judicial basis for its implementation. Nevertheless, for a long time it remained a key topic for the new democracies of Central Europe; the issue was extensively covered on the front pages of newspapers, ending political careers and even overturning governments. In many cases, it had little to do with coping with the difficult history and was instead being used as a tool of the present political struggle. Nowadays, with a new generation entering politics and concomitant changes in the structure of power, the issue, though still being debated, becomes less and less important.

The question of power and solidarity What are regional, Central European idiosyncrasies of political power, and to what extent are they different from the Western approach? What does the notion of power entail here? What are its sources, prerequisites and limitations? This inquiry is crucial for envisaging the future of Central Europe, especially in light of the recent events in Ukraine and the growing appetites of the Russian Federation.

Making sense of Central Europe  15 Since the series of accessions into the European Union, most Central European countries have come a long way, developing economically and politically, and becoming important members of the European community. The Visegrad Group exemplifies this process most clearly, steadily elevating its position in the EU. Nevertheless, one wonders about the limits that these countries may face. Are they able to play an even more important role, despite their material deprivations compared to their Western counterparts? And, if they can, then how? The authors of this chapter diverge in their views on the matter, yet they tend to agree on a number of things. Their common point of departure is, to an extent, the dichotomy of what Aliaksei Kazharski calls “hard” and “soft power”. The former is a type of power that runs on the logic of tangibility and necessity, based on preconditioning access to resources, be that geographical or monetary, that is, power as domination and might. The latter manifests itself more elusively and performatively through non-material means, such as cooperation and political participation. By the end of the Cold War, the European Union started taking the peace and well-being of the region for granted, positioning itself first and foremost as an economic union, while also resorting to technical practical language; it was driven by a liberal-functionalist contention that growth in economic cooperation and welfare will be a sufficient solution to many security problems. However, as Kazharski contends, from the Central European perspective, the European project is more than just economics. As it could have been seen at the Euromaidan in Ukraine, the struggle for the EU association agreement is also a battle for identity – a battle in which most countries of the region participate. Roderick Parks argues that the EU is a chance for the nations of Central Europe to redefine their history and blur geographic determinants. It is a way of breaking free from politics defined by resources. This affects the countries of Central Europe and what they can contribute to the EU, as well as what they can expect of it. If the EU wants to secure the presence of these countries in its community, it will need to understand this fact. Using Spinoza’s power dichotomy of potentia and potestas, Parks tries to characterize the position of Poland in the European network of power. Forced by the lack of resources, Poland has had to resort to the former in order to secure a higher position for itself – and it did so very effectively. Over the years, it has become an active and important member of the EU, always sure to be present where and when crucial decisions were being made. It has achieved that with and through others, enacting a smart international policy, forging alliances and using cooperation as its main tool. Nevertheless, potentia should not be seen as a single unambiguous recipe for success. Is Poland, similarly to other countries in the region, able to achieve a top position within the EU without actual economic and military strength? Will the EU be able to counterbalance the pressures of Russia basing its modus operandi on potentia, at the expense of hard, tangible attributes of power? The European project can transgress the model of “hard” power, move toward a “softer” model and become a normative force of universal values. Identity formation must remain an open issue, debatable especially now, when tensions with the Russian Federation have been revived.

16  Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski Pursuing the same direction of inquiry, Agnieszka Rosner asks whether steering the EU toward giving up power, understood as simple domination in favor of its soft aspects, can withhold the recent surge of anti-liberal forces. With the outside expansion of “new authoritarianisms”, such as Russia and China, and the revival of far right nationalism from the inside, the liberal project is at the crossroads. Rosner suggests that the only response to the growing nationalistic sentiments and the sole opportunity for a strong, integrated and liberal Europe is an abandonment of the simplistic view of power seen as might. What liberal Europe needs is a way of bridging “hard” and “soft” power, a combination of potentia and potestas, namely, a new political discourse based on solidarity and responsibility with a higher focus on value and identity formation. The main aim of the liberal project should be the creation of a more egalitarian European community in which all countries could be equal partners. A rather uplifting example of such a bridging between “soft” and “hard” forms of power is the Visegrad Group itself. Zsuzsanna Végh describes the long and difficult, but successful, route the V4 countries took to elevate their influence within the EU. From a largely unorganized agreement lacking any clarity or aim, the V4 has developed into an alliance with well-structured methods of coordination and a complex issue agenda, representing its interests on the European stage. Using relational power based on very little resources and close and properly planned cooperation, the group has managed to transform its soft power into actual tangible results, visible in their common effort to affect the EU’s energy policy and develop the Eastern Partnership program. As the example of the V4 countries shows, power can stem from more than mere physical resources. However, cooperation and solidarity is a necessary precondition of such an alliance. The idea of solidarity is utterly important when speaking about these processes in Central Europe. Jacek Kołtan asserts that it is one of the key terms used to describe the development of Central and Eastern Europe over the past decades, one which permeated every attempt to build any form of support and cooperative alternative to the state. With the experience of communism, totalizing both social and private life, solidarity was a basis for creating new social structures, as well as peaceful political projects and civil society. Grassroots political initiatives and forms of cooperation, which eventually led to the collapse of the old regime, would not have stood a chance without the glue of solidarity and the feeling of community belonging that bound it over the years of struggle, with official, formalized and often dehumanizing institutions. In this light, Dariusz Dobrzański looks at the phenomenon of Polish “Round Table” talks – a series of meetings held in 1989 between the communist leaders and the main dissidents of the “Solidarity” movement in order to negotiate the terms of political transition. Though sometimes criticized for its elitist character and for preserving particular interests of the leaders of both the authorities and the opposition, the two opposing groups gathered at the Round Table to reach a consensus; they put aside fundamental animosities to establish completely new political structures for the entire nation. The scale and catalogue of issues that were negotiated on during these talks made this process truly unique. Covering

Making sense of Central Europe 17 the positions of both critics and advocates of the Round Table, Dobrzański argues that is was an example of Habermas’ communicative rationality and that it would not have been possible if ties of solidarity linking the anti-communist opposition had been absent. The question remains: is this form of solidarity, typical of the Central European states, transportable to the European Union level? The recent economic breakdown and the difficulties with which the EU is struggling at the moment (including the migration crisis) reveal not only its economic shortcomings but also serious doubts about the length and breadth of solidarity in action. Much has also changed since 1989. In the Hungarian context covered by Szabolcs Pogonyi, where Orbán’s government tries to boost solidarity by strengthening a sense of national feeling, it functions merely on the symbolic level. The strengthening of unity and solidarity through symbolic politics of the new program of national cooperation is followed by cutting spending, which actually weakens social solidarity. The term “solidarity” is also used frequently in the EU institutions, documents and treaties, but what does it actually mean? It is timely to ask, as Magdalena Góra does, whether a true supranational solidarity is possible in contemporary Europe, where political allegiances are expressed within the nation states and where the well-being of communities is increasingly decided on a supranational level. Does the EU extend solidarity beyond the realm of national communities? Or does it erode it by weakening the social ties within them? Góra argues that European identity is not contradictory with the national one, but it only creates an additional layer of identification. Nevertheless, analysis of the activity of Polish Members of European Parliament shows that contention is extremely strong in the Central European region. It also shows that the emphasis is being put on the connection between welfare and solidarity. For Polish MEPs, solidarity predominantly means that the poorer and less-fortunate should be assisted in leveling the differences in their welfare. This is not surprising, as the material motivation was one of the most important factors strengthening support for the idea of European integration in Poland. But the analysis also shows that most Polish MEPs tend to support the idea that there are some affinities, bonds and common identities that makes these claims for welfare support more valid. Even though solidarity was a cornerstone of Central and Eastern European political life for decades, one might wonder whether we are reaching the end of this stage. The aggressive entrance of neoliberalism into Central Europe has managed to suppress the tradition of spontaneous self-organization and civic development in favor of isolationist ethics of individual responsibility. Will this lead to the eradication of traditions that shaped the region or will it give rise to social protests and building some alternative forms of solidarity? Health care is an important example of tensions in the region, a field in which the question of mutual interdependence of power and solidarity has been clearly visible through, among others, public health policies. Reconsidering the issue of physician– patient relations in contemporary Slovakia as a question of power, Andrea Klimková acknowledges the need to critically reflect on their structural disparity. The

18  Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski contemporary Slovak healthcare system, yet another indicator of the transformation of Slovak society, faces similar challenges as the other V4 countries, namely, controversies regarding medical policy, gaps between policies and practices, increasing incidence of chronic diseases and a life span below the EU average, and, most importantly, the new market economy. Despite the changes, powerful hierarchic structures remain hidden, and the original, paternalistic model prevails. This paternalism is perhaps most vividly present in the dark, medical history of the Central European eugenics movement, shared by all V4 countries, both before and after World War II. In the Czech Republic, as Josef Kuře demonstrates, forced sterilization was never a legal procedure, but it nevertheless became a tool to control pathological heredity diseases and a means of social population control that persisted and continued well into the 1990s. In the 1970s, Czechoslovakian policy allowing for the sterilization of Roma women was introduced, justified by a combination of social adjustment and racial arguments. In practice, it was never fully voluntary or liberal, and its history still remains, to a large extent, a black spot in the Czech past. In prewar Poland, the Polish Society of Eugenics was active, even if the act of sterilization never came into force. Contemporary Polish debates concerning new eugenics in the form of new genetics, covered by Ewa Baum and Agnieszka Żok, reveal tensions between the negative attitudes of the conservatives and the positive stance of the scientifically oriented proponents of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis measures, prenatal tests and in vitro fertilization. Baum and Żok claim that these new practices do not fit the classic definition of eugenics and should not be literally compared to the old-fashioned eugenic movement that aimed to eliminate the sick from the society. The contemporary, new or liberal eugenics debate is also covered in the Hungarian context by Enikő Demény. But unlike Baum and Żok, Demény asserts that current practices are deeply rooted in the old eugenic ideals and, despite the important differences, require democratic control. In Hungary, the new policies are never referred to as eugenics, the word clearly having negative connotations, but they are sometimes clearly eugenic, as in the case of forced sterilizations reported in relation to Roma women, just like in the Czech Republic. Today, in the context of overall changes in the Central European health care system directed toward market economy, and toward an increasing involvement of the private sector, the most pertinent danger – not unlike in other parts of the world – is the possibility of converting financial advantages into reproductive ones; undermining the long-established traditions of social and economic solidarity may thus give rise to new transformations in political power.

Urban and cultural landscapes When compared with their Western counterparts, Central and Eastern European cities can be perceived as a peculiar patchwork of entities. They have been shaped by often dramatic experiences and histories and marked by many fundamental shifts in social and political systems and their divergent aesthetics. The example

Making sense of Central Europe  19 of the outrage caused in Poland by the behavior of some British tourists helps Kacper Poblocki to understand why particular forms of public morality and limited social interactions are so strictly obeyed. It is because, as he argues, public space in Poland is highly divided and hierarchical, or “warped”. Polish cities are still full of residues from the feudal system, with its rules of behavior rooted in old rural life. Their users are highly individualistic and separated, trying to appropriate space to establish their position on the urban ladder. This cultural and legal heritage was mobilized after 1989, when capitalism waltzed through the region. Since then, Polish cities became conglomerates of “private fiefdoms”: fields of struggle between administration, businessmen and ordinary citizens trying to assert their control over urban spaces. Polish cities are indeed a locus of political struggle. The urbanization of politics in Poland went through three stages, as described by Łukasz Medeksza. During the first stage, the cities evolved as strong actors in political life. After the post1989 reforms, local authorities gained more competencies with budgets, allowing them to successfully influence politics on the national level, even without direct links to major political parties. During the second stage, the cities became arenas of conflict between political visions manifesting predominantly in the struggle between mainstream politics and more local and grassroots initiatives (NGOs and social city movements). During the third stage, the city as an institution started to weaken due to the global processes of metropolization and the expansion of new technologies. As communication tools improved, urban policies came under much heavier scrutiny from local grassroots initiatives and other stakeholders of metropolitan development. As a result, cities became the political field for debate about the future of democracy. An exemplification of such political struggle is the discourse around the Gödör building in Budapest, presented in Levente Polyák’s essay. A car park called the “National Hole” was built in the heart of the city. The spot quickly became the center of debate and conflict between the authorities, private companies, NGOs and spontaneous citizens, and, as a result, it has undergone many multi-layered visual and symbolic transformations. Another example of a city being the field and infrastructure for civil engagements might be Szeged, the fourth largest city in Hungary. Tracing the development of the city’s NGOs and other grassroots initiatives and institutions, Attila Pató shows that they often stemmed from communist opposition concentrated around academia and relying on unofficial ties, voluntary work and cooperation, and not on the formalized, institutional system. The changing sociopolitical cultural landscape in Central and Eastern Europe has also determined the use of particular art languages in the region. Stressing the importance of a shared, universally understood language for generations of artists from the region through the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Magdalena Moskalewicz looks at the languages used to communicate in the art world, most prominently, English, as a basic requirement for accessing the global art community. Moskalewicz also investigates how the visual languages of art (abstraction, conceptualism and new media) allowed Central European artists to gain a sense of participation in broader European culture before 1989.

20  Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski Today, Central Europe is not an isolated archipelago in the global art world, but – as Jan Zálešák rightly claims – one of its many islands. Tracing the Eastern– Western problem after the 1989 transformation in Czech art discourse, Zálešák shows that even though the communication was one-directional at the beginning, things changed at the turn of the millennium, as the reins of power were passed from curators and critics associated with the 1980s postmodernism to the new generation, dubbed the “insiders”. Thanks to their engagement and skepticism, Central and Eastern Europe arrived at its contemporary, transcultural artistic identity. As an effect, the vocabularies of Central and Eastern European artistic activism have significantly changed. Margaret Tali explores three examples of such activism, coming from Hungary, Czech Republic and Estonia. The first is the 2013 “Occupy Ludwig Museum” action in Budapest, the second is the 2012 moral reform performance in the Czech parliament, and the third is the 2010 “Unified Estonia” project in Tallinn. All represent disappointments with traditional means of political involvement in post-Soviet neoliberal societies. Yet another representation of such a disappointment is contemporary Roma art that speaks the language of European de-colonialism. While claiming that contemporary Hungarian public policy supports the active forgetting and decreases the possibility of catching everyday racism, Tímea Junghaus sees Roma art as writing itself out of the hegemonic narrative; it constantly confronts the post-colonial matrix of power. In Junghaus’ view, the post-colonial theoretical framework, applied to the process of understanding the situation of Roma people, challenges the traditional European racist gaze.

The migration crisis The struggle for intellectual identity of Central Europe continues, and it has recently entered a new phase. The migration crisis revealed the power struggle between nation states in the EU Council and the EU Commission  – the latter eventually had to withdraw its policy proposals and align with the political line proposed by the Visegrad Group regarding common border protection of the EU. The migration crisis also produced a new, unique discourse, in which the concept of migration itself acquired a novel meaning and generated a new array of possibilities for political action. Germany’s and Central Europe’s voices have not been so loud and distinct from one another for quite some time. Both were also radical in their own way. The call of Angela Merkel to admit hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern refugees increased German confidence in their leadership role in Europe and their sense of responsibility for the past. Perhaps, it was even considered as a means to redeem some of the German sins. At the same time, Prime Ministers Victor Orbán (Hungary) and Robert Fico (Slovakia) have resisted the relocation of refugees within the EU. More importantly, they gave the very word “migration” a new political charge. In January 2015, reportedly, Orbán asked David Cameron not to call Hungarian workers in the UK (as opposed to those who came from beyond

Making sense of Central Europe 21 the EU) “migrants”. The post-2004 surge of Central European migrants to Britain became the main issue of the eventually successful Brexit campaign. Polish nationals alone were already the first largest national minority on the islands. By that time, the migration discourse has re-entered political debate on both sides of the English Channel. Central European historical experience with mass emigration, having its roots in economic and political situation, has been distinct from the experience of the most of Western countries. At the same time, regional hostility to migrants – with its political language echoing racist hate speech – mirrored the situation of the old EU countries, which two decades earlier protested against admitting a cheap and corrupt workforce from the East onto their markets. This time, however, Central Europe decided to put its reputation at stake and oppose its European partners, thus transforming a mostly demographic term into a political one. The story of how political concept of migration returned and transformed its meaning brought Central Europe again into the fore as one of the most complex and productive European laboratories of ideas.

Toward political action Is it possible to complete the map of Central European ideas? Is it possible to finally understand the peculiarity of Central Europe? Definitely not. Even the list of topics presented in this book is hardly conclusive. Should this book be treated as a compendium of knowledge or a handbook of ideas? Again, surely not. Most of the entries have a discursive, essayistic form; they represent various patterns of reflection and different academic, national or even ideological backgrounds of their authors. The chapters that emerged during four-year-long series of meetings, seminars and conferences comply with a minimum set of basic methodological principles, but they are not scholarly per se. Rather, the chapters present a unique and rare manifestation of Central Europeans, who are explaining to each other and to the world their complex intellectual history. Altogether, this book is an attempt at reviewing the most important clusters of ideas that underpin general political concepts presently at work in public debates in the region in an accessible and non-ideological manner. Finally, do this book and the work behind it have practical consequences? It fact, they do. Mapping Central European political debate benefits both the regional actors and those to whom Central Europe is still an unknown creature. The book brings about an understanding of the extent to which important political notions vary in their emotional response in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, and the degree to which they overlap. More importantly, the book itself manifests the practices of public debate on the region that we have been missing for so long. It is not an articulation of sectarian interest groups, but an effort to comprehend heterogeneous Central European identity and its relation to the world as a whole, even if, by necessity, it is incomplete and provisional. Working on this project, we were aware that ideas do have consequences. While the book was being put together, its main ideas have already generated a

22  Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski certain impact on the authors, a versatile group of mid-career academics, writers, journalists, and opinion leaders. Now, the book has become a political action in itself, one that goes beyond the party politics that we mostly see today. Such a political action is contained not solely in the act of its production but foremost in the interaction and critical reading it fosters. We hope that, with every page and every reader, the political ideas of Central Europe turn into a source of inspiration and generate better conditions for inhabitants of Central Europe and its neighbors and friends in Europe and elsewhere in the world.

Part I

Positioning Central Europe

1 Positioning in global hierarchies The case of Central Europe Attila Melegh

Introduction The regional understanding of the concept of Central Europe is in itself the product of geo-cultural and geopolitical positioning in perceived global hierarchies by local and emigrant intellectuals in the 20th and early 21st century. This positioning has been multifaceted, and it has served various purposes in different historical epochs and in various countries in the region

Historical origins: hierarchical/colonial imaginations coming from outside Around three hundred years ago, a massive mental structure appeared in Europe, which promoted a hierarchical understanding of global social change based on colonial imagination (Amin 1989;Thornton 2005; Said 1978; Mignolo 2000; Böröcz 2004, 2009; Wallerstein 1979, 1991, 1997; Hobsbawm, 1987: chapter 1 and 6; Wolff 1994). The key element of this hierarchical imagination is to see different parts and people of the world as being hierarchically ordered regarding development. It was also understood temporarily. Less developed people represented the past of the most developed ones. Following the analysis of Larry Wolff, we can term this complex framework as an idea of civilizational slope (Wolff 1994). In this structure, almost all political and social actors in the “East” and “West” identify themselves on a descending scale from “civilization to barbarism”, from “developed to non-developed” status. (Melegh 2006; Wolff 1994). This institutionalized cognitive framework is of course thoroughly linked to hierarchical tendencies in the world economy in two ways: There would not have been a European expansion without this colonial, hierarchical mental framework (Comaroff and Comaroff 1992), or the other way round this identity would have collapsed, if there had had not been tendencies of unequal development. The fact that some Western nations could detach from the rest of the world was not based on an overall superiority of Western European economic development but on special geopolitical techniques to counterbalance European disadvantages in the world economy (Böröcz 2009; Melegh 2012; Pomeranz 2000). This combination of hierarchical colonial imagination and new techniques of European colonization

26  Attila Melegh (settler colonization, colonization based on companies, the construction of a network of small European colonizing nations, etc.) proved to be a potent mix, which led to the unquestioned dominance of the West in the world.

Local positioning and local use: methodological issues The joint analysis of identities and world hierarchies has not been worked out properly yet. Either we find careful analysis of economic regimes and immediate political concerns, like in the world system analysis or interpretation of cognitive structures, or identities, like in postcolonial studies (see among others: Wallerstein 1991, 1997; Böröcz 2000, 2004; Chakrabarty 2000). This hiatus between cognitive and non-cognitive structures needs to be solved with careful reflections on the various mechanisms linking individual and collective identities to macroeconomic structures (Böröcz 2009). Better understanding of its dynamics can be expected if global interplay is taken into consideration; this type of analysis would incorporate the following analytical techniques: •

• •

The simultaneous analysis of the complex, global system of subordination and superiorities at least on a cognitive level of identities. In such an analysis we can ask: who imagines where the relevant reference groups are in the “developmental” hierarchy. The investigation of the structurally possible perspectives in this hierarchy (catching up, imitating superiors, vertical escape, chains of subordination as perspectives on a “slope”). The analysis of the interplay, i.e., the “interfaces” between these perspectives.

The rebirth and collapse of the concept “Central Europe”1 The geopolitical construction of the concept of Central Europe first appeared during the First World War, and it served German geostrategic interests. Central Europe was seen as a hinterland of German claims toward a better position among the leading nations at the end of the period of imperialism (Ash 1986; SchopflinWood 1989; Trencsényi 2017). At that time, the concept was not elaborated as a sophisticated strategy in the hierarchical world order, and Europe was the key object of geopolitical discussions. Occasionally East/West distinctions were created within, and the concept collapsed during the Second World War. It appears that with the advancement of globalization, around the late 1970s, an old/new civilizational discourse replaced a modernization discourse. This old/ new discourse presented the world less as a competition between military powers fighting about quantitative economic and military capabilities, but more as a descending slope of regional cultures. Civilizational quality and culture have become key perspectives in the emerging debates. In this change, Eastern and Central Europe was thus vastly reconstructed as a category of the dominant

Positioning in global hierarchies 27 discourses, and this shift in the discourses and in the power relations had a definite role in the “decomposition” of Eastern Europe. This new conversation, combining new objects, subjects, and styles, demonstrated the emptiness of previous social and political categories, most notably the so-called “socialist block” and its contingent “cold world order”, dividing Europe into two parts, It also (re)introduced new categories, such as the “West”, as opposed to the whole world in which Eastern Europe was just an area of transition. This can be very well demonstrated if we look at the reconceptualization of demographic regions, when in historical demographic debates, the previous borderline concerning distinct regions of demographic neighborhood, set between Danzig and Trieste, was replaced by a line between Trieste and St. Petersburg, allowing the emergence of a region close to the West, but not exactly of the same “quality” (see the debates stirred by John Hajnal and Peter Laslett in Melegh 2017). Also, in the early 1980s, scholars like Emmanuel Todd revitalized the tripartite division of Europe by the conservative moralist and empirical sociologist of the mid-19th century, Frederic Le Play. He also claimed that family systems and socio-demographic structures were directly linked to ideologies. Central Europe (Germany and the surrounding regions to the southwest, east, and the south) were authoritarian and egalitarian family systems with direct implications of political behavior (Todd 1985). These attempts were related to various other attempts to redefine Europe and Central Europe as a related concept at the end of the 1970s and during the 1980s (see the whole genre of various histories of Europe by scholars like Jenő Szűcs, Eric Jones, Norman Davies, Tony Judt, etc.). Interestingly, the concept and idea of Central Europe was born again when the West and “Europe” (i.e., the EU) made new (unsuccessful) bids to regain hegemony and supremacy in the world (Ash 1986; Schopflin and Wood 1989; Kuczi 1992; Csizmadia 2001; Bozóki 1999; Karnoouh 2003). Thus, the concept of Central Europe was a definite claim on behalf of some intellectuals to get their countries into the privileged club (or the one imagined to be a privileged one), which continued its struggle maintain its global weight, as opposed to American and Asian competitors (Böröcz 2009: 151–180) The emergence of the idea of Central Europe also reveals the discursive transition process itself, which was related to the collapse of state socialism and that of the “Eastern Bloc”. First, Central Europe was a critical discourse with a strong sense of historical references back to the prewar period. In his seminal essay on the tragedy of Central Europe, Kundera spoke about Central Europe as hijacked “West” forced into the alien category of “East” when communism was established in the late 1940s. At that time, Central Europe was forced into a subordinate eastern structure. Second, the idea of Central Europe was a category that came to life like Sleeping Beauty. Ash, Schopflin and all the major authors of the debate repeated the “fact” that they did not hear about the idea of Central Europe for decades, either due to historical sins or political censorship (Ash 1986; Schopflin and Wood 1989). Accordingly “Central Europe” first disappeared from political,

28  Attila Melegh historical and cultural discussions after the Second World War when it was politically awkward and then it reappeared in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This sense of awkwardness has disappeared ever since, and it seems that none of the postSecond World War taboos could be maintained. This ambiguity toward morally challenging historical epochs and scenarios was probably a critical factor in this discursive “transition” process in which finally the concept of Central Europe also disappeared. Central Europe had to identify itself in contrast to some historical moral sins (e.g., the Holocaust, but also communism and totalitarianism) in which it offered a middle ground between rejecting and accepting a historical period full of sins. It remembered and promoted the move back to history, but it claimed that it had nothing to do with Nazism, bloodthirsty nationalism, and especially early communism. Timothy Garton Ash for instance, after a reference to the nonexistence of Central Europe in the present tense, argued that it suffered the fate of Nineveh and Tyre, two morally corrupt cities, one destroyed and one forgiven by God (Ash 1986). This moral handicap could be located in the task of “whitening” Central Europe (losing the colors of red and brown) before it could be publicly accepted and then fixing the region in a distinctly inferior position. Central Europe was seen as kind of a released prisoner on probation. Looking backward, we can see that most probably some of the upcoming nationalist political groups in the region later escaped from the “probation”, and they now look for more or less untamed “freedom” not seen after the Second World War. It is important to note that later these groups rejected or forgot the idea of Central Europe in the name of clear “white” European nationalisms (Böröcz 2013) An ambiguity toward history was apparent in portrayals of Central Europe as an ambiguous ghost-like character. Central Europe at the border of existence, on a mythological level, suggested a twilight zone. In this arena, there were semihuman creatures, which were, to some extent like us, but on the other hand, they were morally and physically corrupted, presenting a danger to “normal” individuals. Ash openly spoke about a dark forest full of wizards and witches. an endlessly intriguing forest to be sure, a territory where peoples, cultures, languages are fantastically intertwined, where every place has several names and men change their citizenship as often as their shoes, an enchanted wood full of wizards and witches, but one which bears over its entrance the words: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here, of ever again seeing the wood for the trees.” (Ash 1986) The last crucial point in this emerging discourse was that the borders of Europe and Central Europe could not be fixed (Antohi 2000: 66). In the 1980s, Danilo Kiš, the Yugoslavian writer, was very clear about this, arguing that it is hard to speak about Central Europe as a “homogenous geopolitical and cultural phenomenon”. With no precise borders, with no Center or rather with several centers, “Central Europe” looks today more and more like the dragon of Alca in the second

Positioning in global hierarchies  29 book of Anatol France’s Penguin Island to which the symbolist movement was compared: no one who claimed to have seen it could say what it looked like. To speak about Central Europe as a homogenous geopolitical and cultural phenomenon entails risks. Even if we might agree with Jacques Morin’s affirmation that Europe is “a concept without borders”, the facts oblige us to remove from this concept the part of the European continent, with the exception of Austria, that under the name of Mittel-Europa organically belonged to it. (Neumann quotes Danilo Kiš’s Variation on the Theme of Central Europe: Neumann 1999: 144–145) This territorial ambiguity was first seen toward countries of the “East”, but later after the actual inclusion of the region into the European, a fight also started about the West. With the evaporation of previous controls, politicians like Klaus, Orbán, and Kaczynski’s brothers made various attempts to distance themselves from the West, which was being morally decadent or behaving in an “imperialist way” toward the “truly European” nations in Central Europe, in which discourse about Central Europe existed as a the terrain of national resurrections. Central Europe with its liberal character and its ghost-like existence was already dead. The wizards revoked during the debate about Central Europe have appeared in full strength.

Conclusion The idea of Central Europe was linked all the time to the fight over the hierarchal position of Central Europe in various directions, both locally (communists, socialist structures, etc.) and of course globally. It was a concept of transition, and it mainly played the role of destroying the “Eastern” pole of Europe. Just to withdraw after making the first steps toward revoking historical ghosts and memories, it has been pushed aside in the name of white European nations that are in an absolute decline in global significance, which look for full sovereignty to regain past glories. This can be a very strange and unintended consequence of the idea of Central Europe.

Note 1 This part contains the revision of some arguments put forward in Melegh (2006: 42–48).

References Amin, S. (1989) Eurocentrism. London: Zed Books. Antohi, S. (2000) “Habits of Mind: Europe’s Post  – 1989 Symbolic Geographies”, in Antohi, S. and Tismenau, V. (eds.) Between Past and Future: The Revolutions of 1989 and Their Aftermath. Budapest: CEU Press, pp. 61–77. Ash, T. G. (1986) “Does Central Europe Exist?” New York Review of Books, 15 October, [Online] www.nybooks.com/articles/4998, Available 15 December 2003. Böröcz, J. (2000) “The Fox and the Raven: The European Union and Hungary Renegotiate the Margins of ‘Europe’ ”, Comparative Studies in Society and History, vol. 42, no. 4 (October), pp. 847–875.

30  Attila Melegh Böröcz, J. (2004) Social Change by Fusion: Understanding Institutional Creativity: Academic Doctoral Dissertation Submitted to the Academy, Defended January 6, 2004. Budapest: Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Böröcz, J. (2009) The European Union and Global Social Change: A Critical GeopoliticalEconomic Analysis. London and New York: Routledge. Böröcz, J. (2013) “Whitened Histories: Reaction, Revision and Race in the Post-SateSocialist Politics of History in Hungary”, under review as part of a collection of PostSocialist Cultural Studies, edited by Gille, Z. Bozóki, A. (1999) “Rhetoric of Action: The Language of the Regime Change in Hungary”, in Bozóki, A. (ed.), Intellectuals and Politics in Central Europe New York, Budapest: Central European University Press, pp. 263–283. Chakrabarty, D. (2000) Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press. Comaroff, J. and Comaroff, J. (1992) Ethnography and the Historical Imagination. Boulder, CO: Westview. Csizmadia, E. (2001) Diskurzus és diktatúra: A magyar értelmiség vitái Nyugat-Európáról a késő Kádár-rendszerben (Discourse and dictatorship. The Debates of Hungarian Intellectuals on Western Europe Under the Late Kádár regime). Budapest: Századvég. Hobsbawm, E. J. (1987) The Age of Empire 1875–1914. New York: Pantheon Books. Karnoouh, C. (2003) “Eastern Europe at the Time of Disenchantment (From the Fall of Communism to the Advent of a Third World Status)”, Social Justice: Anthropology, Peace and Human Rights, vol. 4. no. 3–4, pp. 228–267. Kuczi, T. (1992) Szociológia, ideológia-közbeszéd (Sociology, Ideology, and Public Discourses). Budapest: Scientia Humana. Melegh, A. (2006) On the East/West Slope: Globalization, Nationalism, Racism and Discourses in Eastern Europe. Budapest: CEU Press. Melegh, A. (2012) “Provincial Europe: Review Essay”, International Sociology, vol. 27, no. 2 (March), pp. 179–188. Melegh, A. (2017) “Historical Demography”, in Mishkova, D. and Trencsényi, B. (eds.) European Regions and Boundaries: A Conceptual History. New York: Berghan Books. pp. 300–321. Mignolo, W. D. (2000) Local Histories and Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledge, and Border Thinking. Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Neumann, I. B. (1999) Uses of the Other: “The East” in European Identity Formation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Pomeranz, K. (2000) The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Said, E. (1978) Orientalism. New York: Vintage. Schopflin, G. and Wood, N. (eds.) (1989) In Search of Central Europe. New York: Barnes & Noble. Thornton, A. (2005) Reading History Sideways: The Fallacy and Enduring Impact of the Developmental Paradigm on Family Life. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Todd, E. (1985) The Explanation of Ideology: Family Structures and Social Systems (trans. Garrioch, D). Oxford and New York: Basil Blackwell. Trencsényi, B. (2017) “Central Europe”, in Mishkova, D. and Trencsényi, B. (eds.) European Regions and Boundaries: A Conceptual History. New York: Berghan Books. pp. 166–187.

Positioning in global hierarchies  31 Wallerstein, I. M. (1979) The Capitalist World-Economy: Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wallerstein, I. (1991) “The Modern World-System as a Civilization”, in Wallerstein, I. (ed.) Geopolitics and Geoculture: Essays on the Changing World-System. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 215–230. Wallerstein, I. (1997) “Eurocentrism and Its Avatars: The Dilemmas of Social Science”, New Left Review, vol. I, no. 226, pp. 93–108. Wolff, L. (1994) Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of Enlightenment. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

2 Centers of Europe Máté Zombory

Chantal Akerman’s film, D’Est, makes a journey from eastern Germany, across Poland and the Baltics, to Moscow, from the end of summer to an ice cold winter. Presenting scenes from everyday life in the former Eastern Bloc in 1993 in a neutral style, without comment, narration or dialogue, the film shows the “real” Eastern Europe; yet in a way, that is somehow disturbing. The title, together with the journey of the camera, quickly brings into play the familiar image of the hierarchical relation in which the positive West assumes the role of a model for the negative East, the latter taking the position of the good student: the developing economy or the democratizing mentality. However, the journey that Akerman’s film retraces does not slide toward barbarism. With their lightness of touch, the film’s visual representations, pictures of city streets, apartment interiors or faces of people waiting in a bus terminal, jar with the popular image of “the East”. Immediately after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the viewers are left alone with the troubling pictures of a journey eastwards, pictures which are not stable and given, but uncertain and mobile just like the tracking shots in the film, when the camera effectively never stops moving. It is precisely this movement in relation to which the stability of geographic positions can be represented. The concept of Central Europe, redefined and propagated among others by Kundera in the 1980s, is a good example of the popular geographic imaginary mentioned above. For Kundera, the part of Europe that is situated geographically in the center is “culturally in the West and politically in the East” (Kundera 1984: 33). Eastern Europe is not European, because of the conception of the East. The tragedy of Central Europe is that “After 1945, the border between the two Europes shifted several hundred kilometers to the west, and several nations that had always considered themselves to be Western woke up to discover that they were now in the East” (Kundera 1984: 33). It is thus the historical displacement of the East–West border of civilizations, in relation to which the concept of Central Europe is formulated. According to Kundera’s expectations of the early 1980s with the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the border would at one blow shift back to where it was originally and the nations that always considered themselves as Western would finally find themselves in the West, that is, in Europe. The “essential tragedy” of Central Europe – that its countries “have vanished from the map of the West” would be over. What is not over is the process of

Centers of Europe  33 drawing the map whose “borders are imaginary and must be drawn and redrawn with each new historical situation” (Kundera 1984: 35). Certainly, the collapse of the bipolar world order in Europe was just such a historical situation Kundera envisaged. However, the historical situation is continuously changing, which means that the cultural cartographers of Europe have no chance to lean back with the satisfaction of completing a job well done. All the more that the different cartographies compete in an unequal playing field and are most often mutually exclusive. After the fall of the European state socialist regimes, the historical situation continued as the geopolitical game of European enlargement, a long process of cultural cartography in which different sides  – western European countries and supranational organizations on the one hand, and countries aspiring to membership in those organizations on the other – struggled with unequal resources for the definition of Europe(anness). The border of civilizations dividing East and West began to move again, this time, a few hundred kilometers eastwards. From one point of view, what happened was “European integration”: the unification of a long-separated continent through supposedly universal values. These values were then applied as criteria of judgment of eligibility of the applicants. From another perspective, the process was “returning to Europe”. This idea is inseparable from the concept of Central Europe. Returning to Europe without movement means being capable of becoming European, that is, sharing European values in economics, politics, and mentality. According to Kundera and other proponents of the Central Europe discourse, this part of the continent has always remained culturally Western – and thus European – despite the fact that the “East” kidnapped it from Europe. The intellectual movement around the concept of Central Europe, by constructing and imposing it most of all as cultural heritage in the Cold War geopolitical context, was a more or less successful strategy to participate in drawing the map of Europe(anness). With the accession of the region’s countries to the European Union, however, the discourse on Central Europe lost its significance, since it had achieved its main goals. Or rather, it had lost its weapon: one cannot be more European than being a member of the EU. It is as if Central Europe has dissolved inside the “official borders” of Europe. The “in-between part” of the continent moved away to the southeast (Módos 2005). The fact that the “great enemy”, the occupying Soviet Union, no longer existed required the redefinition of the Central European position. Although the geopoliticalseismographic turmoil of Europe abated after 2004 and 2006, it did not end conclusively. The struggle for the definition of Europe continued, as the current popularity of the question of the “specificity” of the region well demonstrates. From the outside of the EU, the Europeanness of the candidates was at stake, from the inside, the equality of united Europeans. Another intellectual current aiming to participate in the drawing of the European map, and less influential in regional terms, criticized the Central European discourse heavily, pointing to the fact that this latter was mainly the practice of exclusion, alienating the other as the negatively constructed East by taking the position of the positive West. This mechanism worked even to the south (Todorova

34  Máté Zombory 1997). The principal target here was “the West”, which was accused of imposing the hierarchical East–West scheme on Eastern Europe as the other. Applying elements of post-colonial critique to Eastern Europe, intellectuals of the region rightly pointed to the unequal power relations between the Western and Eastern countries and institutions during the enlargement process (Böröcz and Kovács 2001). This criticism is often restricted, however, merely to a practice of representing oneself as the victim of Western “orientalism”. The problem, of course, is not the fact that Central and Eastern Europe has never been colonized by modern Western Europe; rather, it is that often this discourse merely targets the culpability of the West to be able to speak in the name of the subordinated Eastern Europe. Both types of intellectual claims can be considered as strategic attempts to construct a regional position in the European or world scene of cultural cartography. Certainly, Central and Eastern Europe participates in the construction of Europe, not only subjected to Western manipulations. How to conceive this unequal and cooperative struggle? Spatial practices that are responsible for the change or the continual maintenance of an agent’s position on the geographic and civilizationalcultural map, especially by constructing the memory of the past, are practices of localization (Zombory 2012). The context of localization is always spatial reorganization, of which the transformation of the geopolitical world order after 1989 is an example. A position can be represented as fixed and permanent in relation to the continual spatial dynamics conceived recently as the movement of the East– West border above our very heads, we who suddenly find ourselves being inside or outside Europe without moving an inch. Cultural cartography means those practices of localization in geographic space that produce places of belonging, meanings of identification and demonstrate the power of classification. In the social space where the geographic cultural map of Europe is drawn, every position is claimed and debated. In this field of power relations, the social struggle is around the monopoly over the legitimate definition of categories of belonging, be it the nation, the race or the region. As Bourdieu put it regarding the concepts of region: “The regio and its frontiers (fines) are merely the dead trace of the act of authority which consists in circumscribing the country, the territory (which is also called fines), in imposing the legitimate, known and recognized definition (another sense of fines) of frontiers and territory – in short, the source of legitimate division of the social world” (Bourdieu 1991: 222). The question is, then, how the different participants in the struggle over the definition of Europe legitimate their vision and division of the social space called Europe. A strategy of spatial self-representation operates with the symbolic effectiveness of the concept of center. Interestingly, neither of the intellectual movements mentioned above have relied consistently on it. For the former, the center is simply a geographic matter of secondary importance in relation to cultural Westernness, while for the latter, it does not exist at all, unless in a Wallersteinian sense where center and periphery are inseparable relational concepts defined by economic criteria and not fixed geographically. Yet the idea of the center is saturated with symbolic meanings. The center is identical, powerful and sacred. In an anthropological sense, a center is a place of home and the source of identity; its

Centers of Europe  35 singularity and symmetry makes it transcendental. As József Kakas, one of the hosts and an informant of Edit Fél and Tamás Hofer, authors of the book Proper Peasants, related, as a schoolboy he went to the church of the village Átány, and he had the following conversation with some friends: “We know that Hungary is in the center of the world, Átány is the center of Hungary, the church stands in the very center of the village. Thus, we stand in the center of the world” (Fél and Hofer 1969: 17). Being in the center is a source of pride. Additionally, in a political sense, the center is a place of power, from where authority is derived. In what follows, I will examine how certain actors have applied the idea of the center as localization in the context of the European spatial dynamic: the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the spatial reorganization represented as the movement of the East–West civilizational border eastwards caused by the enlargement process. How can the idea of the center be a strategy of localization? Is it not evident where the center of Europe is situated? Considering the fact that there are dozens of signs and monuments marking the center of Europe, nothing seems to be less evident. The definition of the center of Europe depends on where its borders are. Therefore, defining its center means defining Europe. If the borders of Europe are easily identifiable, locating the center should not be a difficult task. One case is the reference to “natural borders”, which is an ideological attempt striving to legitimize borders by taking them out of the sphere of human action. Another is when a political entity has well-established control over its territory. Thus, the political borders of the EU are easily identifiable. Yet again the problem stems from the fact that borders are changing. According to the calculations of the French Institut Géographique National (IGN), between 1986 and 1995, the center of the twelve-member union was near Saint-André-leCoq, in France, and it moved 25 km north to the village of Noireterre after the reunification of Germany in 1990. In 1995, the accession of Austria, Sweden, and Finland pushed Europe’s center to Viroinval in Belgium. A  large movement of the center occurred in 2004 when ten countries, mostly from the former Eastern Bloc, joined; this time, it moved 140 km northeast, to Kleinmaischeid, Germany. With the accession of Romania and Bulgaria two years later, the center moved further east, by 115 km to Gelnhausen (for an inexhaustive collection of centers of Europe see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographical_midpoint_of_Europe). Most of these midpoints are marked with a monument. The same phenomenon can be observed if we take the eurozone for Europe: with the extension of the zone, its center changes location. Neither the EU nor the eurozone has significant symbolic value compared to Europe as such, that is, to “geographic Europe”. This denomination is supposed to refer merely to the extension of the continent. However, the meanings of Europe as materiality, a piece of Earth, are inseparable from the significance of Europe as an idea and political problem. Geography is a mode of spatial representation, currently the dominant one. As de Certeau put it, the map is a “totalizing stage on which elements of diverse origin are brought together to form a tableau of a state of geographical knowledge”; therefore, it represents this knowledge rather than reality as such (de Certeau 1984: 121). The reference to geographic Europe is a

Picture 2.1  Centre géographique de l’Europe des 15, Viroinval, Oignies en Thiérache

Picture 2.2 Memorial Zirkelschlag in Kleinmaischeid represents the geographical center of the European Union from May 1, 2004 until December 31, 2006

Centers of Europe  37 way of legitimizing an act of localization through the authority of modern science. This is why the question of the calculation of the center is so important in the definition struggles of the cultural cartography of Europe. How can it be, that scientific geography is not capable of determining the center at a given moment? According to the common sense explanation, the different modes of calculations are responsible for the multiplicity of geographic centers. If not only continental Europe but also its islands are taken into account, such as Portugal’s Azores, Russia’s Franz Josef Land, or Iceland and Crete, then the center is located elsewhere, accordingly. What is more, there are different calculation procedures in use. In 1989, Jean George Affholder, a scientist from IGN, determined that the geographical center of Europe is near Purnuškės, Lithuania. He explained to the Radio Free Europe (RFE) in 2002 that “A few definitions of ‘center’ exist. It is possible that certain countries have chosen, for instance, the average of the longitude extreme and latitude extreme. It can be a definition, but this is not ours. It is quite a simplistic definition. Ours is based on the notion of [a] center of gravity” (www.rferl.org/content/article/1101144.html). Lithuania took the opportunity and erected a Geographic Center Monument at the site, and established Europos Parkas, Open Air Museum of the Center of Europe, where tourists can see modern sculptures made of stone and wood. Lithuania can be proud that the Guinness Book of World Records officially listed the Purnuškės monument as the geographical center of Europe. In the same program in RFE, an expert from the Polish Academy of Sciences was also asked, who contested Affholder’s claim and declared that the center of Europe is in Suchowola, Poland. To be sure, in the center of the town, an iron column is set to mark the spot. And the list can go on. One has to accept the fact that scientific knowledge is not helpful in undoubtedly providing a definitive measurement of the center of Europe. The position of the monument in Polotsk, Belarus, set up in 2008, was calculated by Belarusian geodesists and confirmed by the Russian Central Research Institute of Geodesy, Aerial Survey, and Cartography. However, in the same country, there are other centers of Europe, too. Similarly, the Geometric Centre of Europe in Tállya, Hungary was also defined by experts, in 1992. The monument, erected in 2000, is a four-meter-high wooden statue of a phoenix standing on a rock base. Let us see what other sources of legitimacy are relied upon besides the authority of scientific geography. Poland can refer to the historical fact that Suchowola was first calculated as the center of Europe in 1775 by the royal astronomer Szymon Antoni Sobiekrajski. Great figures of European history can put places on the civilizational map, as the example of the European Center in Dyleň (Tillenberg in the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy) demonstrates. According to local tradition, in 1813 Napoleon proclaimed the 939-meter-high mountain to be the geographical center of Europe. The stone pillar, erected in 1862, is now located in the Czech Republic, but it is promoted as a tourist site by the nearby German town of Neualbenreuth as well. History is an important source of authority: not only national heroes, but the amount of time that has passed can lend weight to the

Picture 2.3  Center of Europe, Lithuania

Picture 2.4 Boulder symbolizing Suchowola geographic center of Europe located at a town park by Kościuszki sq. street in Suchowola, gmina Suchowola, podlaskie, Poland

Picture 2.5  The monument “Polotsk – the center of Europe”

40  Máté Zombory

Picture 2.6 Geographical midpoint of Europe in Kruhlyj, Rakhiv Raion, Zakarpattia Oblast, Ukraine Source: © Raimond Spekking/CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons) http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/File:Center_of_Europe_-_monument_-_nearby_Rakhiv_-_Ukraine_%285647-49%29.jpg

legitimacy of a claim to be for the center. The best would be eternity, of course. Locus perennis – everlasting place: this is the name of a historical marker that was measured by experts of the Austro-Hungarian Military Geographical Institute in 1887. Today it is located in the village of Dilove, near Rakhiv, Ukraine. According to Rakhiv’s official guide book, the obelisk’s inscription in Latin says: “The center of Europe was determined very precisely, with a special apparatus produced in Austria and Hungary, with the dial of meridians and parallels. 1887” (http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB108976264032863020,00.html). The current Austrian Geographical Society asserted to The Wall Street Journal in 2004 that the obelisk has nothing to do with the center of Europe. In fact, the marker is one of seven that geographers of the Habsburg Empire established as fixed points from which to measure altitude. It is hard to translate the inscription on the monument, because parts have been worn off and painted over incorrectly. An Oxford University classics professor, after having consulted with another scholar who found an earlier transcript of the Rakhiv inscription, translated the inscription for The Wall Street Journal as follows: “Main fixed point of exact height-leveling carried out in Austria-Hungary in connection with the European measurement of meridional and parallel degrees 1887”.

Centers of Europe  41 Sometimes there is not even any need for a geographic calculation for the declaration to be the center. It is sufficient, as in the case of Átány, to apply the anthropological mystery of its idea. That is, to declare to be the center of the center. Countries aiming to prove their European qualities tend to consider themselves as the center, or in an anthropomorphic sense, the heart of Europe. Thus, the center of Europe is proved as the geometrical center of a country supposed to be situated in the middle of Europe – as in the case of Číhošť in the Czech Republic, Kremnica in Slovakia, or Piątek in Poland. Every geographic center of Europe is a national center as well. The centers are defined in the power relations of the nation-state system. Due to the national symbolism of landscape, the nation that has the center of Europe in its territory can claim to be more European than others, even the most European one – which is not to be underestimated in the context of the competition in “returning to Europe” in the two decades after 1989. And because of the singularity of the idea, each center excludes all the others. There is no European tolerance in this matter. As one website puts it on the Dilove center: “This [that the center of Europe can be found here] alone could differentiate our land from others in Europe” (green-ukraine. com). Localizing the center in the national territory means tracing the borders of Europe along nation-state borders. What remains outside is less or non-European. Having the geographic center of Europe in one’s territory means that the European quality or mentality of the nation is eternal, since, according to the ahistorical representation of the modern map, it is believed that geographic positions do not change. The changes are thought to stem from the incorrect or undeveloped calculations. This sense of eternity is an important element in the touristic promotion of the Lithuanian center of Europe: “The geographical location never let Lithuania to distance from the main European events, and this is not surprising as it is the real scientifically agreed geographical center of Europe”. As we can see, national history proves geographic calculations, and vice versa: the geographic location of the nation “caused many problems and disasters to Lithuanians”. The center, moreover, is the condensational site of Europeanness: “It is generally agreed that every European must visit it at least one time per life as this is an important place, where the whole strength of Europe centralizes” (ways2lithuanina.com). This national localization then produces an eternal and sacred place for Lithuanians in the civilizational map of Europe and the world. This permanent rootedness in one and the same place can only be represented in relation to the movement of the East–West border generated by the storms of history. What we have here is the nationalization of Europe, rather than the Europeanization of the nation. It is no accident, however, that the geographical centers of Europe are mostly located in post-communist Europe, since this is the region that was the most involved in the politics of cultural cartography over the last decades. Besides the competition for the title of the “most European nation”, these events also show the rivalry of the countries of this region with the culturally and politically well-established central position of “the West”, in fact with the Western European countries and supranational institutions that successfully monopolized and imposed the definition of Europe. In this rivalry, the countries striving for Europeanness fought with the means of the Center. As Balibar argued, the

42  Máté Zombory European balance of power and the corresponding popular national sovereignty are inseparable from the hegemonic position of Europe in the world from the 17th to the first half of the 20th century. “Drawing ‘political’ borders in the European sphere, which considered itself and attempted to appoint itself the center of the world, was also originally and principally a way to divide up the Earth; thus, it was a way at once to organize the world’s exploitation and to export the ‘border form’ to the periphery, in an attempt to transform the whole universe into an extension of Europe, later into ‘another Europe’, built on the same political model” (Balibar 2002: 75). State actors of the EU candidate countries thus applied the nation-state model of the West and re-appropriated its practices as the center of the world. Of course, the more one has to insist on centrality, the more uncertain is the central position. How to escape from this circle of center powering? By acknowledging the plurality of centers, and what comes with it, with the fact that geographical reality is dynamic, and maps are not static and stable. There is constant self-positioning instead of representing “being the center”, as in the documentary film of Stanisław Mucha, Die Mitte (2004), in which the crew visits some Europe’s monuments of geographic center. It only gives the relative coordinates of the centers in relation to each other, so again and again, at each midpoint, the viewer has to redefine the borders of Europe, that is, redefine Europe. This procedure breaks up the singular and sacred meaning of “the center” as the source of power and constraints the subject to position himself continually.

References Balibar, E. (2002) “World Borders, Political Borders”, PMLA, vol. 117, no. 1 (January), pp. 71–78. Böröcz, J. and Kovács, M. (eds.) (2001) Empire’s New Clothes: Unveiling EU Enlargement, [Online] www.rci.rutgers.edu/~eu/Empire.pdf, Available 17 April 2012. Bourdieu, P. (1991) “Identity and Representation: Elements for a Critical Reflection on the Idea of Region”, in Bourdieu, P. (ed.) Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 220–228. de Certeau, M. (1984) The Practice of Everyday Life (trans. Rendall, S). Berkeley: University of California Press. Fél, E. and Hofer, T. (1969) Proper Peasants: Social Relations in a Hungarian Village. Chicago: Aldine Pub. Kundera, M. (1984) “The Tragedy of Central Europe”, New York Review of Books, vol. 31, no. 7 (26 April), pp. 33–38. Módos, P. (2005) “Változatok Közép-Európára”, in Módos, P. and János, T. (eds.) Középeurópai olvasókönyv. Budapest: Osiris, pp. 7–9. Todorova, M. (1997) Imagining the Balkans. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Zombory, M. (2012) Maps of Remembrance: Space, Belonging and Politics of Memory in Eastern Europe. Budapest: L’Harmattan.

3 Creating Central Europe in Polish and Czech Samizdat Weronika Parfianowicz-Vertun

After 1989, some commentators pretended that the validity of the idea of Central Europe had expired. However, the next decades proved such claims to be precipitous. Even more, the term did not disappear but rather extended its meaning and function. In Poland, it was, in particular, the area of cultural projects inspired by this idea (the activities of Pogranicze foundation being one of best examples). The accession of the region’s countries into the European Union brought the concept of Central Europe back into public discussions. Although the term “Central Europe” plays an important role in “political dictionaries” of all Visegrád Group countries, there was no consent concerning its significance ever developed – there are several competing visions at least. Even if one scrutinizes Polish discourse alone, one finds a considerable number of interpretations and ways of using the term. To uncover the origins of such diversity, one should look back at the debate, involving both Eastern dissidents and Western intellectuals, taking place at the turn of 70s and 80s. This discussion impacted the direction of further changes in the region and still affects contemporary considerations of Central Europe. I do not intend to answer one of the main questions of that debate – does Central Europe exist and what are its proper limits? I prefer to consider “Central Europe” to be a project, an idea or a discursive fact. Remembering what Michel Foucault pointed out, namely, it is a discourse that forms its object (Foucault 1969) we shall probably never be able to answer the question of Central Europe’s ontological status. There are some well-known names and titles usually referred to while speaking about Central Europe. I would like to change the perspective, leave them aside and rather attempt to put some light on the background area. In my opinion, crucial for understanding the phenomenon of Central Europe are the contexts of the samizdat press – with its particular publishers’ policies, ways of producing and circulating the texts – and unofficial culture. The term “samizdat” should be used with some significant restrictions (cf. Vrba 2001: 271; Gruntorád 2001: 493; Bakuła 2006). Staying away from underestimating the political significance of independent publishing movements, that is usually emphasized (Siekierski 1992: 286, 294), let us see this wave of production of unprofessional, handmade books and periodicals as a cultural phenomenon. It reveals other meanings of Central European narrations. Without these contexts, even if sketching references to geopolitical situation, the readings of famous essays  – such as Milan Kundera’s “Tragedy of Central

44  Weronika Parfianowicz-Vertun Europe” – frequently result in biased analysis. Sadly enough, such simplified texts create the most traditional image of Central European discussions. Debates culminating in the 80s are then presented as acts of political emancipation from the hegemony of the Soviet Union and as answers to the enforced geopolitical situation. The need to distinguish oneself from the East and to underline attachment to the Western cultural tradition is being indicated as their main feature (Kundera 1985).

Central Europe in samizdat The connection between Central Europe and unofficial publishing movements is mutual (cf. Eichwede 2002: 15). On the one hand, the whole region may be defined as an area, where traditions of the underground circuit of the inhibited texts are not temporary and incidental, yet almost incorporated in everyday life practices. On the other, samizdat press was, at the time, the only medium creating space for Central European discussions. There were significant signs indicating new phenomenon. First of all, it was “the wave” of periodicals devoted specifically to the Central Europe, such as Střední Evropa, and its Brno incarnation, Incest und Rausch. Revue pro Střední Evropu, Obóz, ABC, or special Central European columns appearing in magazines like Krytyka. The concern with Central Europe, declared by the editors, implied not only the intention of taking part in the political debate but also the need to propagate the history, culture, and, in particular, contemporary problems of Central European states. The other material to be analyzed consists of texts devoted to the problems of Central Europe, published in those journals, but also dispersed in other samizdat press. Among them, articles, which I would call “meta-narrations”, discussing the very term of Central Europe, would be of particular importance. We can classify here essays such as “Potíže s dějinami” by Josef Kroutvor (1984), published consecutively in Prostor (starting from 1984), and later as a book (cf. Kroutvor 1990). We may also assign to this category editorial notes and asides in aforementioned Central European periodicals (especially those published in the first issues, usually meant as a kind of ideological declaration and an attempt to express editors perspective). There is also the most elusive sphere, something I  would call the “Central European work in progress” to define all those activities, exceeding textual, or discursive dimensions, like direct contacts between the Polish and Czech intellectuals (famous meetings in the Krkonoše/Karkonosze Mountains, actions of Polish–Czechoslovakian Solidarity, etc.) As the majority of Central European activities were based on writing and reading, we should create a model of interpretation of the very texts, including their performative character, so as to perceive writing, and reading, as acts of engagement, participation, communication, and negotiation.

How to get to Milan Kundera? The texts crucial for the Central European discussions, or, at least those that formed its stereotype notion, were written by writers in exile (Kundera 1984;

Creating Central Europe  45 Miłosz 1982) or Western intellectuals (Ash 1986). The readers from within the region itself did not have direct access to those texts. Readers in Czechoslovakia or in Poland could either find it in exile publications smuggled across the borders (such as 150000 slov, Svědectví, Zeszyty Literackie), or in local samizdat, published in the manner of the whole unofficial publishing movements: they were randomly translated from the accessible editions, sometimes with several years delay (Kundera 1987). The impact and significance of political projects of the Central European Federation created in milieus of Paris Kultura and Svědectví, as well as the influence of those institutions on Polish and Czechoslovakian unofficial culture is indisputable. However, if the Central European discussion in Poland, and in Czechoslovakia, would be based only on the reproduction of the ideas created abroad, it would be rather weak and epigone one. Not underestimating their meaning, I would like to present some local sources of inspirations. Intellectual ferment resulting in the “Central European boom” begun in early 60s with rediscovery (and reinterpretation), of the fin-de-siècle art, (Havelka 2010: 211). This “renaissance” was marked, among other, by Claudio Magris’ dissertation on Habsburg’s myth in Austrian literature (Magris 1963) or by Carl E. Schorske’s essays on modern Vienna (Schorske 1981). These works influenced the imagination of the authors of future projects of Central Europe. What is striking, is that at the same time we can observe the appraisal of art nouveau by Polish art historians (Wallis 1967). The MA thesis of Ewa Kuryluk on Vienna fin-de-siècle artists corresponds in many points with a young Magris’ work (Kuryluk 1974). However, it seems that those works have never influenced Polish projects of Central Europe in the way that we can observe in Czech ones. The Prague Spring and subsequent invasion of the Warsaw Pact in Czechoslovakia was one of the factors catalyzing Central European discussion. It was not only Milan Kundera who refers to those events. In 1969, another critical essay was written – “Co je střední Evropa” by Czech philosopher Karel Kosík (Kosík 1995). In 1978, at the very beginning of the Polish well-organized “second circulation”, creators of the new magazine Krytyka indicated the importance of cooperation between intellectuals of the states remaining under the communist regime. Authors from Czechoslovakia and Hungary were invited to join the editorial team (Nawrocki 1988: 29). A couple years later, the specialized periodicals appeared (Obóz in 1981, ABC in 1984, Střední Evropa in 1985). The essays by Miłosz or Kundera were important points of reference, but the majority of the content was by the local authors.

Dialogue, monolog, (de)mystification The declarations of the Central European reviews’ editors were somehow similar. Polish ABC and Obóz opened with editorial introductions justifying the importance of Central European issue to Polish readers. However, the very term itself did

46  Weronika Parfianowicz-Vertun not appear in first issues. They emphasized the need of “introducing Polish reader into opinions of democratic opposition in communist countries, as well as into the history, tradition and culture of their nations” (Od redakcji 1981), and the willingness to animate “the dialogue, and cooperation between nations, and states of this region of Europe” (Poglądy 1984: 7). Czech review Střední Evropa pointed out this issue with the title itself and also in the editorial notes. The editors presented the periodical as a “platform for different, even opposite definitions, helping us to better understand that phenomenon of Central Europe” (Ulrich 1985:1–2). The policies of publishers differed from each other. Even though their declarations seem to be similar, there were, at least, several visions of Central Europe behind them. The idea of Central Europe identified with the area of difficult multicultural heritage; the region of national, ethnical and religious diversity, being often a source of conflict, but giving hope for compromise – it seems to be emblematic for a contemporary imagination. However, it was only one of the conceptions competing at the time. We can find it especially in the conception of “ULB” created by the authors affiliated with Paris Kultura, and in editorial policies of Krytyka. Other reviews devoted to the Central Europe were rather conservative. The very term of Central Europe was often used as a pretext to reflect national problems rather than the regional issues. The authors of Střední Evropa identified, for instance, Central Europe with the area of former Habsburgs’ monarchy and presented its heritage as an alternative model of Czech national identity. This model, contesting the traditions of Czech reformation, as well as modern identity founded by National Revival, and continued by the First Republic, was already controversial at the time (db 1987: 111–112; Havelka 2010). Polish reviews, despite the declared intention of dialogue, also had a tendency to create rather “monolog” visions of Central Europe, based on the tradition of the Polish– Lithuanian Commonwealth, which did not necessarily include the perspectives and voices from Vilnius or from Lviv. There were also ephemeral reviews and texts playing with the idea of rediscovered Central Europe, in particular with its cultural traditions. The title of review, Incest und Rausch. Revue pro Střední Evropu, ironically indicated that there are only two things characteristic of Central Europe, the incest relationships and the constant state of “rausch”, the only possible strategies of survival in this specific region. The authors of the review were playing with the mythology of Habsburgs’ monarchy and the stereotype image of Central European modernism (Proč, Incest and Rausch: 5). They tried to deconstruct the nostalgic narration of the paradise lost of multicultural, cosmopolite, sophisticated society of artists and philosophers, creating Central European mythology to this day (Shore 2012: 5–34). At the same time, this ephemeral, handmade, based on the poetic of absurd, review took part in reinforcing that myth.

To read or to write Central Europe? The question of “how do people read” stays aside when discussing the subject, such as the idea of Central Europe, while it should be considered an important

Creating Central Europe  47 factor in the formation of its circuit, reception and interpretations. As the historians of culture underline, interpretation of the text is affected by its material dimension. Practices of reading are also important in the process of reconstruction of the meanings (Hebrard 2009; Chartier 2009). It may sound trite, but there is a huge difference between reading the same text published in the prestigious cultural review and its typescript copy. The reader of the samizdat press not only has to overcome many obstacles to get it (access to the sources of distribution, personal risk connected with the possession of the forbidden press, high prices of those publications, or, in the case of borrowing them, short terms for reading). There were more problems, such as small type size, print too dense on the page and faded ink making text almost illegible. The experience of reading samizdat, as a “never-ending torture” returns in many comments and memories (Szaruga 1992: 298; Červenka 1985). The intuition, how hard is to reconstruct the sense of the text and when its typography was that disturbed remains in Walter J. Ong’s remarks on the typographical mind (Ong 1982). The reader used to traditional books, the product of the advanced culture of print, was in an uncomfortable situation while reading the quasi-manuscript texts. The authors of samizdat were comparing their work to the efforts of medieval scribes (Pithart 1978). The concept of samizdat seen as a “return to pre-Gutenberg era” was later developed by the academic researchers (Skilling 1982). In the same time, the more efforts one took to get text and read it, the more heroic was the gesture. The very act of reading was the meaning. It was the sign of engagement and of the political contestation. Both intuitions indicate that samizdat press was not favorable for analytic “close reading”. Concentration on the text was difficult. The reading of samizdat was, in general, rather random, perfunctory and often with some ideological core of interpretation – and probably so was the reading of Central European texts. If we would compare the original text of Milan Kundera’s “Tragedy of Central Europe” with its Polish samizdat version published in Obóz, translated from the Hungarian edition three years after the original was released, we would see, that the knowledge of the very text may be different in every country of the region, or rather, that we should talk about a few different essay. The third attribute of the independent publishing movements is revealed in this context: “Sometimes I believe that the ‘second circulation’ was created rather for the writers, than for the readers” – an anonymous distributor stated (Smutne, ale prawdziwe 1987: 4). It seems that the activity of writing and making unofficial publications was more important than consuming the final effect. It was also the intuition of Ludvik Vaculík, who ironically described the end of the 70s as a period when “everyone, who has, at least, two fingers, writes” (Vaculík 1978: 39). The columns of samizdat press were filled up with dilettante, badly written and boring texts. It was not the quality of the book that mattered, but the very act of writing. As Pedro Araya pointed out, in the situation of political, or social, conflicts, the writing becomes an act of contestation (Araya 2010: 95). It applies primarily to the practices, such as making graffiti, posters, banners, leaflets, but we can extend it to the production of the texts, including the Central European texts.

48  Weronika Parfianowicz-Vertun The Central European texts were based on a random collection of quotations, which the author can read from diverse sources. It was often the need to join the discussion, rather than saying something new on the subject, that is expressed in those texts. It is not only the act of writing that should be considered as a “Central European activity.” The texts presented themselves as performative utterances. Words such as “postulate”, “project” and “appeal” are often in use, and let us classify those texts as a way of making, acting, and changing the social order (Fraenkel 2010: 70). Central Europe was a textual construction, extending its textual dimension (Kosík: 68). It reveals the ambiguity of these texts, but it does not mean that we are excused from critical reading. The tension, however, is not to be found between the original and epigone form or in the quality of the text. It reveals the intentions of the authors, extending from critical reflection, consolation and compensation to the justification of some colonial tendencies.

Who is the “Central European”? It is also important to notice that the terms of “Polish” or “Czech” debates on Central Europe should be seen more as a neutral topographic category, which does not necessarily mean that those debates reflected the universal consciousness of respective societies. Furthermore, Central European discussions were sometimes subversive to the national self-identifications and polemic toward the most common national mythologies (Miłosz 1982: 10–11). They were also rather exclusive and elitist. The reach of samizdat press was very limited, which also used to be the case of unofficial Czechoslovakian publications in particular. The Polish “second circulation” was relatively widespread, but it reveals even more of the social divisions. The reviews dedicated to Central Europe constituted a minority stake of the unofficial publications at large, and they were mostly addressed to well-educated readers from big cities. The Central European essays referred to the background of the great political, ideological and philosophical debates of the 20th century. Their direct impact on the societies was relatively small. The mistake is sometimes made that the project of “Central European identity” to be found in those texts is treated as a universal proposal, while it should rather be seen as a very particular one. There is a mutual connection between the term “Central Europe” and the neverending debate on the position of intellectuals in the contemporary world (Rupnik 2012: 62). It is sometimes pointed out, that “Central Europe”, as a project, failed because it was “an artificial creation of intellectuals” (Romert 1988: 133). However, we can also change the perspective and approach those discussions not as a utopian vision of how to change the world, but rather as an attempt to map and recognize the situation of a singular and relatively small group. In Poland, we can see this discussion in the context of the debates on the ethos of “intelligentsia” (Mencwel 1990; Jedlicki 2002, 2008). The discussions concerning “the meaning of Czech history”, and the role and responsible of dissidents seems to be an analog in Czech context (Havel 1980, 1984; Havelka 2006; Kosatík 2011; Hlaváček 2012).

Creating Central Europe  49 Summarizing, we should scrutinize the Central European debates in the possibly broad context of communication, reading, and writing practices distinctive to the unofficial culture. The significance of that debate is to be found not in the quality of the single texts, which were often redundant and seldom original, but in the elusive area of what is between, in the engagement in writing, reading, producing, and consuming the texts and the publications. We should also change the direction of interpretations. It may sound provocative, but we should try to treat the Central European texts not as a source of knowledge about “Central Europe” but rather as a unique self-portrait of some milieus. This perspective shall reveal crucial problems and questions of the time: how those milieus constituted themselves; how they evaluated their roles and areas of activities; what was their “self-knowledge” and imagination; and from which traditions did they draw inspirations. Since the question of intellectuals’ part in the process of transformation in the region of Central Europe has lately been intensively discussed (Król 2014), the issues analyzed above are no longer a question of the historical research. Those debates affected the contemporary image of both Central Europe and the intellectuals. We shall not be satisfied with stereotypical interpretations but should try to reconstruct their intensity and ambiguity in an attempt to better understand the origins of current conflicts.

References Araya, P. (2010) “NO+ (Chile 1983–2007) Uwagi o piśmie kontestacyjnym: W stronę pragmatycznej antropologii pisma”, in Artières, P. and Rodak, P. (eds.) Antropologia pisma. Od teorii do praktyki. Warszawa: WUW. Ash, T. G. (1986) “Does Central Europe Exist?” New York Review of Books, 9 October, pp. 5–6. Bakuła, B. (2006) “Literackie czasopisma mówione ‘NaGłos’ i ‘Struktury trzecie’ w pejzażu polskiej kultury niezależnej lat osiemdziesiątych”, in Laskowski, L. (ed.) Literatura drugiego obiegu w Polsce w latach 1976–1989: Materiały konferencyjne. Koszalin: Biblioteka Publiczna im. Joachima Lelewela. Červenka, M. (1985) “Dvě poznámky k samizdatu”, Kritický sborník, vol. 4, pp. 1–12. Chartier, R. (2009) “Od historii książki do historii kultury”, in Rodak, P. (ed.) Pismo, książka, lektura. Rozmowy: Le Goff, Chartier, Hébrard, Fabre, Lejeune. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego. Eichwede, W. (2002) “Soustroví Samizdat”, in Bock, I. (ed.) Samizdat. Eseje: Alternativní kultura ve střední a východní Evvropě – šedesatá až osmdesátá léta 20: Století. Brema: Výzkumný ústav pro východní Evropu při Univerzitě v Bremě. Foucault, M. (1969) L’archéologie du savoir. Paris: Gallimard. Fraenkel, B. (2010) “Pojęcie wydarzenia piśmiennego”, in Artières, P. and Rodak, P. (eds.) Antropologia pisma: Od teorii do praktyki. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego. Gruntorád, J. (2001) “Samizdatová literatura v Československu sedmdesátých a osmdesátých let”, in Alan, J. (ed.) Alternativní kultura: Příběh české společnosti 1945–1989. Josef, Praha: Nakladatelství Lidové Noviny. Havel, V. (1980) “Moc bezmocných”, in Havel, V. et al. (eds.) O svobodě a moci. Köln: Index.

50  Weronika Parfianowicz-Vertun Havel, V. (1984) “Odpovědnost jako osud: Předmlouva k  anglickému a francouzskému vydání Českého snáře”, Kritcký sborník, vol. 1, pp. 1–11. Havelka, M. (ed.) (2006) Spor o smysl českých dějin 1895–1938, vol. 1–2. Praha: Torst. Havelka, M. (2010) “Střední Evropa: Konstrukce – iluze – reality aneb o středoevropských pojetích Střední EvropyHavelka, M”, in Havelka, M. (ed.) Ideje – dějiny – společnost. Studie k historické sociologii vědění. Brno: Centrum pro studium demokracie a kultury. Hébrard, J. (2009) “Między oralnością a piśmiennością”, in Rodak, P. (ed.) Pismo, książka, lektura. Rozmowy: Le Goff, Chartier, Hébrard, Fabre, Lejeune. Warszawa: WUW. Hlaváček P. (2012) “Neviditelný český intelektuál aneb odvaha ke středu”, in. Hlaváček P. (ed.), Intelektuál ve veřejném prostoru. Vzdělanost, společnost, politika. Praha: Academia. Jedlicki, J. (2002) Jakiej cywilizacji Polacy potrzebują. Studia z dziejów idei i wyobraźni XIX wieku. Warszawa: W.A.B. Jedlicki, J. (ed.) (2008) Dzieje inteligencji polskiej do roku 1918, Vols. 1–3. Warszawa: Instytu Historii PAN. Kosatík, P. (2011) Česká inteligence: Od Jaroslava Golla po Magora. Praha: Mladá Fronta. Kosík, K. (1995) “Co je střední Evropa”, in Kosik, K. (ed.) Století Markéty Samsové. Praha: Český spisovatel. Król, M. (2014) “Byliśmy głupi”, Gazeta Wyborcza, 8 February. Kundera, M. (1984) “The Tragedy of Central Europe”, New York Review of Books, vol. 7. Kundera, M. (1985) “Wprowadzenie do wariacji”, Zeszyty literackie, vol. 11. Kundera, M. (1987) “Obrabowany Zachód czyli tragedia Europy Środkowej”, Obóz, vol. 11, pp. 5–17. Kuryluk, E. (1974) Wiedeńska apokalipsa: eseje o sztuce i literaturze wiedeńskiej około 1900. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie. Magris, C. (1963) Il mito absburgico nella letteratura austriaca moderna. Torino: Giulio Einaudi. Mencwel, A. (1990) Etos lewicy: O narodzinach kulturalizmu polskiego. Warszawa: PIW. Miłosz, Cz. (1982) Looking for a Center: On the Poetry of Central Europe. Cross Currents, vol. 1. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. Nawrocki, G. (1988) “Otwarci, ale bez przesady: Rozmowa z redaktorem Kwartalnika Politycznego ‘Krytyka’ ”, in Nawrocki, G. (ed.) Struktury nadziei. Warszawa: Pokolenie. “Od redakcji” (1981) Obóz: Niezależne pismo poświęcone problemom krajów ościennych, no. 1. Ong, W. J. (1982) Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. New York: Routledge. Pithart, P. (1978) “Průklepový papír bilý 30gr/m2”, Spektrum, p. 1. Poglądy. (1984) ABC. Adriatyk, Bałtyk, Morze Czarne, 1. “Proč”, Incest&Rausch. Revue pro Střední Evropu. Romert, A. (1988) “Europa Środkowa w Europie Środkowej dziś – mit i postulat”, Obóz, vol. 15, pp. 133–136. Rupnik, J. (2012) “Intelektuálové, disent a věřejný prostor”, in Hlaváček, P. (ed.) Intelektuál ve věřejném prostoru: Vzdělanost, společnost, politika. Praha: Academia. Schorske, C. E. (1981) Fin-de-siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture. New York: Vintage Books. Shore, M. (2012) Nowoczesność jako źródło cierpień (trans. Sutowski, M). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej.

Creating Central Europe  51 Siekierski, S. (1992) “Drugi obieg: Uwagi o przyczynach powstania i społecznych funkcjach”, in Kostecki, J. and Brodzka, A. (eds.) Piśmiennictwo – systemy kontroli – obiegi alternatywne, Vol. 1. Warszawa: Biblioteka Narodowa. Skilling, G. H. (1982) Samizdat: A Return to pre-Gutenberg era? Cross Currents, vol. 1. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. “Smutne, ale prawdziwe. Z rozmowy z kolporterką” (1987) Tygodnik Mazowsze, no. 203. Szaruga, L. (1992) “Zapis. Wstęp do opisu”, in Kostecki, J. and Brodzka, A. (eds.) Piśmiennictwo – systemy kontroli – obiegi alternatywne, vol. 1. Warszawa: Biblioteka Narodowa. Ulrich, J. (1985) “Úvodní poznámka”, Střední Evropa, vol. 1. Vaculík, L. (1978) “Łańcuszek szczęścia”, Krytyka, vol. 2, pp. 38–40. Vrba, T. (2001) “Nezávislé pismennictví a svobodné myšlení v  letech 1970–1989”, in Alan, J. (ed.) Alternativní kultura: Příběh české společnosti 1945–1989. Praha: Nakladatelství Lidové Noviny. Wallis, M. (1967) Secesja. Warszawa: Arkady.

4 Transition/transformation, state capture or varieties of capitalism? Marcel Tomášek

Introduction For the specialists focusing on the Soviet Bloc, the collapse of communism in 1989 was an equally great surprise as it was for the general public. Since the dynamics of change were apprehended as given by relatively gradual reforms in the Soviet Union, changes were depicted in terms known from earlier liberalizing waves within the context of communist vassal regimes (Poland 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968). Experts on the communist countries did not have ready scenarios designed to foresee further developments and answers to the eventuality of the collapse of the real socialist order and the unfolding dilemmas of the unavoidable shift to free-market democracy.

Transition or transformation? Tracing the roots of the initial analytical conceptualization of the happenings in Central Eastern Europe (transition) above indicated that the initial circumstance must be a critical consideration, given further shifts in theorizing the changes. The analytical frame of ‘transition’, which originated during the course of assessing developments in Latin America and Southern Europe, is to be critically approached and reflected upon from the position of regionally bounded post-collapse developments. This way the alternative conceptualization of unfolding change have emerged and can be put under the inclusive label of ‘transformation’. The inquiry according to Stark is of ‘paths that differ in kind and not simply in degree’(1992: 301). The elements shaping the change, which were previously understood in the analytical frame of ‘transition’ as the outright application of the reform steps, result from the processes unexplainable in the line with straight rational choice axioms. The following methodological and conceptual debate dominated the field extensively, even at the beginning of the second decade of change in the Central Eastern Europe (CEE). The transition/transformation debate was the departure point for further discussion of the developments in CEE (cf. Dobry 2000: 49–70; Federowitz 2000: 91–106; Greskovits 2000: 19–48; Bunce 2000: 71–90; Bonker, Muller and Pickel 2002: 1–38; Csaba 2002: 39–54; Greskovits 2002: 219–246).

Transition, capture or varieties?  53 What are the advantages and disadvantages of the single concepts in the transition/transformation debate? Transition, as characterized by the desired outcome has been firmly encoded in the concept as the ‘extrication path’. It is the sequence of the reform steps to be undertaken in the given concrete context to achieve a particular set of results. Precisely, this teleological character of ‘transition’ has been the point of departure for the ‘transformation’ reassessment of the happenings in CEE. In this past-bound analytical frame, it is unclear to where the path dependence leads or what will be the result of the ‘transformation’ of each society as it ‘extricates’ itself from the previous system in a particular way. Further paths are given by concrete fragments and the way they are recombined in the new regime. Przeworski’s characterization of democratization as not given ‘by the point of departure’ but rather by the ‘games of the transition’ (in Bunce 2000: 73) springing from inclusiveness emerging in the course of moving toward the goal, has particular significance for our inquiry. The necessity of accenting more extensively the deeper and essentially simultaneous character of not only the comprehensive political but also the fundamentally economic character (perhaps in the first place), and not the least essential social ‘transitions’, comes into play here. While in the accounts of ‘transition’ that originated from assessing the developments in Latin America and Southern Europe, the fundamental issue was the achievement of democratic process and establishing it as ‘the only game in town’ in most postcommunist CEE countries; the truly lasting core of transition developments rested in the economic changes (although Latin American and South European countries were frequently subjected to extensive state dirigisme: essentially, no matter how rudimentary their markets happened to be, they were substantially free-market societies). In post-communist societies, much more fundamental simultaneity was at stake – even as far as the actual ‘democratization’ was concerned – in that the institutional shift to a democratic frame was quite an obvious and essentially unavoidable step following the disintegration of the communist regimes. The contested and uncertain focal point of the change was in the arena of economic undertakings (in view of the need to restructure the state-run, hierarchically organized and centrally planned economy). The unfolding economic changes became the key battleground (and the major segment of ‘the only game in town’), even if perhaps in the guise of pluralist political contestation. In this line, it may be argued that the ‘game of economic transition’ emerging in the course of socioeconomic changes is thus, in the post-communist context: the primary arena of transitory politics. Bunce, in her comparative theoretical assessment of post-communist and Latin American and Southern European transitions, points out shared reservations about the low compatibility of macroeconomic stabilization, privatization and free-trade reforms and democratic institution-building (as described by Linz and Stepan 1995; Haggart and Kaufman 1995), and in line with the other authors, she acknowledges their problematic compatibility as a particularly explicit problem in the post-communist context (Przeworski 1991; Mason 1995; Ost 1995). The key factor of this ‘sharp deviation from southern norm’ (Bunce 2000: 80–81)

54  Marcel Tomášek was a hastily unfolding democracy as correlated with the fast switch to a free market (Bunce 2000). However, in Bunce’s understanding, ‘in the East democracy goes then with, not against economic reform’ (Bunce 2000: 81). Bunce goes even further by claiming that breakage with the authoritarian past – in the form of a victory by the non-communist liberal opposition in the first competitive election – predicted quite well the degree of economic reform in the post-communist region (Bunce 2000: 81). This claim may maintain validity when differentiating Central European countries from the countries of South Eastern Europe but particularly within the internal Central European context, this causality chain emerges as much more complex and ambiguous. As Bunce herself noticed, this specified ‘law’ relates to a large extent, to the fact that ‘engineering transition to capitalism and liberal democracy is tied up and proceeds together’ (2000: 81). The simultaneous character of ‘transition’ stands also behind the political honeymoon enjoyed by governments in the initial time period on the one hand and, on the other, enhances ‘the ex-communists to focus their attention on future prospects, rather than past advantages’ (Bunce 2000: 82), and it leads thus to converting their political capital into economic capital. However, both of these elements, while initially advancing economic change, at the same time, carry dubious baggage. In contrast to the example of changing governments in Poland during the first half of 90s, in case of the Czech Republic, right-center coalition governments persisted until 1997. This highlights the fact that even a long-lasting, seemingly pro-reform environment complementing almost an ideal political constellation (relative stability of outspokenly pro-reform declared political representation with long negligible opposition) does not guarantee the actual advancement and accomplishment of the required sequence of reforms.

Transformation and path-dependency In the explanatory frame of transition, post-communist societies breaking off from their authoritarian/totalitarian past  – due to a certain institutional loosening – emerge as suitable terrain for erecting ‘capitalism by design’. Proponents of ‘transformation’ find in this core theme fuel for their criticisms. ‘The new does not come from the new or from nothing but from reshaping existing resources’ (Stark 1992). Stark emphasizes ‘fragmented relicts’, which in their reassembled and reconfigured form determine the path of the change. Along with these, however, the particular ‘extrication path’ from the previous regime is also extensively at play, shaping further change. Dobry (2000: 60) identifies a variety of causal essential imaginaries of path dependent approaches (classical technological development based ‘theoretical enigma’, ‘little historical event’, ‘social mechanisms of self-consolidation and self-enforcement of reproduction of initial advantages’). Relocating the focus on ‘actors’ choices’ and ‘their tactical dilemmas’, with emphases on the process of recombination and reshaping the elements inherited from the old regime, has been taken as the cornerstone of the paradigm shift, which resulted in emphasizing so-called ‘communist legacies’ in the general picture of the CEE post-communist setting. ‘Communist legacies’, in the face of the

Transition, capture or varieties?  55 first extensively exposed trends of omission of the application and the sequence of the reforms, in the second half of the 90s, thus become the explanation at hand, which substantially marked the analytical perception of stumbling reforms in the CEE. Getting to the paradoxical essence of the historical and technological legacies bounding the descriptions, Graber, and Stark state that ‘the very mechanisms that foster allocative efficiency might eventually lock in economic development to a path which is inefficient when viewed dynamically’ (1997: 5). In this sense, ‘the mechanisms that are conductive for the synchronic adaptation of the economy to the specific environment may, at the same time, undermine economy’s diachronic adaptability’ (1997: 5). The legacies remained the focus of Graber’s and Stark’s attention in the hunt for shapers of new orders, however, in their ‘dual potential’ to block and support ‘transformation’. Is looking for the sources of these ‘stumbles’ in institutional and organizational legacies and the recombination of the structural elements of the previous communist regimes the right answer? Most likely the sharpest argument in that direction has been put forward by Staniszkis (1999), when she explicitly describes ‘political capitalism’ that came into being in the CEE as an institutional extension of mercantilist strategies characteristic of the last years of communism (formation of networks and redistributing coalitions that determined coming post-communism). While examining the core stumbling changes, meaning those representing the primary processes of the cardinal switch from the state-owned firms-based planned and directive economy, to the private enterprise-dominated free-market economy, it clearly emerges that although the processes in general occurred at the circumstances of institutional ‘bricolage’, the core changes occurred anew, rather than being principally built on the institutional and organizational elements of the ‘old regime’. The posed question is whether fundamental stumbling and misdirection of the changes in the CEE countries resulting in detours that effectively prolong the whole process of switching to more Western European-like or Euro-Atlantic-like socioeconomic and political patterns did take place primarily due to the communist institutional inheritances, or rather, did they represent only the result of the new that has come into existence only in the actual course of change. When comparing happenings in Russia and the Czech Republic, Bruszt (2000) speaks also of the consequences of state regulations too willingly neglected to characterize and explain the property structure that had emerged in a manner that allowed taking advantage of its position, consequently weakening the market character of the economy. The question of the unintended consequences of neglected state regulations in the Czech Republic is at the center of the debate about the changes of the early 90s, as they critically shaped the character of the Czech road to capitalism, essentially to the present day. The designers of Czech privatization have openly acknowledged counting on an intentional neglect of state regulations as a suitable feature for initiating and boosting the free-market type of economy in the postcommunist socioeconomic and political context (Tomáš Ježek’s “Economists must come before lawyers”, Václav Klaus’s “I  do not recognize something as

56  Marcel Tomášek dirty money”). In the Czech context, and in view of these ‘unexpected’ consequences, it may be claimed as based on the pronouncements of the key designers and implementers of privatization scheme, that this, in Bruszt’s understanding, unintended neglect of state regulations was the feature of intended sequence of changes in the economy and startup of a new economic order. Even as it was becoming apparent that this new economic order was only partly conceivable with the designated goal patterns of the free-market economy as known from the Euro-Atlantic area, the necessary adjustment measures were deliberately delayed and hindered, and, finally, at the moment of implementation, they were usually scaled down to constrain their effect (e.g., regulation of the Czech capital market as pushed for by Tomáš Ježek after he came to terms with the need for selfpreserving regulation in free-markets).

State capture or varieties of capitalism? The third – and somewhat overlooked – wave in theorizing the changes after 1989 is associated with such concepts as premature consolidation (Rychard 1996), restoration (Wnuk-Lipinski 1999), and state capture (Hellman 1998; Hellman, Jones and Kaufmann 2000, 2003); in varying degrees, they indicate the limited capability of the transitory order to evolve in the direction of advanced free-market societies as a result of rent-seeking mechanisms and associated vicious circles. This is primarily the result of an overlap of already new emerging socioeconomic and political interests that have been affecting the regulation and institutional build-up of newly constructed socioeconomic and political systems. With the deconstruction of communist regimes frequently taking the shape of real collapse, the CEE countries have advanced relatively fast toward “a free market without adjectives” (favorite Vaclav Klaus expression and desired outcome), which suffered from a variety of structurally produced pathological phenomena. In qualitative terms, it was similar to the situation existing in many Latin American countries. For the CEE countries that were not advancing much further from this rudimentary state, the breaking point happened to be closely associated with reasoning in the Table 4.1  Four waves conceptualizing the social change in CEE Identified condition 1 Transition (Linz and Stepan 1995) 2 Transformation (Grapher and Stark 1997, Chavance and Mognin 1997, Stark and Brust 1998) 3 Premature consolidation (Rychard 1996), restoration (Wnuk-Lipinski 1999), or state capture (Hellman 1998, Hellman, Jones and Kaufmann 2000, 2003) 4 Varieties of capitalism (Lane and Myant 2007; Norkus 2012)

Next stage or implications democratic consolidation communist legacies, pathdependency Europeanization

distinctive CEE long-lasting pattern

Transition, capture or varieties?  57 direction of corrective effect of increased foreign direct investment and improved institutional environment imposed by the EU law requirements (immediately preceding the EU membership or following the actual joining the EU). However, how far did this ‘Europeanization’ go? Throughout the last decade, a discourse of ‘varieties of capitalism’ has achieved prominence in assessing the current unstable state and changes of long, steadily developing postwar welfare capitalism (Hall and Soskice 2001; Elsner and Hanappi. 2008; Hancké 2009). As suggested by Lane and Myant (2007) or Norkus (2012), alternatively, Frane, Primož and Matevž (2009) , to get closer to an answer to the analytical dilemma, particular practices of CEE capitalism may be highlighted within this frame. Can we recognize the current shape of capitalism in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia as having a distinctive and, at the same time, broadly shared pattern that has developed even further variations (in CEE) within this variety in the wider Euro-Atlantic arena since 1989?

References Bonker, R. Muller, K. and Pickel, A. (2002) “Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Postcommunist Transformations: Context and Agenda”, in Bonker, R., Muller, K. and Pickel, A. (eds.) Postcommunist Transformation and the Social Sciences: Cross-Disciplinary Approaches. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 1–38. Bruszt, L. (2000) “Constituting Markets: The Case of Russia and the Czech Republic”, in Dobry, M. (ed.) Democratic and Capitalist Transition in Eastern Europe: Lessons for the Social Sciences. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 197–219. Bunce, V. (2000) “The Place of Place in Transitions to Democracy”, in Dobry, M. (ed.) Democratic and Capitalist Transition in Eastern Europe: Lessons for the Social Sciences. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 71–90. Chavance, B. and Mognin, E. (1997) “Emergence of Path-Dependent Mixed Economies in Central Europe”, in Amin, A., Hausner, J. and Elgar, E. (eds.) Beyond Market and Hierarchy: Interactive Governance and Social Complexity. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 196–232. Csaba, L. (2002) “The Crisis of Transformation as a State Crisis”, in Bonker, R., Muller, K. and Pickel, A. (eds.) Postcommunist Transformation and the Social Sciences: CrossDisciplinary Approaches. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 39–54. Dobry, M. (2000) “Paths, Choices, Outcomes, and Uncertainty. Elements for a Critique of Transitological Reason”, in Dobry, M. (ed.) Democratic and Capitalist Transition in Eastern Europe: Lessons for the Social Sciences. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 49–70. Elsner, W. and Hanappi, H. (eds) (2008) Varieties of Capitalism and New Institutional Deals: Regulation, Welfare and the New Economy. Cheltenham, UK/Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. Federowitz, M. (2000) “Anticipated Institutions: the Power of Path-finding Expectations”, in Dobry, M. (ed.) Democratic and Capitalist Transition in Eastern Europe: Lessons for the Social Sciences. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 91–106. Frane, A., Primož, K. and Matevž, T. (2009) “Varieties of Capitalism in Eastern Europe (With Special Emphasis on Estoniea and Slovenia)”, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 65–81. Grapher, G. and Stark, D. (eds.) (1997) Restructuring Networks in Post-Socialism: Legacies, Linkages, and Localities. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Greskovits, B. (2000) “Rival Views of Postcommunist Market Society: The Path Dependence of Transitology”, in Dobry, M. (ed.) Democratic and Capitalist Transition in

58  Marcel Tomášek Eastern Europe: Lessons for the Social Sciences. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 19–48. Greskovits, B. (2002) “The Path-Dependency of Transitology”, in Bonker, R., Muller, K. and Pickel, A. (eds.) Postcommunist Transformation and the Social Sciences: CrossDisciplinary Approaches. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 219–246. Haggard, S. and Kaufman, R. R. (1995) The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Hall, P. A and Soskice, D. (eds.) (2001) Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Hancké, B. (ed.) (2009) Debating Varieties of Capitalism. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Hellman, J. S. (1998) “Winners Take All: The Politics of Partial Reform in Postcommunist Transitions”, World Politics, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 203–234. Hellman, J. S., Jones, G. and Kaufmann, D. (2000) “Seize the State, Seize the Day: State Capture, Corruption, and Influence in Transition”, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 2444. Hellman, J. S., Jones, G. and Kaufmann, D. (2003) “Seize the State, Seize the Day: State Capture and Influence in Transition Economies”, Journal of Comparative Economics, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 751–773. Lane, D. and Myant, M. (eds.) (2007) Varieties of Capitalism in Post-Communist Countries. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Linz, J. and Stepan, A. (eds.) (1995) Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America and Post-communist Europe. Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press. Mason, D. (1995) “Attitudes Towards the Market and Political Participation in the Postcommunist States”, Slavic Review, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 385–406. Norkus, Z. (2012) On Baltic Slovenia and Adriatic Lithuania: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Patterns in Post-Communist Transformation. Vilnius: Apostrofa; Budapest: CEU Press. Ost, D. (1995) “Labour, Class and Democracy: Shaping Political Antagonisms in PostCommunist Poland”, in Crawford, B. (ed.) Markets, States and Democracy: The Political Economy of Postcommunist Transformation. Boulder, CO: Wesview, pp. 77–103. Przeworski, A. (1991) Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press. Rychard, A. (1996) Czy transformacja sie skonczyla? Warsaw: Instytut Badań nad Gospodarką Rynkową. Staniszkis, J. (1999) Post-Communism: The Emerging Enigma. Warsaw: Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences. Stark, D. (1992) “From System Identity to Organizational Diversity: Analyzing Social Change in Eastern Europe”, Contemporary Sociology, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 299–304. Stark, D. and Brust, L. (1998) Post-Socialist Pathways: Transforming Politics and Property in East Central Europe. Cambridge, New York and Oakleigh: Cambridge University Press. Wnuk-Lipinski, E. (1999) “Reform, rewolucja, restauracja − trzy cechy transformacii postkomunistycznej”, in Jasińska-Kania, A. and Słomczynski, K. M. (eds.) Władza i struktura społeczna. Warsaw: IFiS PAN.

5 Europeanization Michał Wenzel

Introduction1 Europeanization2 is both a vertical and horizontal process: the harmonization of different national legal, economic and political systems to conform to common European standards (vertical), and the spread of standard practices and ideas across Europe (horizontal). In CEE, Europeanization is first and foremost the process of mimesis: Central European social, political and economic institutions (and societies) acquiring features of the “old” European Union. The V4 models its institutions on those functioning in EU following the code of “best practice”. Such imitation is sometimes spontaneous and sometimes conditional on legal frameworks of EU integration; it is politically contested, but in different V4 countries the contentious areas vary. Europeanization is necessary for the analysis of transition primarily because, for many analysts (economists, political scientists), the EU accession was a turning point in the history of post-communist transition. In the teleological version, the transition had an end-point. It began with the collapse of authoritarian socialism, which was followed by the period of institutional reform. The remodelling of the state and market structures was conducted with the vision of an ideal order: the free market democracy. The institutions taking shape in V4 may or may not have borne a resemblance to actual West European structures, and the existence of a “European” model may be called into question in many areas. However, Europeanization is a conceptual frame3 that allowed both policymakers and populations to conceive transformation as a process. In such a conception, the accession of V4 to the EU in 2004 was a threshold. From that point on, Central Europe entered post-transition.

Europeanization of the law and institutions4 As far as the legal and institutional foundations of the state are concerned, Europeanization is the process of including Central European institutions in the European-level structures of governance and the creation of a legal framework for this process.

60  Michał Wenzel A necessary condition for political inclusion was the implementation of the common European law, acquis communautaire, in national systems in accession countries. Europeanization is thus associated with the adaptation and harmonization of different national legal orders. It is an ongoing process, but its highest wave was in the years before the accession to EU. The national laws were changed to conform to European-level legislation: regulations and directives. Parallel to legal harmonization, the V4 institutions became a part of pan-European institutional structures.5 This process could be both vertical (top-down, centralized) and horizontal, or a combination of both. An example of institutional Europeanization determined by law was the inclusion of CEE political parties in the “political families” of parties in the European Parliament. The legal mechanism within the EP encourages transnational political formations on shared ideological basis, and by virtue of the internal regulation of the EP, the respective Hungarian, Czech, Polish and Slovak political parties joined their counterparts from the “old” Europe, even though sometimes their values, objectives, formal and informal cultures, and other goals were much at odds, as became apparent, e.g., with the ejection of Slovakia’s Smer from the Party of European Socialists. A semi-vertical process of institutional integration involves both central-level facilitation and grassroots institutional ties. An example of such two-level Europeanization is the integration of trade unions into the European-level peak association, the European Trade Union Confederation: while not mandatory, membership provides enough incentives for national federations to enter. This decision was by no means automatic, and sometimes alternative options were considered by unions. For instance, the Polish OPZZ (All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions, formed before systemic change) for years belonged to the (former Communist) World Federation of Trade Unions, before switching to ETUC, which at present groups all, or most, major national federations from V4. Such vertical integration was reinforced by grassroots, horizontal ties between members − joint participation in protest activities.

Europeanization in economy and the market In general, economic Europeanization means creating a common European market. Its foundations are free movement of goods, services and labour, but also, relatively high standards of labour protection. It involves the extension of both the common market and the “European social model” to the new member states. Its spread is reflected in the emergence of new institutions of industrial relations, such as the European Works Councils in multinational companies. Legal changes had to be introduced in the new member states to conform to European antidiscrimination legislation. The “social model” is also manifested in EU-mandated standards of consumer protection. When discussing the implications of economic Europeanization for the states in transition and post-transition, it is worth noting several points of contradiction in interests, policies and conceptions between V4 (and the “new” Europe in general), and the “old” Europe.

Europeanization 61 Firstly, for the new EU members, globalization often equals Europeanization (Dancák and Hloušek 2007). Accession to the EU enlarged the markets, provided new workplaces, and increased transfers of technology. For the V4, EU countries are the biggest trading partners, investors, and goals of economic migration. The application of EU law liberalized many markets (e.g., energy, utilities, railways, etc.). It meant an increase in foreign investment, which resulted in many national enterprises becoming a part of multinationals. In the “old” EU, Europeanization is a concept sometimes put in opposition to globalization. Europeanization is understood as creating a “social Europe”, with a distinct socio-economic model characterized by strong social partners (trade unions and employer associations), high level of employee protection, and a welfare state. Such a model implies a certain degree of protectionism, especially with regard to labour: protectionism against immigrants from outside of Europe, but also protectionism of “old” Europe against the migrants from the “new” countries6 to prevent social dumping7. This contradiction in interests and conceptions resulted in paradoxical political effects, such as the support of trade unions for the maximum possible transition period on free movement of labour in some countries. The contradiction is also visible in the attitude towards the efforts to liberalize services market (the Bolkestein directive), seen as empowering for the Eastern Europe service sector and perceived as a threat to many actors in Western Europe.

Europeanization in culture and values: the formation of European public opinion8 Europeanization in culture can be seen as a contradiction in terms: Europe prides itself on its cultural diversity and wants to reinforce it, protecting even marginal cultural communities. On the other hand, the discourse of the EU frequently refers to it as the community of values. One of the biggest obstacles to the European project is the slow pace of emergence of a common European society with shared values, beliefs and norms codified by public opinion, understood as an independent social force9. Empirically, there are only a few areas where different nations and peoples are united. There is a vast amount of sociological data of different types, giving comparative information about public opinion in “old” and “new” member states. If the analysis is restricted to surveys on general adult populations, the hierarchies that emerge vary depending on the issue, and the V4 countries are seldom clustered together. For instance, satisfaction with EU membership is high in some countries and low in other countries: Slovaks (4th place) and Poles (10th) are among the nations most satisfied with membership while Czechs (24th) and Hungarians (25th) are among the least satisfied (results from Eurobarometer). These reservations notwithstanding, it is possible to name some issues around which Europe has formed a consensus differentiating it from other developed countries, such as the US, and which unites “old” and “new” member states. The EU was formed in the post-World War II years as a reaction to its horrors. The pacifist orientation of European populations is a quality that sharply

62  Michał Wenzel differentiates it from North Americans: most US citizens think “war is sometimes necessary to obtain justice” while in Europe, a majority of similar magnitude rejects this notion. The new member states are almost identical in their opinions as the old (data from Transatlantic Trends 2010 survey). Another distinctive feature of the EU is the determination to harness market forces and balance them with a set of measures protecting the societies from their excesses. Europeans are, compared with Americans, much more sceptical about the free market: fewer agree that “people are better off in a market economy” (Transatlantic Trends). At least, in some “new” EU countries (Poland, for instance) the population is far more sceptical towards the free market than in the EU as a whole: they are still mostly statist and egalitarian in their views, a leftover from the former system. Regarding some economic attitudes, “new” EU and US are polar opposites, with the “old” EU somewhere in-between.

Critique: Europeanization as threat and façade Europeanization is a process that has always had its critics. They may be divided into two types: those who oppose it on principle, and those who see it as sham façade for the persistence of authoritarian, premodern or post-communist political structures. Europeanization is perceived as a threat by minorities in V4 countries, but these minorities are rather large in Czech Republic and Hungary. In Poland, the wave of overt Europhobia was quite high in the pre-referendum period but declined afterwards. What is more prevalent is a mixture of ignorance and short-sightedness. Knowledge about the EU is very limited. The euphoria connected with EU accession has ebbed, and relations with the rest of Europe are frequently considered in short-term economic calculus. Crises within EU and the eurozone tend to result in defensive reactions, rather than eliciting solidarity, which is understood as one-sided “obligation” of richer countries to help Eastern Europe (viz. Slovakia’s reluctance to contribute to Greece’s bailout). Another line of critique is the perception of European integration as window dressing designed to preserve undemocratic or inefficient practices. The institutions created to conform to the EU regulations sometimes function on paper only. For instance, tripartite dialogue between trade unions, employers’ associations and the state is a formal requirement, but it has little genuine role shaping economic policy; the obligation to inform and consult the workforce about enterprise development is legally binding but ignored; and anti-discrimination legislation is not enforceable (Gardawski, Bartkowski, Męcina and Czarzasty 2010). The last line of critique originated, at least partially, in the pre-transition period. The preparation for EU entry was an elite-driven, professionalized process largely separated from the public debate. A vast amount of legislation needed changing to conform to EU laws. It enjoyed special “fast tracks” within some, if not all, parliaments of the accession states, and changes which harmonized national legislation with European were excluded from the discussion.

Europeanization  63 In Hungary and Poland, the right-wing critique of Europeanization as fake modernization was reinforced by the fact that accession occurred under the government of ex-communists. The veracity of their pro-European attitude was questioned given the parties’ legacy.

Europeanization in V4: what next? If a medium-term perspective is adopted, it seems reasonable to argue that the focus of the processes of Europeanization moves away from the centre (i.e., the EU founding members, or the EU states before the 2004 accession) to the periphery. This shift is associated with two related phenomena: post-crisis fatigue with the European project in Western Europe and increasing interest in EU integration in some countries of the former USSR, caused by the increasingly militaristic policy of Russia towards these countries. The EU fatigue in the West dates back, at least, ten years, to the 2004 accession. At that time, the social consequences of including ten new, mostly relatively poor, members into the common market were largely ignored. However, the elitedriven Europeanization processes were viewed with increasing skepticism. In 2005, the draft of the Constitution for Europe was rejected in referenda in France and Netherlands, which brought the ratification to an end. The financial and economic crisis and costs associated with bailouts for Greece and other countries of the southern periphery ended in a backlash in the northern member states. The financial and economic crisis in 2008–2010 opened new divisions between the northern core and southern periphery. The concept of Europeanization of the CEE may be slowly losing its significance, as the differences between the “old” and “new” EU fade. Countries of CEE fared differently during the crisis: some were strongly affected, while others went through relatively unscathed. The importance of the EU for the “new” Europe has also started to become more complex. In the pre-accession period, the European economic, political and social sphere was a reference point and an object of aspiration. During the crisis, in some V4 countries (especially Hungary) skepticism about ambitions to “catch up with Europe” grew as nationalism strengthened. At the same time, in the face of deepening economic, social and political differentiation of the “old” EU, some V4 countries (Slovakia, for instance) may feel they have more in common with the “core” than with the “periphery”. Declining confidence in the European Union in the founding countries (indicated, for instance, by the rise of anti-EU parties) is accompanied by an increase in European identity among residents of some East European post-Soviet states. This development was particularly evident during the protests in Ukraine in early 2014, caused by government’s rejection of the association agreement with the EU. At present, it appears that the European Union has the strongest supporters outside of its borders. The future of Europeanization depends on the future of the European project (cf. Zielonka 2006). In addition to the economic issues related to the eurozone

64  Michał Wenzel crisis, new challenges appear as security concerns re-emerge in the foreground in the Eastern part of the continent. In this context, the V4 countries retain their distinctness. For them, Europe means not only prosperity but security as well. It is understood as both an economic zone and a military power. Russia’s use of economic instruments (e.g., selective import bans) for political goals creates a situation in which EU membership is far more than a trading block for V4 and Baltic states. Diversification of energy supply away from imports from Russia is an area (most spectacular, but not the only one) in which Europeanization processes (creating a common EU policy) overlap with security concerns.

Notes 1 Completing this text was possible thanks to research grant no. 2015/19/B/HS5/01224, funded by National Science Centre, Poland, conducted at the Institute for Social Sciences, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw. 2 A vast amount of research was conducted on Europeanization. An excellent source of articles on legal and institutional aspects is: European Integration Online Papers (http:// eiop.or.at/eiop/index.php/eiop). The European Research Papers Archive (http://eiop. or.at/erpa/) is a portal which links major, renowned research institutions (unfortunately, none from CEE) and offers downloadable papers. 3 Some examples of papers which conceptualize Europeanization: Börzel and Risse (2000); Radaelli (2000). 4 The 2004 Eastern enlargement was analyzed in some books which studied the legal and institutional aspects of the accession process. The English-language comparative literature is, however, usually conducted from the perspective of Western Europe. Some examples: Hughes, Sasse and Gordon (2004); Sedelmeier (2005); Schimmelfennig and Sedelmeier (2005); Mannin (1999); Sissenich (2007). 5 A synthetic discussion of post-accession CEE dilemmas can be found in Ekiert (2008). 6 One author sees CEE as a force exploding the social model: Meardi (2002). 7 The concept is discussed in-depth by Bernaciak (2015). 8 For comparative survey data on EU and Europeanization, Eurobarometer (http:// ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/index_en.htm) contains a great deal of interesting data. Other sources include: European Social Survey (www.europeansocialsurvey.org) and Transatlantic Trends (http://trends.gmfus.org). 9 Differences between “old” and “new” European Union member states, in this respect, are discussed in Wenzel (2015). The factors shaping public support for the EU are discussed, for instance, in De Vreese and Boomgarden (2003).

References Bernaciak, M. (2012) “Social Dumping: Political Catchphrase or Threat to Labour Standards?” Brussels: European Trade Union Institute. Börzel, T. and Risse, T. (2000) “When Europe Hits Home: Europeanisation and Domestic Change”, European Integration Online Papers, vol. 4, no. 15, [Online] http://eiop.or.at/ eiop/texte/2000-015a.htm, Available 16 November 2006. Dancák, B. and Hloušek, V. (2007) “Central and Eastern Europe in the Process of Globalization and Europeanization: Comparing the Czech Republic and Poland”, in Katalin, F. (ed.) Globalization: Perspectives From Central and Eastern Europe (Contemporary Studies in Economic and Financial Analysis, Volume 89). Bingley, West Yorkshire: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 227–250.

Europeanization  65 De Vreese, C. and H. Boomgarden. (2003) “Valenced news frames and public support for the EU”, Communications, 28, pp. 361–381. Ekiert, G. (2008) “Dilemmas of Europeanization: Eastern and Central Europe After the EU Enlargement”, ACTA SLAVICA IAPONICA, vol. 25, no. 1–29 [Online] http://src-h.slav. hokudai.ac.jp/publictn/acta/25/a25-contents.html, Available 15 December 2011. Gardawski, J., Bartkowski, J., Męcina, J. and Czarzasty, J. (2010) Working Poles and the Crisis of Fordism. Warszawa: Scholar. Hughes, J., Sasse, G. and Gordon, C. E. (2004) Europeanization and Regionalization in the EU’s Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe: The Myth of Conditionality. London, New York and Shanghai: Palgrave Macmillan. Mannin, M. (1999) Pushing Back the Boundaries: The European Union and Central and Eastern Europe. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Meardi, G. (2002) “The Trojan Horse for the Americanization of Europe? Polish Industrial Relations Towards the EU”, European Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 77–99. Radaelli, C. M. (2000) “Whither Europeanisation? Concept Stretching and Substantive Change”, European Integration Online Papers, vol. 4, no. 8, [Online] http://eiop.or.at/ eiop/texte/2000-008a.htm, Available 16 November 2006. Schimmelfennig, F. and Sedelmeier, U. (2005) The Europeanization of Central and Eastern Europe. Cornell: Cornell University Press. Sedelmeier, U. (2005) Constructing the Path to Eastern Enlargement: The Uneven Policy Impact of EU Identity. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Sissenich, B. (2007) Building States Without Society: European Union Enlargement and the Transfer of EU Social Policy to Poland and Hungary. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. Wenzel, M. (2015) “Media Effects on Support for European Integration in Old and New EU Member States”. Polish Sociological Review 2/2015 no. 190, pp. 153–170 Zielonka, J. (2006) Europe as Empire: The Nature of the Enlarged European Union. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Part II

Orientalism

6 Which way east? A conceptual misunderstanding Adam Reichardt

Introduction There is an inherent ambiguity among scholars, analysts, and professionals alike when using the term “East” when referring to the region of Central and Eastern Europe. The label Eastern Europe is not just a geographical designation, it has historical, political, social and economic roots. Larry Wolff (1994) suggested that in the origin of the idea there is a separate space between the Western world and the Orient, otherwise known as Eastern Europe, which dates back to the 18th century and the period of the Enlightenment. In fact, Edward Said (1978) and his seminal text on orientalism illustrates the Euro-centricity of labeling regional differences based on political, social and cultural differences. Said noted that European orientalism is a way of perceiving and imagining the “East” as dangerous, culturally backward, weak, alien and with different values. Furthermore, Wolff saw the idea of labeling Eastern Europe as a way to create a buffer between Western Europe and the Orient. The question debated here is whether or not we can apply these assumptions, deeply rooted in history, to the region in today’s context. The concept of “East” in Europe has clear implications and is not universal. Twenty-five years after the fall of communism, the term indeed has less relevance. Geographically, it is inappropriate. Prague, for example, is west of Vienna, while Helsinki is east of Warsaw. Economically, the term is also inaccurate. GDP per capita in the Czech Republic was higher than Greece in 2011. And the social differences and similarities between peoples of the traditional “East” and “West” are harder and harder to determine in the 21st century. But yet, in the Anglo-speaking world in many academic and journalistic spheres, the term “Eastern Europe” is still widely applied and universally used. The review undertaken in this chapter examines whether or not Central Europe has an understanding and conceptualization of the East. The fundamental questions debated in these contributions provide deep insight into how this region understands itself in this framework. These discussions are reflected in this chapter, and the authors specifically explore questions such as: •

What are the temporal and spatial boundaries behind the concept of Eastern Europe?

70  Adam Reichardt • • •

What are the geographical, stereotypical and political distinctions of this concept from the Central European perspective? What are the political, social and economic implications of continuing to use the term “East” or “Eastern”? How should the term “East” and “Eastern Europe” be understood in today’s (Central) European political discourse?

Unfortunately, there are no conclusions surrounding the precise way to use the term “East”. However, this chapter does provide the reader with a new perspective and greater awareness of its conceptualization. As a result, it is the hope of the authors and editors of this project that these debates advance the conversation of this concept within a 21st-century framework and understanding. As noted during the discussions, each country, and, in fact, each individual, has an understanding of what it means to be “East.” Upon reading the contributions to this chapter, the reader, too, will have the opportunity to enhance his or her definition and interpretation of this concept.

No standard definition The concept of “Eastern Europe” historically, politically, socially and geographically has its roots. Most people in any part of this continent (or beyond) understand what is meant when referring to Eastern Europe. But if one is actually to contemplate the question “Where exactly is Eastern Europe,” then the tiny inconsistencies surrounding this complex concept slowly begin to emerge to the surface. In fact, in the 21st century, this question about the exact location of Eastern Europe can be answered in many different ways. In Central Europe, we see that Eastern Europe exists somewhere east of the EU borders. However, if you go further west (still within the European Union), you can find Europeans who still see Eastern Europe starting somewhere east of Germany. As Austrian historian and writer Martin Pollack (2011: 7) wrote in his essay for New Eastern Europe, “Problems arise with an attempt to define precisely the term Eastern Europe. Where is it? What are its eastern and western borders? Which countries does it include? Is it still politically correct to use this term?” In an age where we are flooded with information through traditional media, online media and social media, we can reason that the roots of this conceptual misunderstanding are found in the fact there is no standard modern definition, and there has not been a comprehensive examination conducted to explain why. Pollak’s point is that the core of understanding the location of Eastern Europe is based on a political concept, not a geographical one. But even that is outdated, since the political boundaries of Europe have shifted in less than a generation while the historical understanding prevails in the mind. It is the hope that this chapter will begin the first steps in reconciling the various perceptions and meanings of Eastern Europe, while at the same time attempt advancing the debate about how we adequately describe the various parts of

Which way east? 71 Europe: West, Central, and East. While official definitions do exist in various forms (e.g., United Nations or the European Union), arbitrarily drawing a line on a map based on assumptions and considerations during a certain point in time may only lead to enforcing stereotypes and beliefs about one region. Such was the case with the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. Of course, this not a debate that can be concretely concluded in one chapter or after one discussion. It is a debate. However, it needs to be driven from this region, more so than anywhere else. It was this region, now self-defined as Central Europe, that was once described as a part of Eastern Europe and has undergone the transformation of no longer being the “other” Europe. Additionally, gaining an understanding of countries in the region referred to as Eastern Europe, will help us understand a wider perspective in our search for a standard definition and framework.

Roots of demarcation In his formative book Inventing Eastern Europe, Larry Wolff (1994: 4) provides a rigorous analysis of the Western understanding of the concept of Eastern Europe. Much of the roots of this understanding, naturally, are historical and go back to the 18th century, or even earlier. Wolff admitted that Western Europe created this demarcation during the Enlightenment period: It was Western Europe that invented Eastern Europe as it’s complementary other half in the eighteenth century, during the age of enlightenment. It was also the Enlightenment, with its intellectual centers in Western Europe, which cultivated and appropriated to itself the new notion of ‘civilization’ . . . and civilization discovered its complement, within the same continent, in the shadowed lands of backwardness, even barbarism. Such was the invention of Eastern Europe. It is not just the arrogance of the Enlightenment movement that can be blamed for the dissection of East and West. It is true that during the 18th and 19th centuries, the maps of the western part of the continent were better drawn, researched and documented. The ever changing maps of Eastern Europe (consider the Polish Partitions) made it easier for explorers and conquerors to put a label on the domain between their side of Europe and the Orient, and Eastern Europe simply became that label. The most tangible manifestation of the concept of Eastern Europe in modern history was Winston Churchill’s 1946 speech in Fulton, Missouri where he declared that “an iron curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia.” As historian and scholar Timothy Garton Ash (1986 : 51) noted, this demarcation of the continent of Europe allowed for “Central and Eastern Europe [to be] treated as a uniform bloc, and much of the research on it was mere footnotes to Sovietology”.

72  Adam Reichardt

Shifting borders, shifting definitions The black-and-white bifurcation of Europe during the Cold War made it very easy for politicians, researchers, the media and everyone living on the western side of the Iron Curtain to understand where Eastern Europe was. The end of the communist period, however, brought down the Iron Curtain, confirmed by the expansion of NATO (to include countries such as the Baltic states, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia) along with the enlargement of the European Union. These changes sparked a new debate about the location of “Eastern” Europe. Yet, as Merje Kuus (2004: 474) indicated, “The 1999 expansion of NATO to include Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic did not as much undermine the Europe versus Eastern Europe division as it shifted it further east.” This change in understanding can be seen mainly in the press and research from the region of Central Europe. However, this change in mentality has not made its way to the West entirely, despite many concerted efforts to do so. A  simple (unscientific) Google News search in English using the keywords “Eastern Europe” shows that English-language media still refer to countries that consider themselves Central as Eastern. One clear example was a September 2012 protest in Brussels by Belgian truck drivers who were protesting unfair competition with truck drivers from countries on the eastern side of the EU (Casert 2012). The article, titled “Truckers Protest Competition from East Europe” described “truckers from Poland, Romania and Bulgaria  .  .  . work[ing] for half-pay or less”. Patran and Vaduli (2012), writing for a Reuters feature, questions whether Romania’s wine industry becomes Eastern Europe’s new Beaurdeaux? While Lovasz (2012) warns in a Bloomberg report that “Eastern Europe Remains Vulnerable to the Euro Crisis” and by Eastern Europe, it refers specifically to the Baltic countries, Poland, and Hungary. Still, there are a few experts and analysts in the Western press who do admit to a sense of imprecision in referring to Eastern Europe. Most notable of these is Edward Lucas, the international editor of the Economist. Since 2010, Lucas has been advocating, at various venues, that we should completely resign from using the term Eastern Europe, arguing that the term presents a negative connotation and is unrepresentative of today’s reality. He believes the media portrayal of the countries of the region as Eastern Europe can be damaging to the image of these countries and is outdated.

Identity crisis? The media portrayal of Eastern Europe in most cases, however, is not meant to be offensive but rather to provide an easy reference point for the audience. Observing the usage in the English media does raise another question regarding the concept – identity. If we consider Eastern Europe to be a particular place that is different than Europe (or Western Europe), perhaps we should examine the identity of what it means to be Eastern European. But again, this concept is embedded in a historical and political framework that is relatively undefined, yet accepted and understood.

Which way east?  73 Bringing identity into the discussion, then, only adds to the confusion. Most young people in Poland or the Czech Republic or Slovakia readily identify themselves as European. However, as we have already determined, these countries are still often described by those outside the region as Eastern Europe. Thus leading to the questions as to what is the meaning of a “European identity” as well as “What is Europe?” These are issues that have been debated over the course of the last 60 years (and beyond). It would be proper to quote Bo Stråth (2002: 388) in this instance when he defined the concept of the European identity as an idea expressing false notions of unity rather than an identity in the proper sense of the word and even took on the proportion of an ideology. In this sense, the concept is inscribed in a long history of philosophical and political reflection on the concept of Europe. . . . In many versions [of a definition] the emphasis is on Europe as a distinctive cultural entity united by shared values, culture, and identity. Many have come to see the enlargement of the European Union as a way of Europeanizing the states that were once behind the Iron Curtain. Once a new state becomes an EU member, it should have achieved certain norms, which now allow it to be called “European.” By joining the EU, as Kuus (2004) notes, the new member states, moving into Europe, seek to shift the border between Europe and Eastern Europe. One can debate whether this truly is the case. New member states such as Romania and Bulgaria (often considered Eastern Europe) do not have the same level economically or socially, if compared to Sweden or the United Kingdom. Furthermore, thinking in these terms once again forces us toward a definition. The inclusion of a state in the EU as European, however, implies that whatever is outside of the EU is not European – leading to greater inconsistencies in the conceptualization.

The debate: starting to reconcile the inconsistencies The etymological meaning of Eastern Europe shows us that re-conceptualizing a geographical and political idea is a process that is most often not undertaken consciously and requires time. Clearly, referring to Eastern Europe as a bloc of countries situated to the east of Germany (or Poland) is inaccurate – economically, politically, geographically and socially. It has become outdated to use the term Eastern Europe to refer to “otherness” or something that is between Europe and the orient. It is obvious that we need to find a new framework to understand our shared reference points when describing the region. History, with its shifting borders and migrating culture and ideas, does not allow us to label consistently this region. However, it will be too difficult, and even impractical, to do away with the usage of the term altogether. A solution, therefore, must be found somewhere in the middle. Using the term Central Europe helps redefine the region between Western and Eastern Europe, but one can also question whether that adds to the confusion, creating a third

74  Adam Reichardt category of “neitherness” – neither Western nor Eastern. Nevertheless, it is important to reflect upon all current frameworks and understandings from various perspectives, including those from within the region. This can be done with debate and dialogue from the Central European perspective, as well as recognization of the Western and Eastern perspectives in the discussion. This chapter aims to add to the debate surrounding how this concept is understood, focus on its roots from various angles, and provide a blueprint for reframing this idea from a Central European point of view. It is true that we may come to the conclusion that there is no solution to this problem. Obviously, this exercise will not be able to provide the answer to the question of “Where is Eastern Europe”, but hopefully, it will provide readers and stakeholders with a chance to find a more precise reference point in their individual search for directions.

References Ash, T. G. (1986) “Does Central Europe Exist?” New York Review of Books, 9 October. Casert, R. (2012) “Truckers Protest Competition From East Europe”, Mercury News, 24 September, [Online] www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21617854/truckers-pro test-competition-from-eastern-europe, Available 3 October 2012. Kuus, M. (2004) “Europe’s Eastern Expansion and the Reinscription of Otherness in EastCentral Europe”, Progress in Human Geography, vol. 4, no. 28, pp. 472–489. Lovasz, A. (2012) “Eastern Europe Remains Vulnerable to Euro Crisis, Capital Says”, Bloomberg.com, 19 September, [Online] www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-19/easterneurope-remains-vulnerable-to-euro-crisis-capital-says.html, Available 2 October 2012. Patran, I. and Vadului, G. (2012) “Can Romania Become Eastern Europe’s New Bordeaux?” Reuters News, 2 October, [Online] www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/02/uk-wine-roma nia-idUSLNE89101X20121002, Available 3 October 2012. Pollack, M. (2011) “East Meets West”, New Eastern Europe, no. 1/(I), October–December. Said, Edward (1978). Orientalism. New York, NY: Pantheon Books. Stråth, B. (2002) “A European Identity: To the Historical Limits of a Concept”, European Journal of Social Theory, vol. 5, no. 4, p. 387. Wolff, L. (1994) Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

7 Problem of “Western” approach to the “East” A need for more careful listening and better understanding Igor Lyubashenko The enlargement of the EU in 2004 has cleared the term “Eastern Europe” slightly. At the moment, probably the most popular but also straightforward way to define it is to associate the term with the countries covered by the Eastern Partnership initiative. Nevertheless, the very concept of the “East” remains quite vague in the eyes of wider public opinion. When we “zoom out” and look at the whole continent from the broader perspective, the boundaries of the “East” are not evident. “East” undoubtedly remains a niche theme in the Western part of Europe (which is nothing new for the centre–periphery relations). The perception of the Eastern part of the continent is often limited to “emerging markets”, that are politically, legally and economically unstable and thus too risky for most investors. Although “emerging markets” are not regarded in exclusively negative terms (they provide exciting opportunities along with huge threats) (cf. Zashev and Ehrstedt 2010: 201–230), “East” undoubtedly lacks the best image. The best proof could be seen during the 2012 European football championship co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine. A well-known BBC film about racism and aggression on stadiums of both countries, called Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate has exemplified the general perception of the “East” by the “West”. In practice, Ukraine appeared to be a much less popular destination for football fans than Poland. “East” has become less unequivocal, there are now “more and less Eastern” parts of it from the perspective of an average Western European. A look at the central part of the continent provides a more nuanced understanding of the concept of the “East”. If we take Poland as an example, we will see that the concept is always present in the political debate, as well as in political practice. Both are usually performed with sentiments, referring to the universal history. In this case, the concept seems to remain under the strong influence of two factors. First of all, due to the latest history, awareness of being a part of the “East” is still strong in Poland. It is a source of both complexes and strengths. Being part of the East is a universal excuse for failures of modernisation, and it has also been a basis for the demand for more support from the West in terms of financial programmes, as well as special attention to our needs. On the other hand, it is also becoming more often a reference point to tell the “success story” of Polish transformation. Secondly, any debate about the “East” is strongly influenced

76  Igor Lyubashenko by a traditional concept of “prometheism” (Mieroszewski 1997), that is supporting independence and modernisation of Poland’s eastern neighbours, and more recently – sharing a mentioned “success story” with them. Undoubtedly, in the Central European version, the concept of the “East” assumes a special position of Russia, which is often regarded as an adversary. Both Western and Central European perceptions of the “East” are based on a different depth of understanding and various political motivations. But they are common in regarding the “East” as a certain entity possessing a set of common features. Such perception is being translated into some policy initiatives that are predominantly focused on reducing the existing differences by transferring Western know-how and are usually designed in accordance with the “one-size-fits-all” (Longhurst 2008) principle. However, a final look at the eastern part of the continent (that is from outside the eastern border of the EU) will present a somehow different point of view. Using Ukraine as an example, it is possible to say that the concept of the “East” virtually did not exist in the public debate here. For example, you can hardly find any analytical or academic institution that focuses on something like “Eastern studies” in Ukraine.1 Although the awareness of differences and barriers existing in that part of the continent exist, they are usually described with terms referring to a dichotomy “European–Eurasian” (Zolkina 2014). Most importantly, outside the relatively narrow circle of pro-European activists, it is hard to find a perception of the “West” as a destination point for transformation efforts, especially in the conditions of the recent economic troubles in the EU (these facts may suggest a strong influence of Russian narratives). It is also worth noting that you will not find any reference to an academic community of Eastern European nations, except for sentiments about the former Soviet “fraternity of nations”. Such a sentimentdriven concept lacks any positive political, social or economic programme. Being oriented to the past, it cannot serve as a basis for building constructive relations with the rest of the continent. Like many other concepts (e.g., BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India, China), the concept of the “East” in the European context is artificial. It is designed to distinguish the different quality of economic, social and political processes in a certain part of the European continent and try to influence them. Indeed, countries covered by the Eastern Partnership initiative significantly differ from their Central and Western European counterparts. Neither of them has managed to build a stable liberal democracy. They can all be characterised as more or less undecided about the direction of their further development. At the same time, it is impossible to ignore that these countries have chosen various ways of development, and twenty years after the fall of the USSR, heterogeneity is becoming deeper and often irreversible. The most evident differences are between “Euro-enthusiastic” (at least on a rhetorical level) countries like Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and “Euro-sceptic” Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus (International Renaissance Foundation 2013). At a sectoral level, the differences are tremendous; there are many success stories (e.g., fighting corruption and improvement of investment climate in Georgia) and

“Western” approach to the “East” 77 failures (e.g., lack of fundamental economic reforms in Ukraine). Furthermore, there is virtually no dynamic regional cooperation between these countries. As we can see, the concept of the “East” seems to omit some important aspects of political processes taking place in that part of the continent. The main implication of the problem is not associated with any negative stereotypes that hamper the image of countries that are regarded as “Eastern” (that could be read as “worse”) ones. The main threat is associated with generalisation, focusing on a set of superficial similarities that exist between Eastern European states and, at the same time, distinguishing them from the rest of the continent. And it is the “West”, and more specifically the EU and its external policies, that may potentially suffer from this problem. The EU continues operating with the term “East” and developing new programmes and initiatives that reflect the external perception of Eastern Europe rather than its genuine problems. In practice, the EU failed to design a genuinely regional, multilateral approach towards its Eastern neighbourhood. Relations with them remain de facto bilateral, and very often they are pushed into a common framework to create an impression of an existing strong common denominator. The “West” pays too much attention to evident disparities of political nature visà-vis the “East”. Although they are important, it is necessary to admit that one cannot expect a quick shift in post-Soviet politics. The EU is focusing on the dialogue between the elites, assuming that societies expect “Western-like changes” by default. And this is not quite evident, as already mentioned above. The truth is that the effort of the whole society is needed to achieve genuine reforms according to the EU’s expectations. But the “West” often fails to hear the societies of those countries signalling problems which appear to be more urgent from their perspectives. Not surprisingly, the political dialogue between the “West” and the “East” of Europe is often carried on in de facto different languages. It is concentrated among political elites, which is an outdated form of communication in the 21st century. As a result, we try to define a working strategy to deal with the “East”, but we usually fail to react quickly to newly emerging problems. To achieve it, a better understanding of specific features of each particular Eastern European state is essential. In the context of deliberations on the essence of the concept of the “East”, one cannot omit the turbulent political experience of Ukraine at the end of 2013 to the beginning of 2014 (the Euromaidan uprising and the rise of Russia-sponsored separatism in the Eastern regions of the country afterwards). These events have opened a new chapter in the history of Europe and may significantly redefine the legitimacy of the traditional understanding of the “East”, highlighting the timeliness of the above-mentioned problems. On the one hand, the wide protest movement that emerged after the decision of Ukrainian authorities to suspend negotiations on the Association Agreement with the EU became proof of great political and civic maturity of the society that is traditionally regarded as “Eastern”. On a wave of emotions accompanying the bloodshed in the Kyiv’s central square in February 2014, a popular claim was that

78  Igor Lyubashenko “Ukrainians are probably the only citizens of Europe ready to die for the idea of the European community” (Kolenda-Zaleska 2014). This was nothing but a surprise – Eastern Europeans appear to be more “Western” than respectable citizens of the “old Europe”, trying to export their values to the post-Soviet space over the last quarter of a century. On the other hand, one may argue that the protest movement itself, as well as the events afterwards, came to support the traditional understanding of divisions within Ukrainian society (pro-European West vs. pro-Russian East). Indeed, available research suggests that around half of the country’s population supported the Euromaidan. Furthermore, there was (and still is) a clear geographic disproportion – the support for protests was much smaller in the eastern regions.2 And then, several weeks later, these areas became a source of a disease of pro-Russian separatism. The support for new authorities was the lowest here.3 Is it not an absolute confirmation that the “East” is different, that Ukrainian events could eventually be extrapolated to the bigger scale (East and West of Europe represent different civilisational models that can coexist only if the one does not interfere in internal affairs of the other)? Such understanding of events is, however, an oversimplification. When interpreting statistical data, we tend not to pay much attention to minorities. But it is the minorities that are important here. Neither the support of “pro-European orientation” is absolute in the west of Ukraine, nor is the support of the “Russian Spring”4 absolute in the east. Should we hypothetically divide Ukraine into two – seemingly natural – parts, the problem will repeat on that new smaller scale. There will always remain “pro-Westerners” and “pro-Easterners”; it is nothing special in a pluralist society. The problem lays in the dominating definition of these divisions using geographic terms. In fact, these divisions have rather civilisational, cultural and even generational nature. The latter is probably one of the most important outcomes of Ukrainian revolution, which resulted in political activation of the new generation of Ukrainians – in both eastern and western parts of the country (Lyubashenko 2014). The analysis that is much more accurate would be based on the concept of path dependence (Pierson 2000). In this case, we would have to pay much more attention to social, economic and political background and the experiences of societies, which is far from pure geopolitical determinism. Despite the mentioned enthusiasm about recent Ukrainian revolution, it is extremely hard to predict its final result. At the moment when these words are being written (July  2014), the transition of Ukrainian political system towards democracy is far from being evident. If for a moment we return to the “eagle’s eye” perspective on Europe, we will see that the crisis has also revived the spirit of the Cold War. It is thus not possible to exclude that we will return once again to good old East–West division of the continent. It might be comfortable because of its intellectual simplicity, clarity and relative ease to manage foreign policy in such conditions (maintaining complex relations based on advanced interdependence is a much tougher task). From this perspective, we should answer a question whether we have an ambition to actively shape the political reality of the continent, or simply take it as it seemingly is, basing our attitudes on simple sketches of reality, closing eyes on nuances. If the first option is better, we should avoid basing our views on the East–West dichotomy.

“Western” approach to the “East”  79 It is impossible to avoid speaking about the “East”. It is essential however to change the paradigm of using the term, which is a part of dominating mental map describing different parts of the continent. The probable result of the current crises in Europe will be a redefinition of the understanding of Europe and its particular parts. It is important that terms like “East” or “West” describe not geopolitical or geoeconomic regions, but the simple geography of the European continent. Instead, a more accurate system of references is needed, taking into account the will and readiness of each particular political system and society to face the dynamically changing reality and to invent ways to cope with these changes. Such an approach should be extended to all of Europe, including the mentioned Eastern neighbours of the EU as well as Russia. In practice, it would allow the EU to design a kind of “multi-speed” policy towards its Eastern Neighbours that would take into account preferences of particular societies and thus be more oriented to solving concrete problems.

Notes 1 One should note that after the outbreak of the armed conflict in Donbas, the term “East” became much more widespread in Ukrainian public debate, becoming a substitute of different terms used to describe the zone of conflict. 2 According to research conducted by Kyiv-based Democratic Initiatives Foundation. 3 According to the Democratic Initiatives Foundations, about 70% of inhabitants of Donetsk and Luhansk regions did not recognize the legitimacy of Ukrainian interim government created in March 2014. 4 A term used in Russian mass media to describe alleged uprising of Russian-speaking minorities in the east of Ukraine.

References International Renaissance Foundation. (2013) European Integration Index 2013 for Eastern Partnership Countries, [Online] www.eap-index.eu/images/Index_2013.pdf, Available 15 August 2014. Kolenda-Zaleska, K. (2014) “Nie ma Europy bez Kijowa”, Gazeta Wyborcza, 25 February, [Online] http://wyborcza.pl/1,75968,15520826,Nie_ma_Europy_bez_Kijowa.html, Available 15 March 2014. Longhurst, K. (2008) “Injecting More Differentiation in European Neighbourhood Policy: What Consequences for Ukraine?” Russie.Nei.Visions, no. 32. Lyubashenko, I. (2014) “Contemporaries of Independence”, New Eastern Europe, vol. XII, no. 3, pp. 87–92. Mieroszewski, J. (1997) Finał klasycznej Europy. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej. Pierson, P. (2000), “Increasing Returns, Path Dependence, and the Study of Politics”, The American Political Science Review, vol. 94, no. 2, pp. 251–267. Zashev, P. and Ehrstedt, S. (2010) “The First Mover in New Emerging Markets: Balancing Risks Versus Opportunities in the Case of Belarus”, Journal of East-West Business, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 201–230. Zolkina, M. (2014) “Yevropeyska intehratsiya yak potentsial dlya konsolidatsiyi ukrayinskoho suspilstva”, Hromadska dumka, vol. 22, no. 2 pp. 1–12.

8 Poland and the East Tomasz Zarycki

The way “East” is understood in contemporary Poland tends to reflect the standard mechanisms of orientalism already well described by authors as such Edward Said (Said 1978), Maria Todorova (Todorova 1997) and Larry Wolff (Wolff 1994). The Polish “East”, in whatever way it is defined, is almost always seen as an external negative significant other. It is backward, poor, dirty, nationalistic or post-communist, aggressive, often dangerous and unpredictable. The fundamental opposition between a modern and rational Western Europe and an irrational and gloomy Eastern Europe is very much alive, and I cannot see any possibility to overcome it in the foreseeable future. The status of being “West European” or at least “Central European” is among the key stakes in any symbolic game in that part of Europe. Everyone wants to be recognized as “Western European,” for its style of dress, identity, or origin. Not only individuals but also institutions, social movements, communities, regions, and villages aspire to be more “Western” than their counterparts and competitors in respective fields. What differs among them in most cases are strategies of achieving this recognition of their “Westness”. A classic example of this is the Polish political scene, where two main political camps currently compete. These two camps are led by the liberal Civic Platform and the conservative Law and Justice party. While the conservative camp can be, for several reasons, called Euro-skeptical, it would be difficult to call it antiWestern or anti-European (Zarycki 2011). Polish conservatives may be critical of many EU policies and of the idea of a European Federation, but at the same time, they consider themselves nonetheless more European than their liberal opponents, whom they accuse of being “imitative” in their uncritical following of fashionable liberal ideas coming from the West. Conservatives, rather than supporting a tightening of EU integration or policies oriented towards a closer partnership with Germany, prefer to build their “Western European” credentials on historical motives. These include, first of all, the heritage of the First Rzeczpospolita as a European power, or the myth of the Polish–Bolshevik War, in which Polish forces allegedly “saved Europe” from Eastern barbarians. At the same time, conservatives depict themselves as defenders of “true” European values, which they usually link to the heritage of Western Christianity. Both sides of the central Polish political cleavage imagine themselves as “better” and “more authentic” Europeans, and both see the “East” as the antithesis

Poland and the East 81 of Europe. In effect, they both regularly engage in practices of orientalization of their respective “easts”. Since the way they define “east” may differ, their orientalisms are also distinct. Conservative orientalism tends to demonize Russia and its various historical incarnations, from the Duchy of Muscovy to the Soviet Union and the contemporary Russian Federation, as equally barbaric and imperialistic (Zarycki 2004). At the same time, this conservatism tends to embrace the traditional Polish discourse of Kresy or the Eastern Borderlands. The notion of “Kresy” refers to the eastern regions of the historical lands of the First Rzeczpospolita, which currently belong to Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine (Gross 1978). The “Kresy discourse” may be seen as a form of the classic Polish myth of the East viewed as a lost paradise and a frontier region comparable to the American western “moving frontier” (Turner 1893), the German Eastern Prussian borderland (Kallis 2000) or Russian Siberia (Bassin 1993). This region is imagined as a multicultural region, in which Polish culture dominated and represented Western civilization (Bakuła 2007). The entire region is typically viewed in conservative discourses as an area that may, until today, claim some degree of moral and cultural superiority over Russia. This is because of its formative experience as part of the multicultural, and Western in its essence, Polish-dominated First Rzeczpospolita or the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Liberal orientalism is much milder and usually less overt. It may even involve a critique of some of the forms of conservative orientalism. In particular, liberals, for whom the works of Jan Sowa (Sowa 2011) seem very representative, tend to distance themselves from the more conservative and orientalizing forms of the Kresy discourse. Some of them may even reject it entirely and criticize the historical role that Poles played in the region. They refer to the First Rzeczpospolita as imperialistic and usually follow the French historian Daniel Beauvois (Beauvois 2003) in condemning social hierarchies in the region, which often involved Polish landowners exploiting non-Polish peasants. While the liberals may be critical of some aspects of Polish history and less fearful of contemporary Russia, I would argue that they also usually reproduce the underlying but naturalized narrative of “civilized Western Europe” and a “backward East.” In liberal discourses, however, it typically assumes a form of paternalistic projects of “Europeanization” of the countries of the former Soviet Union. Even if they involve some elements of partnership or cooperation between “East” and “West”, what is supposed to be “exchanged” between the two sides is usually far from symmetrical. Poles offer to their eastern neighbors Western values, civil society competences and European know-how in different areas (Zarycki 2014). What they expect from their eastern partners in exchange is usually restricted to the realm of culture, spirituality, and historical heritage. In most cases Russia is considered an inferior civilization, and “progress” is defined as moving the countries and societies of the region from “Eastern European backwardness” to “Western European modernity.” Similar patterns may be observed in the area of Eastern Poland. As its indicators of economic and social development are lower than Poland’s average, this region is usually considered backward and seen as an internal Polish manifestation of the syndrome of “Eastern European backwardness.” This backwardness is generally

82  Tomasz Zarycki attributed to its “Eastness”, defined in cultural and “mental” terms and linked to the heritage of the Russian Empire, which controlled that part of Poland in the 19th century. In his seminal Inventing Eastern Europe: the Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment Larry Wolff (Wolff 1994) argued that the negative stereotype of Eastern Europe was invented by Enlightenment intellectuals during the 18th century and has been reproduced, since that time, over and over again. Its current vitality, however, is not so much an effect of pure inertia of the mechanisms of cultural reproduction. At a closer glance, the intensity of negative stereotyping of this part of the continent as backward “East” appears to vary considerably in time. The dynamics of this variance can be linked to the changing balance of power between the regions of Central and Eastern Europe or the Eastern European periphery and the European core. The more unequal this relationship is, in particular in periods following crises of Eastern European projects of building autonomous poles of power, the greater the intensity of Orientalist stereotypes increases and “Eastern” notions assume an increasing status of insulting adjectives. Several attempts have been made at creating an autonomous growth pole in the eastern periphery or an “Eastern European Empire” aspiring to compete with the Western European core. These have included the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (known as the First Rzeczpospolita), the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Periods of the slow decline of two of these projects (First Rzeczpospolita and the Soviet Union) were usually marked by a rise of orientalism towards this part of Europe and also a resulting self-orientalism. In particular, the emergence of the first wave of negative stereotyping of Eastern Europe in the 18th century, as described by Wolff, seems to be closely related to the fall of the project of the First Rzeczpospolita and the subsequent crisis of its symbolic status. On the other hand, in periods of successful development of the above mentioned alternative East European projects, such as at the peak of Rzeczpospolita’s might in 16th century, the late Russian Empire, which was marked by an unprecedented economic boom that ended abruptly in 1914, or the height of the power of the Soviet Union in 1960s, orientalism towards the region decreased. During some moments, the region even reached an ability to exert its symbolic influence on the outside world and attempt to promote its models of universalism. Atilla Melegh, in his On the East-West slope: Globalization, narration, racism and discourses on Central and Eastern Europe (Melegh 2006), documented how the gradual demise of the Soviet Empire resulted in the subsequent fall of the symbolic status of the entire region and caused an intensification of its orientalization and self-orientalization. One of the turning points in this process can be seen in the events of 1968, in particular, the invasion of Czechoslovakia, when communist ideology suffered a critical loss of symbolic capital among the Western public. In the late 1970s, the economic dependence of the region on the Western core intensified and even further eroded confidence in the communist project as an alternative to Western capitalism. On the other hand, the emergence of “Central European” identity projects, best exemplified by Milan Kundera’s concept of the “kidnapping of Central Europe”

Poland and the East  83 (Kundera 1984), which peaked in popularity in the 1980s, can be seen as a result of the symbolic crisis of the Soviet Empire, which stimulated a search for new identities among intellectual elites in the region. All those who were able to argue about being located closer to the Western core rather than to Moscow, or any other of their significant symbolical others, started to look for new identities and ideological projects that could move them symbolically nearer to the triumphant West and further distance them from the weakening and eventually defeated Soviet Empire. I would argue that the current intensity of orientalism in this part of the continent − where no one wants to be Eastern, and almost everyone claims to be Western or, at least, Central European and surely more Western than one’s competitors  – is primarily a function of the economic weakness of the region and its dependence on the Western core, which can be seen in several dimensions, including many aspects of politics and culture. The economies of Central European states are strongly dependent on Western capital, which makes their development a process of never-ending “catch-up” with the West (Böröcz 2012). These economies mostly provide a cheap labor force for European core states. Russia retains a higher degree of economic autonomy, but it is gradually transforming itself into a reservoir of natural resources of Western economies. At the same time, most centers of science and technology, which existed in the region during the communist period, have disappeared or have been transformed into peripheral sub-contractors of Western companies. In this context, the negative stereotyping of the “East”, irrespective of how it is defined, is not so much a product of some cultural or mental inertia or persistence of some “old” and “false” myths about the East. Rather, it is a product of the structures of economic and political power and dependence, which are currently being reinforced in Europe. Another part of the continent, whose relative position in relation to the Western European core is weakening, is Southern Europe. In effect, we observe a reinforcement of the negative stereotypes of Greece, Spain, and Southern Italy, which are, more than ever, depicted as “lazy” or “backward.” Historical and orientalizing stereotypes are mobilized in discourses critical of the region, just as in the case of so-called Central and Eastern European countries. While economic and political power relations seem to be the primary source of the negative stereotypes of the East or South in contemporary Europe, one can, of course, also point to a reverse relationship. These stereotypes, in many cases, weaken the power of these regions, countries and institutions in their interactions with Western partners. A good case in point is Poland’s entry into the Schengen agreement. It is hard to point to its tangible benefits for Poland, given that its citizens have been able to travel freely across all of Western Europe since 1992. The costs for Poland, both economic and political, however, were tangible. The emergence of a new Iron Curtain on the eastern border of Poland cut it off from the entire region, in particular from neighboring Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, where Poland has historically had a wider spectrum of political, cultural and economic interests. At the same time, the closure of the border resulted in a deepening economic crisis in the entire region of Eastern Poland, which has been heavily

84  Tomasz Zarycki dependent on trade with Poland’s eastern neighbors. To ask for reconsideration of Poland’s membership in the Schengen zone is, however, politically inconceivable. This is because its symbolic gains are widely perceived as surpassing any economic and political costs. In particular, because Poland is included in Schengen, its symbolic “Eastness” is considerably decreased, and it can symbolically distance itself from more Eastern countries of the continent. With this example, a key mechanism of the reinforcement of economic dependence on the Western core is clearly visible. It is based on the readiness of most Poles to pay a high economic and political price for acts of symbolic recognition of their “Westness”, which supposedly decreases the stigma of “Eastness”. In conclusion, “East” in the current context of Eastern European periphery does not have any fixed designation. “East” and Eastern are purely relative notions very loosely linked to traditional geographic topography. To use the language of Pierre Bourdieu, they are deeply naturalized tools of symbolic violence enabling the Western European core to legitimize dominance over its peripheries. At the same time, a general deprecation of the notion of “East” allows its use as a symbolic tool of stigmatization in some local contexts and autonomous fields. In many instances, in effect, one can be geographically located much closer to the Western European core but still be on the losing side in some particular symbolic game between individuals, institutions, communities, regions or countries.

References Bakuła, B. (2007) “Colonial and Postcolonial Aspects of Polish Discourse on Eastern ‘Borderlands’ ”, in Korek, J. (ed.) From Sovietology to Postcoloniality: Poland and Ukraine From a Postcolonial Perspective. Stockholm: Södertörns högskola, pp. 41–57. Bassin, M. (1993) “Turner, Solov’ev, and the ‘Frontier Hypothesis’: The Nationalist Signification of Open Spaces”, The Journal of Modern History, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 473–511. Beauvois, D. (2003) Pouvoir russe et noblesse polonaise en Ukraine: 1793–1830. Paris: CNRS. Böröcz, J. (2012) “Hungary in the European Union: ‘Catching Up’, Forever”, Economic & Political Weekly, vol. XLVII, no. 23, pp. 22–25. Gross, F. (1978) “Kresy: The Frontier of Eastern Europe”, Polish Review, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 3–16. Kallis, A. A. (2000) Fascist Ideology: Territory and Expansionism in Italy and Germany, 1922–1945. London: Routledge. Kundera, M. (1984) “The Tragedy of Central Europe”, New York Review of Books, 26 April 1984, pp. 33–38. Melegh, A. (2006) On the East-West Slope: Globalization, Narration, Racism and Discourses on Central and Eastern Europe. Budapest and New York: CEU Press. Said, E. W. (1978) Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books. Sowa, J. (2011) Fantomowe ciało króla: Peryferyjne zmagania z nowoczesną formą. Kraków: Universitas. Todorova, M. N. (1997) Imagining the Balkans. New York: Oxford University Press. Turner, F. J. (1893) “The Significance of the Frontier in American History”, Annual Report of the American Historical Association, pp. 199–227.

Poland and the East  85 Wolff, L. (1994) Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Zarycki, T. (2004) “Uses of Russia: The Role of Russia in the Modern Polish National Identity”, East European Politics and Societies, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 595–627. Zarycki, T. (2011) “From Soviet to a Western-Dominated Political Scene: The Geopolitical Context of Politics in Poland”, in Törnquist-Plewa, B. and Stala, K. (eds.) Cultural Transformations After Communism: Central and Eastern Europe in Focus. Lund: Nordic Academic Press, pp. 82–108. Zarycki, T. (2014) Ideologies of Eastness in Central and Eastern Europe. London: Routledge.

9 The East in the Czech perspective Radomír Sztwiertnia

The term East is permanently ingrained in Czech discourse and exemplifies more than historical experience, political ideas or cultural affiliation of the country. Often it could be found in acerbic reflections of internal tension between the centre and the periphery, which has its irrational foundations especially in the economic condition of individual Czech regions. This way one might, depending on the context, hear that the East begins outside Prague or across the Morava river. East (often interchanged with Asia) means for the capital city’s residents Moravia; for Moravians on the other hand, East could be simply just neighbouring Slovakia. In this regard, the term East is associated with such attributes as, for example, backwardness, ignorance, or coarseness of speech and behaviour. It is generally believed, that the further east from the Czech lands, the worse quality of anything that falls into our minds. Of course it is only stereotyped thinking, which is, however, still present in Czech consciousness. However, the main focus of the convoluted and ambiguous semantic field lies in the metaphor of the Czech lands’ return to Europe after 1989 Velvet Revolution. The aim of this chapter is to highlight the importance of the notion of East from the current perspective of the Czech Republic. After World War II, Czechoslovakia was incorporated into the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union. From the East came liberation, hope, peace and a better future. Ex oriente pax. In 1968, however, a rescue of socialism by armies of the Warsaw Pact officially showed that brotherly help came from that direction. Zdeněk Mlynář stated in the late 1970s that from the East (the Kremlin) is coming frost. In the 1980s, when the country was still in the shadow of the Soviet empire and the world was rigidly reduced to the East and West, Milan Kundera (1984) tried to resist this perspective. He argued that the Czechs and Slovaks would never identify themselves with East. Hence this would lead to the loss of the essence of identity. He claimed that the Central Europeans, among which ranked, as well the Poles and Hungarians, belong to the area of Western culture and that West had been kidnapped from that area. He considers it as the tragedy of Central Europe, which remains culturally West (Europe) but lies politically in the east. East then is perceived as anti-Europe. Central keyword after the November revolution – a return to Europe, a shift from the periphery to the centre, was intended to legitimize dramatic political,

The East in the Czech perspective 87 social and economic changes. Above all, it should stress the continuation of the tradition of interwar Czechoslovakia, which was perceived as a bastion of democracy and Western civilization in the Central European wilderness. The aim was thus to break with the communist past. History has become a key theme of the new transitive situation. According to Kundera, Central Europeans were victims and outsiders of great history. After the Second World War, the new history of the East was created and interpreted in the region – history of popular democracy and socialism. After 1989, on the contrary, the main effort concerned a deconstruction of history1 (Havel 1990), a new articulation of own identity, in which own experience of the past, ideas about themselves and especially about the West as a source of wealth were mirrored. The images are full of trauma, but also high expectations. A guiding motive of Czech efforts to return to Europe was bound with the struggle to get rid of the burden of links with the East. The natural result of the transition to democracy was a rupture of asymmetric ties with the Soviet Union through the Warsaw Pact and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and, in particular, the departure of Red Army units from Czechoslovakia. Another burden, according to some authors, proved to be a bundle with Slovakia. The final breakup of the state was perceived as facilitating integration with Western structures (Novák 2009). The motto of the return to Europe became a subject of extensive public debate, but the political elite could not make much practical difference between several platforms of European cooperation, in particular, the difference between the supranational European Community and the intergovernmental Council of Europe. The essence of the integration process eluded both the old (ignorance) and the new Democratic elites who were not prepared for development in the European Communities (EC). Government policy has lived in the illusion that a return to democracy and a market economy would enable quick and smooth integration with the EC. Nevertheless, the response of the EC (protection of its interests, the market, the not fixing the date of accession, or other commitments) put a damper on bold Czech plans. The initial vision of Europe promoted by Václav Havel and Jiří Dienstbier aimed at softening boundaries and European Democratic unity by common cultural values in all their diversity (Dienstbier 1990). Czechoslovakia promoted the idea of a collective European security committee by the Helsinki process. After the fall of the USSR, however, the disillusionment of idealistic ideas prevailed, and country shifted towards integration with NATO and the EC. This change was also reflected in the political discourse. The meaning of “we” still lies at the beginning of the 1990s in the Central and Eastern Europe. But soon after, fundamental changes of the meaning “we” were prima facie. Czechoslovakia and subsequently the Czech Republic considered herself as a part of the West, as the ever-present contrast to the East. Václav Havel clearly pointed out in 1993 that “[Central European countries] form a continuous area, which is indeed an integral part of the Western European cultural circle, that still bordered on one side with a traditionally turbulent Balkans and on the other side with a large zone of cultural EurasianEast where the path to civil society and democracy is due to some historically

88  Radomír Sztwiertnia understandable reasons somewhat complicated. Central Europe is today thanks to the fact something that could be called the first line of the struggle for democracy and stability in Europe” (Havel 1993). In 1999, the Baltic States, Romania and Bulgaria were also enlisted to the West by Havel. However, this point of view was rather unique. What the society agreed with, however, was the meaning of “them”. It referred to the East, especially Russia. The essence of its new Central European identity was, therefore, an understanding of itself as part of the West. A sense of shared destiny with neighbouring countries was fixed by the creation of the Visegrád Group, which was, however, in the mid-1990s put at the back seat. Pro-European policy, however, was a constant orientation of Czech diplomacy throughout the 1990s. Czech politicians long regarded their country as the most politically and economically advanced country of the former communist block and believed that the “West” had to acknowledge it by accepting the Czech Republic in their structures (NATO and EU) earlier than other post-communist countries of Central Europe. According to Havel, this conviction was a manifestation of pride. “We behaved like Primus, top students or spoiled singletons who have the right to elevate above all others and teach. This pride was in a peculiar manner combined with a sort of petty-bourgeois provincialism. We’ve split such close political cooperation with our closest neighbours – I mean what is called Visegrád – because we felt to be better than them” (Havel 1993). The legacy of the star pupil feeling persists to some extent to this day. It might be linked to extraordinary lack of interest in what is happening in other countries of the former Eastern bloc (except Slovakia). Despite the fact that countries like Romania and Bulgaria are also members of the European Union, there is a prevailing negative perception of their societies with ascribed high level of corruption, low political culture, clientelism, among others. Their belonging to the West is questionable. Whenever the Czech Republic is compared to geographically more eastern countries, the politicians and journalists protest against it. This also applies in the case of comparisons with the Baltic States. Criticism from the West is taken very negatively by the Czechs. Besides analyses of the economic situation, there is often seen an evaluation of political culture and the condition of human rights in particular (i.e., discrimination of the Roma minority). It is not important to examine the validity of such reservations. The key seems to be an understanding of the Western position and its arguments. Regardless of naming the region Central Europe or the Danube region, all countries are simply lumped together. Are not the new members from the East still regarded as strangers, as those who thwart successful integration of the West and threaten its core essence? Eastern Europe as follows, according to some Western commentators, is threatened by economic collapse (Argentina on the Danube) or interferes with political correctness (or maturity) by its representatives’ pettiness, awkwardness and search of bad publicity (the case of Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán, Czech President Václav Klaus or the Kaczyński brothers from Poland) (The Economist 2009a). In the case of the Czech Republic, part of the domestic elite considers voice from the West as the proper and legitimate perception of reality characterised by certain political deviance or pathological manifestations

The East in the Czech perspective  89 of post-communist identity. Václav Havel characterizes the dark face of the Czech soul, which is affected by provincialism, isolationism and egoism, illusion a sort of sly neutrality, traditional myopia and jingoism (Havel 1997). However, there prevails rejection of the critics from the West, emphasizing that the Czech Republic does not belong to the East geographically, culturally or politically. In the second half of the 1990s, Czech diplomacy began to focus on the issue of human rights violations in the world. This could be interpreted as a continuation of the legacy of dissidents who were devoted to human rights problems in the mid-1970s. Thus, the aim of foreign policy was to support the opposition in non-democratic regimes, such as in Cuba or Belarus. The Czech Republic was seen as the main actor in the international human rights promotion, which had also become a key contribution to the common EU foreign policy. Although the interest in human rights in the world weakened after President Havel departed from office, echoes of those efforts could be heard in lukewarm support of the EU Eastern Partnership. That initiative was to be the continuation of the activist policy towards the East, whose aim was to rip states on the periphery of the Russian Empire from the sphere of influence of the Kremlin. What is typical for Czech understanding of the notion east? On the political level after 1989, the shaping ideas were influenced by concerns about the continuing influence of the Soviet Union in the region and whole Europe as well. Czech society seems to follow the prevailing views of Russia which already appeared in the inter-war period. Philosopher and first Czechoslovak President T. G. Masaryk devoted considerable attention to Russia and Russian communism, especially that he warned against. Masaryk argued that a cultural primitivism of Russians could be associated with their deeply rooted disrespect for human life. Russian masses were, in his opinion, uneducated uncritical believers (Masaryk 2003). This nature had contributed, in his opinion, to the emergence of the Bolshevik oligarchy. After the Second World War, the concept of a bridge between East and West emerged in Czechoslovakia, championed by President Edvard Beneš, who was inspired, among other things, by thoughts that the country can go on the road to socialism without repeating the mistakes of the Soviet Union. After its collapse, Russia, as the successor, was rather neglected in Czechoslovakia, which resulted from the effort to abandon those bonds, which could keep the illusion of continuity with the East. Soon after, however, Russia ceases to be neglected, and there emerged a conviction that it is distant enough to be dangerous. Following the consolidation of power during the first presidency of Vladimir Putin, the feeling of distress returned, and it was particularly strengthened by dependence on supplies and resources from Russia. The public is continuously informed by Czech secret services about the activities of Russian spies in the country, which especially poses a threat to Czech internal security and economic interests. Moreover, public attitudes towards people from the east are rather negative. Citizens of the former Soviet Union living in the Czech Republic are likeable only for 30 % of Czechs (CVVM 2008). Among the least sympathetic nations then are Afghans, Turks, Kurds, Palestinians and Iraqis. Negative attitudes also apply to the Russians and Ukrainians (CVVM 2011).

90  Radomír Sztwiertnia Contemporary Europe cannot be an object of generalisation or ascription of unquestionable values or properties. At present, we are witnesses of attempts to break away opposition, such as small-large, peripheral-central, local-global or even east-west and north-south. The Czech Republic is still looking for its firm place in the family of European states. Sensitive to the presumed Easterness, they reserved the term East for contemporary Russia. Universality and affiliation of the Central European man to the West are based on Eastern Europeans’ reduction to bearers of special group identities characterized by backwardness, emotionality, and authoritarianism. In the case of some domestic problems in the Czech Republic, when a person feels hopeless or frustrated because of the unsuccessfully closed transition and consolidation of democracy, he or she slips easily to the conclusion that “we” are still the East. It is a specific assessment of the degree of social maturity and sensitivity to issues, such as human rights, and sensitivity to the individual destiny. The Czech Republic remains somewhere east of the West and west of the East.

Note 1 Václav Havel talks about the return of history and the historical victory of reason over historical absurdity (Havel 1990).

References “Argentina on the Danube?” (2009a) The Economist, 19 February, [Online] www.econo mist.com/node/13144925, Available 12 December 2012. “The Awkward Squad” (2009b) The Economist, 23 July, [Online] www.economist.com/ node/21525919, Available 12 December 2012. “The Awkward Squad” (2011) The Economist, 13 August, [Online] www.economist.com/ node/14098451, Available 12 December 2012. CVVM. (2008) Vztah k jiným národnostem I, [Online] www.cvvm.cas.cz/upl/ zpravy/100637s_ov70108.pdf, Available 12 December 2012. CVVM. (2011) Vztah Cechu k vybraným národnostem, [Online] www.cvvm.cas.cz/upl/ zpravy/101094s_ov110131.pdf, Available 12 December 2012. Dienstbier, J. (1990) Snění o Evropě. Praha: Lidové noviny. Havel, V. (1990) Projev prezidenta ČSFR Václava Havla v  Parlamentním shromáždění Rady Evropy, [Online] http://old.hrad.cz/president/Havel/speeches/index.html, Available 12 December 2013. Havel, V. (1993) Projev prezidenta republiky Václava Havla v Poslanecké sněmovně Parlamentu České republiky, [Online] http://old.hrad.cz/president/Havel/speeches/index. html, Available 12 December 2013. Havel, V. (1997) Projev prezidenta republiky Václava Havla k oběma komorám Parlamentu České republiky, [Online] http://old.hrad.cz/president/Havel/speeches/index. html, Available 12 December 2013. Kundera, M. (1984) “The Tragedy of Central Europe”, The New York Review of Books, vol. 31, no. 7, pp. 33–38. Masaryk, T. G. (2003) Cesta demokracie I. Praha: Masarykův ústav AV ČR. Novák, M. (2009) “Česká republika a její vztah k Evropské unii v 90: Letech”, in Brunclík, M. and Klíč, Z. (eds.) Z peryferie do centra Evropy. Praha: Cevro Institut, pp. 9–14.

10 On “East”, “Central” and “Eastern” Europe Belarus and Central European politics of identity Aliaksei Kazharski I remember one day, back in the happy post-Cold War 90s, I was killing time at the high school library, and I opened a US printed dictionary on “Eastern Europe”. The dictionary article included a map. From it I learned, with shame and dismay that, looking westwards from where I stood, “Eastern Europe” was delineated on both sides by Polish borders. Belarus was part of the gray background, as was Germany on the opposite side of Poland. That someone might have been hurt by not being included in Eastern Europe at this particular time, as Polish and Czech representatives at Brussels meetings were going all out to persuade the Eurocrats to use the term Central Europe instead, is both ironic and noteworthy. It points to the ultimately arbitrary nature of geopolitical vocabularies that acquire different meanings in different contexts. Indeed, for historical reasons, all three terms − “East”, “Central” and “Europe” − have received a somewhat different framing in Belarus – although, as I believe and as I will try to point out, their usage remains interpretable, and superficial differences, in fact, disguise deeper similarities in meaning and historical experience between “Central” and “Eastern” Europe. When some months ago I came across one Belarusian newspaper publishing something about “our little Central European country”, I  frowned slightly. The term was clearly out of place. Having been, in the previous couple of years – a faithful admirer, student and propagator of anything in the range from Apfelstrudel to XIX century dilemmas of Slovak national identity  – I  had learned how to think about regions and how they are distinguished. I  became sensitive and highly curious about the regional differences which reside tacitly in background everyday things like ways of serving food and coffee, habits of greeting and saying good-bye, idiomatic expressions and sentence constructions. Whether I would have been able to note and “collect” so many regional differences if I settled down a little closer to my home (let us say, in Warsaw, instead of Bratislava) is a just question. My perspective of what is nowadays conventionally called Central Europe was indeed narrow and limited. So, that time, musing at the newspaper article, I had a definite feeling that the term was being misused, that this transposition was arbitrary and illegitimate and that it was discrediting both the notion and the author. The uncomfortable feeling was enough to launch a new critical reflection on the concept, and, in the end,

92  Aliaksei Kazharski I asked myself: how far can this “concept stretching” be taken? Indeed, historically there are so many things in the Belarusian experience, which have indeed been very Central European –they were just never identified under this label. The term “Central Europe” was imported into our discourse at some stage. We have been learning to use it through Belarusian translations of Czesław Miłosz and Milan Kundera. But the fact that it did not become a mere passerby and that it has indeed stuck around, probably suggests a certain relevance that it bears for the Belarusian context and some affinity of historical experience with which it resonates. Needless to say, the term itself evades definition. The plurality of notions I came across (from “Apfelstrudel territory” to Kundera’s Cold War “rape of Europa”) sometimes leaves one to wonder whether this is not a classical language game (in the Wittgensteinian sense) whose meaning is invariably context-bound. I have a feeling, however, that to Belarusians, there is something in it that reveals certain very recognizable and well-known traces. Namely, a regionally shared collective experience is present, which has its roots in recent modernization and the regional “lagging behind” which has been historically attached to the Western European notion of “Eastern Europe”. One of the implications of recent modernization was the preservation of many traditional social and political structures that had long been recycled in the “core” Western countries. Within these anachronic structures, diverse ethnic and religious heterogeneity survived. This overlapped with social hierarchies and inequality. It was quite common for elites and the masses to be speakers of different native languages. This complex diversity not only contributed to the cultural richness of the region but also served as a source of potential conflict, as these “multicultural” societies entered the age of nationalism. Repressive cultural assimilation and ethnocentric politics became, for some time, a regional trait. The 20th century “re-arrangements” of the region along new and often arbitrary lines magnified a lasting existential fear, producing a feeling of being regularly hegemonized and overrun by greater powers − hence, Kundera’s notion of Central Europe as being composed of small nations whose very existence is never guaranteed. The concept of Central Europe as elaborated by Kundera (1984) is a powerful speech act that invokes a crucial layer of the local experience. The victimizing narrative of a kidnapped Central Europe lay the foundation for a whole set of successful identity politics in the post-Cold War period. Though its underlying historical experience is indeed crucial for the region, the narrative also unavoidably remains context specific. The touching image of small nations is binarized against the great geopolitical other looming in the East, as well as a particular reading of Europe that has lost the original cultural impetus preserved in Central Europe. Embedded in a specific historical experience, this snapshot leaves out other peculiar aspects of regional history. For example, the fact that the diminishing historical self-perception of small and vulnerable nations fits with some “Central Europeans” far better than with others. And, as a token of this, the fact that some small nations in the region have owned a share of their existential fear immediately to other “Central Europeans”. Practices of Polonization were a historical reality in Belarus − just as Magyarization was in Slovakia.

Central European politics of identity  93 In retrospect, specific regional diversity of Central Europe also brings about overlapping identities and clashing claims on the cultural legacy. And again, the regional quarrel over the nationality of Franz (Ferenc, František?) Lis(z)t made me chuckle at some point, as it looked almost like a carbon copy of the politicized debates regularly ignited in Belarus over the legacy of Adam Mickiewicz (also known in the region as Adam Mickievič or Adomas Mickevičius). It also reminded me of the overall futility of trying to apply nationalist lenses to the history of particular people, things and places. Shared cultural legacies are not always shared quickly. And when instrumentalized, their icons can become focal points for regional identity wars. But what of the “East” then? How does that category function in Central European and Belarusian contexts? And why should it be deemed important? In Kundera’s vision of Central Europe, the East (embodied by Russia) serves as the other against which the Europeanness (or Westerners) of Central Europe is emphasized, confirmed and strengthened. Subsequently, Kundera has been criticized for pursuing a form of orientalism and identity-building via sharp exclusion of Russia from the European realm. Although we might observe that his exercise in “othering” Russia was not entirely without historical grounds, the East would also need to be there by mere spatial semantics implied in the notion of Central Europe. For a “center” of Europe to exist, there must be “East”. So the construct of Eastern Europe – whatever its precise readings – fulfills a basic identity need. Timothy Garton Ash (1986), in his seminal article, makes a characteristic observation about the use of the terms in question by Central European intellectuals: “In the work of Havel and Konrád there is an interesting semantic division of labor. Both authors use the terms ‘Eastern Europe’ or ‘East European’ when the context is neutral or negative; when they write ‘Central’ or ‘East Central,’ the statement is invariably positive, affirmative or downright sentimental.” Negative and unwanted experience is, thus, systematically outsourced towards one of the binaries, which eventually allows to exteriorize completely this experience and project it outwards. “We are to understand that what was truly ‘Central European’ was always Western, rational, humanistic, democratic, skeptical and tolerant. The rest was ‘East European,’ Russian, or possibly German. Central Europe takes all the ‘Dichter und, Denker,’ Eastern Europe is left with the ‘Richter und Henker’ ” (Ash 1986). That the other is not only your constant vis-à-vis but might be an integral part of you is no news to psychoanalysts and identity theorists. In the case of Central European countries, the border between the “East” as another to yourself and the East as the darker side of yourself is not always distinguishable. In every Pole, it is said, there lives a Muscovite, who can be awakened with a due dosage of vodka. Slovakia is a rather illustrative case then, as the East/West dichotomy seems to be built directly into the country’s system of regional distinctions. They are cultural distinctions that lay the foundation for local identities but also social and economic imbalances that produce patterns of inequality. To be “from the East” (i.e., from Eastern Slovakia) bears a particular, but uncertain significance, and, depending on the situation, it seems to be grounds for both pride and shame,

94  Aliaksei Kazharski adoration and arrogance (There is nothing new about that, as from classics of post-colonial studies we know well the inherently ambiguous position of the constructed object of colonial discourse: the “savage” who can be represented as both abominable and adorable, amicable and bloodthirsty, innocent and drenched in sin) (cf. Hall 1992). Furthermore, a related notion of the East extends beyond the political borders of Slovakia, where it, perhaps, becomes “the East” squared − with generalizations and stereotypes becoming increasingly reinforced. Naturally, the further East you move along the mental map, the less factual knowledge you can expect and the more room remains for myth and creative fantasy. Interestingly enough, Russia stands out from this continuum. While it may share some of the “Eastern” attributes, it can hardly be interpreted as a darker extension of the self. Unlike closer neighbors, it becomes an object of particular interest and sometimes even veneration. This is a stance which apparently has something to do with the established Slovak traditions of Russophilia, combined with scant factual knowledge of Russian life. (This tradition of what I refer to as “adoration from a safe distance” can arguably be traced back to the 19th century. In that era, Russo-centric pan-Slavism was a key intellectual trend among Slovak revivalists, and the image of the mighty empire and the only remaining Slavic state – the symbolic figure that Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1925) dubbed “imaginary Russia” − served a source for constructing national hope). Thus, I would say that the “East” in Central Europe plays a twofold role: an outlying other whom the self-wants to differentiate from, and simultaneously a part of the self which is being effectively repressed and negated. Moreover, the two sets of attributes tend to converge in what psychoanalysts would suspect to be a projection. What of Belarus then? It seems that while the usage of terms may be different here, their underlying structure is rather similar. The term “Eastern Europe” does not have the same negative connotations, as the emphasis is not placed on “Eastern”, but rather on “Europe”. The good old Saussurian principles are at work here: signification is a function of difference, and meaning is attached to individual signs arbitrarily. With no native tradition of juxtaposing Central and Eastern Europe, the latter has to host the undertones of both. A significant difference, though, might be that − if we return to Kundera’s formula of small nations – since the historical existence of Belarusians as a nation has been even less secure than with “Central European” nations, and since the place of Belarus in Europe has remained problematic up to this day, the emphasis on “Eastern Europe” may, at times, be especially dramatic. But the shift in meaning has equally to do with the fact that in the Belarusian perspective the “Eastern” other lacks the attribute of Europeanness. That Russia might be a part of Eastern Europe (and at this moment of Europe as such) is not a conventional idea around here. A much more familiar image of popular geopolitics juxtaposes Russia with Europe, with Belarus endlessly hovering somewhere in-between.

Central European politics of identity  95 Like the Central European countries, Belarus most certainly has its forms of orientalism, but it does not employ “Eastern Europe” as a constitutive element of their projections. The local story of “Europe” has been a bit different. The key task of Belarusian nationalism, from the time of its birth in the 19th century, was securing Belarusian cultural and linguistic identity in resistance to the imperial practices of “making Russians” (cf. Staliunas 2007) and achieving emancipation from the conditions of social inequality in the Russian Empire. The search for a historical identity and an alternative statehood tradition has brought nationalist historians and thinkers to draw on the historical legacy of the Great Duchy of Lithuania (subsequently part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth) where the Belarusian ethnic indeed played a crucial cultural and political role, albeit under a different name. Consequently, setting up the legacy of the Great Duchy of Lithuania versus Muscovy and its heirs, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, has been a way of demonstrating via instrumentalized history that Belarus belongs in the same European basket, together with Poland and Lithuania – and certainly not with Russia and its various historical incarnations. The contrast was traditionally emphasized between legal institutions of the Great Duchy, the flourishing of education, freedom and culture versus the despotic “Eastern” or “Asiatic” Muscovy, which passed on its essential traits to subsequent incarnations of Russian statehood. To cite from a manifesto by Zianon Paźniak (2005: 21), the leader of Belarusian nationalism in the 80s and 90s: During the whole Belarusan history until the end of the 18th century, Belarus was the shield of Europe in the East. The Belarusan Slavic principalities have united into the powerful state – the Great Lithuanian Principality (the GLP) or Live (according to the name of the dominant Slavic tribe whose princes had initiated the unification of the Belarusan territories). The Great Principality has stopped the Mongol aggression against Europe and established the border of the empire of Chingiz-Khan. The Great Principality resisted and fought against the East during the centuries (against the Golden Horde and then against Moscow). The border between the Great Lithuanian Principality and Russian Principality of Moscow represented at the same time the boundary between two different political systems, different civilizations and different worlds – the democratic, cultural European world and the Eastern despotic, tyrannical world. The image of an “Eastern outpost” of European civilization fashioned by Pazniak is clearly isomorphic to the Antemurale Christianitatis, with the doctrine of being the bulwark of Christianity, an identity strategy which should be immediately recognizable to the Poles and Hungarians. Early in the 1990s, the post-USSR Belarusian nationalist movement, the Belarusian Popular Front also advanced the slogans of “returning to Europe”  – the leitmotif, thus, sounding very Central European (in Kundera’s sense of being

96  Aliaksei Kazharski abducted and striving to rejoin Europe). The non-Central European outcomes, though, demonstrated that the impetus of pro-European nationalism was outbalanced by weaknesses of national identity and a strong pro-Russian sentiment. Still, regarding what Iver Neumann (1999) calls “uses of the other,” Russia has structurally played a very similar role to Eastern Europe as opposed to Central Europe. Namely, for the European-oriented discourse in Belarus, it typically became the binary towards which everything undesirable was outsourced. More often than not, Russia worked as a proxy and was to blame – whether justly or unjustly − for everything we did not like to find in our European selves. The techniques of “othering” Russia as a “wild wild East”, however, has not been reserved to conventional nationalists, nor to pro-Western political groups in Belarus. The authoritarian political regime that established itself in the wake of independence originally had an anti-nationalist and pro-Russian ideological basis. With time, it began identity games, which involved projecting negative images of Russia alongside its lip service to the ideals of brotherhood and integration. The origins of these images probably lay in the practical political necessity to demonstrate the advantages of the Belarusian regime to the domestic electorate, as much as in the ego of President Aliaksandr Lukašenka, who always envied and aspired to challenge the Kremlin rulers. In the official Belarusian media, Russia came to be represented, more often than not, as a country of oligarchs, unchecked crime, mass poverty, chaos, corruption, sloppiness and disasters. Against this background, the image of the Belarusian “welfare state” could be much more easily constructed as a haven of stability, relative prosperity and social justice. As these images found their increasing resonance with the Belarusian population, they led to a new and inherently ambiguous perception of Russia emerging even among its pro-Russian minded share. On the one hand, the old idea of Russia as a privileged partner for Belarus lingered, yet, on the other, the fear of the “savage” and “unrestrained” Russian capitalism discouraged the notions of a closer integration with Russia. Belarusian politics of identity – in all their diversity − can, therefore, be deemed Central European in virtually all but name. The East–West mental axis is valid here, and the terms “East” and “Eastern” are essential elements of cultural and political discourses. The semi-external other, towards whom all the undesirable aspects of the self can be outsourced, plays a crucial role. The notion of Eastern Europe is not necessarily understood as distinct from and contrasted with the concept of Central Europe. “Eastern Europe” may often refer to the same positive and negative experiences in “Central Europe.” It can be deemed neutral rather than negative. But as far as understanding the “East” is concerned, a line can also be drawn more sharply between “Europe” and non-Europe. The scope of Orientalist projections, thus, reaches beyond “Eastern Europe” and beyond Europe as a single entity.

References Ash, T. G. (1986) “Does Central Europe Exist?” New York Times Review of Books, 9 October, [Online] www.nybooks.com/articles/1986/10/09/does-central-europe-exist/, Available 1 August 2017

Central European politics of identity  97 Hall, S. (1992) “The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power”, in Hall, S. and Gieben, B. (eds.) Formations of Modernity. Cambridge: Open University and Polity Press, pp. 275–331. Kundera, M. (1984) “The Tragedy of Central Europe”, New York Review of Books, 26 April, pp. 33–38. Masaryk, T. G. (1925) Světová revoluce za války a ve válce, 1914–1918. Prague: C̆in a Orbis. Neumann, I. B. (1999) Uses of the Other: The East in European Identity Formation. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. Pazniak, Z. (2005) Belaruska-Raseiskaia Vaina: Belarus is an eastern outpost. 2nd ed. Warsaw: Belaruskija Vedamastsi. Staliūnas, D. (2007) Making Russians Meaning and Practice of Russification in Lithuania and Belarus After 1863. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Part III

Geopolitics

11 Regional geopolitics perspective of contemporary Poland Same or different as other V4 countries? Wojciech Kazanecki The region has always played an important part in the geopolitical discourse. Be it a Haushoferian idea of pan-regions or later, the Saul B. Cohen idea of geostrategic and geopolitical regions (1963), this term was used to describe an important unit of the political game. Later on, geopolitics was adopted primarily (and solely) by state-oriented geopolitics, and the complexity of the discourse was lost. The region was of particular importance for the narration of Central European (CE) countries (be it Mitteleuropa or Intermare region). It was distinguished by classical geopolitical thinkers, just to recall the work of Halford Mackinder (1919). Recently, some call this level of geopolitics ‘microgeopolitics’ (Musiał 2011), while others question this approach. However, regardless of the theoretical debate, it seems that countries of Central and Eastern Europe, with Visegrad countries being at the core of this region, possess certain differences in comparison to the rest of European macroregion. The basic idea behind “regional geopolitics” is partially based on the conviction that each of the V4 countries shares a similar understanding of the geopolitical vision of the regional setting, possessing at the same time its perspective. Therefore, we will focus on the phenomena of regional geopolitics through CE lenses. We also believe that a modern approach to geopolitics can enhance our understanding of a complex regional setting of CE countries on the global scene. We will present the perspective of the region regarding its security, politics, history, culture, economic performance and society. The method to do that is to use a critical geopolitics approach to describe the issues mentioned above. This was already done with the NATO enlargement and the debate on security matters, with a special focus on Estonia (Kuus 2007b). As a result, this part of the book is formulated into two pillars, each of them describing various problems related to regional geopolitics. The first one is internal – that is, its goal is to present an analysis of a given V4 country, highlighting the most important parts of geopolitical discourse. The second one is devoted to presenting regional outlook of CE from a state’s perspective, taking into account the global background. This is especially important taking into consideration that the vision of CE by the ‘West’ is overwhelmed by ‘oriental’ feelings based on unequal treatment of the countries of that region (Davies 2012) that has even been named ‘imperial’ (Zielonka 2006).

102  Wojciech Kazanecki When preparing these papers, we were asking ourselves the following set of questions: 1) What is the image (NOT definition) of ‘geopolitical’? 2) To what extent does ‘geopolitical vocabulary’ form a part of the political debate? 3) What was the influence of ‘geopolitical’ events on the fate of particular country (Poland) and the whole CE region? How are the most significant challenges created and presented? Is geopolitical perspective part of this creation? What is the ‘geopolitical’ vision of the CE region? Does it have any particular differences from other regional visions? Does the notion of regional ‘separatism’ from other parts of Europe exist? How can it be described and evaluated?

Polish perspective It seems that ‘the language of power’ is commonly used in Polish public life. In the description of international relations, it is not uncommon to hear either policymakers or leading intellectuals use the term in different contexts. What is surprising, even some leaders of the Polish Football Association use directly the term ‘geopolitics’ to stress the importance of spatial changes and – what is surprising – they actually know what they are talking about (cf. Padewski 2012). In terms of public discourse, several years ago the Stefan Batory Foundation stressed the importance of shared CEE geopolitics by publishing a book (New Geopolitics of Central and Eastern Europe. Between European Union and United States 2005). Recently, this approach is visible in the publication of Visegrad Insight which offers a lot of ‘geopolitical’ perspective – with a strong statement of Rudolf Chmel that “Nobody questions the geopolitical identity of the region” (Chmel 2012: 42). Looking at Polish geopolitical imaginations from an analytical perspective, it is clear that the notion of ‘geopolitical’ in Poland is perceived mainly in classical terms, that is, as understood by geopolitical writers in the late 19th/early 20th century (certainly, this does not mean that they were all using the word, but the way they perceived the relationship between space and power), or as presented by Henry Kissinger or Zbigniew Brzezinski in their works. It is therefore more ‘realist’ (regarding International Relations [IR] theory) and more ‘right wing’ associated, with regard to the current political debate. Importantly, it is widespread in academic teaching and media debate, being treated as an objective method of presenting and interpreting facts. In that sense, it is a powerful tool of ‘power/ knowledge’, as introduced by M. Foucault, creating a certain image of world politics based on state-centric optic with the notion of national interest as a key driving force of state action. Therefore, it is through the ‘geopolitical’ lenses that the European Union affairs are perceived and explained in Poland, which is definitely not helping to treat the EU as a community; instead, it is viewed rather as a possibility of quick financial gain (see the famous phrase ‘wydoić brukselkę’, which is probably impossible to be translated into a foreign language). Undoubtedly, relations with other neighbours (namely, Russia) are also ‘geopolitical’. This is the most common way of presenting the most significant challenges (‘threats’), which usually have the emotional background and, although attempting to be ‘neutral’, ‘objective’ and ‘rational’, they are far from that.

Regional geopolitics of Poland  103 Therefore, in contrast to anti-geopolitics that exist in the Czech Republic (Drulak 2006), the image of geopolitics is either perceived as a neutral tool by those who use it to conceptualize and describe world affairs, or it is respected as an ideological tool of far right extremist forces. The latter view is – compared with the first one – rather weak and represented by the left-wing politicians whose voices are rather separated. An interesting case of this is the debate on energy security in Polish Chamber of Deputies (Sejm), which was dominated by the use of geopolitical vocabulary in classical terms (Kazanecki 2010). That example can be representative of the political debate, referring primarily to international affairs. It is essentially built on mistrust and fear and is mostly visible concerning Germany and Russia, who historically exerted a dominant position on the region and Poland in the first place. The use of language includes, for instance, speaking of Russian offensives in former USSR countries (Kaczynski 2012). The important factor is also played by the media debate, where the language of traditional geopolitics based on terms like state power and national interests is overwhelmingly used by commentators and journalists to describe and explain the course of events to the society. Furthermore, teaching history at school is also most often done on the basis of ‘geopolitical’ vocabulary, where changes in the international agenda are most likely to be presented as a competition between states for power and influence. It is most likely to be the same case in the rest of V4 countries and even more commonly in the rest of the EU, rather than Poland being the exception. Not surprisingly, from the Polish outlook the fate of the region – a place between East and West (with Poland playing a distinctive role) – was significantly shaped by power-driven superpowers whose geopolitics was a dominant (if not decisive) factor in determining the history of the region. The notion of the region ‘in between’ was present already during the Paris Conference of 1919, which had the goal of re-creating political order in postwar Europe. This was the moment when Western European decision makers and other “intellectuals of statecraft” noted the self-existence of the CEE region, and their perspective could be described as based on three pillars: 1) fear of communist ideology and possible consequences stemming from ‘red’ Russia; 2) ‘unknowness’ of CEE nations resulting from their ‘Otherness’ and lack of political record on international agenda; and 3) feeling of superiority based on the imperial outlook that allowed them to make decisions on the borders issue. The best illustration of this thinking is a book by Sir Halford John Mackinder, written primarily for the Peace Conference in Paris in 1919 (cf. Mackinder 1919). Mackinder cried for the necessity of taking action by the Western superpowers to prevent Russia and Germany from taking control over the ‘Heartland’. For that reason, it was necessary to create and control Eastern Europe by England and France, which was later visible in military agreements that meant to send a message to the newly created states that it was important to build their capability to participate in world affairs, at least on the European level. The Second World War was a brutal end to the existing order, and what came after was presented (and this is still the dominant perspective) as an outcome of Yalta agreements between superpowers that (again) decided the fate of Europe and allowed

104  Wojciech Kazanecki the CEE region to become a part of a Soviet geopolitical bloc (to describe it in the language of classical geopolitics). Another important aspect to take into account when talking about regional geopolitics from the Polish tradition is Polish imagination of history, which is based on the key initial thought of Poland serving as a bridge between the East and the fence of the “Western civilization” at the same time. Even though this seems contradictive at a glance (and it is probably the case), it is on that basis that, on the one hand, Poland wants to serve as a first actor in terms of the East-oriented European Neighbourhood Policy and claims that it has the key to understand and explain ‘Eastness’ (as described by Kuus 2007a) to the rest of its EU partners. On the other hand, it presents itself as a border and safeguard of the West, that from the very beginning was protecting the rest of Europe from the ‘wild threat from Outside’ [be it from the Ottoman Empire (nowadays Turkey) or tsarist or communist Russia (at least until 1939)]. This way of thinking, even though it is not directly present in Poland’s everyday political debates, is there behind the scenes, and it is understandable for the participants of daily political life. As for the situation after 1989, it was undoubtedly viewed by Polish ‘intellectuals of statecraft’ as a geopolitical turmoil. This view was, however, shared by the majority of political actors, who were far from claiming the end of history. The unification of Germany was presented as a threat, even if officially no serious opposition was voiced. But reservations were also present in other countries, for instance, in France, and it comes as no surprise that the Weimar Triangle initiative was launched so France and Germany could build a common (geo)political agenda with unified Germany. During the nineties, when Russia was withdrawing its military forces from CEE and the V4 initiative was born, one could say that ‘everything was geopolitical’. Two strategic goals that were set, namely membership in NATO and EU accession, were understood as security issues in the first place. However, as Kuus points out, the feeling towards NATO in Central Europe remains, least to say, distanced and reserved, which leads her to the conclusion that CEE countries remain still separated from the West in terms of their engagement in world politics, adopting rather an ironic position of Josef Švejk (Kuus 2008). This case is also – which might be yet surprising – applicable to Poland. However, from the global outlook, it is worth noticing that in contemporary political discourse, Polish elites are mainly oriented to providing security and enabling influence at international agenda. From that perspective, it is desired for a conservative candidate to win in the US elections, as from the time of the Obama administration, Europe is not pivotal in American global strategy (Kazanecki 2009). Of course, any geopolitical discourse that is positive for Poland and more or less embedded in classical tradition is welcomed and praised, as was the case of George Friedman’s book, which presented the future with Poland becoming a very influential actor on the world stage (Friedman 2009). In addition to what was stated before, I  would argue that very often strategic challenges in Poland (both internal and external) are created and presented with either conscious or subconscious notions of their ‘geopolitical’ message. This is the question of building an anti-missile shield, this is also a question of

Regional geopolitics of Poland  105 supporting Ukraine and other countries in their attempts to get closer to the West (with the ultimate goal of joining the EU). To some extent, the joint organization of Euro 2012 could also be viewed though geopolitical lenses. For that reason, the geopolitical perspective is part of the creation of political discourse in Poland. Unfortunately, although decision makers are meeting concerning the future of Cohesion Policy (a substantial part of future EU budget) (Ministry of Regional Development 2012) and they are still meeting at V4 summit, it seems that there is something missing in the V4 cooperation, at least from Polish input. The geopolitical content that would make it more unified regarding interests has yet to be added to the region. Only then can V4 play a role in the world with positive rather than the neutral or negative messages (the perception of backward, unstable economically or politically region), which will also contribute to Polish success. Therefore, I would argue that the Polish approach is torn between a willingness to achieve a certain degree of unity of the region based on the common history and values and the opposite trend of exerting certain ‘domination’ in the region stemming from Poland’s territorial size and population, which is distinctively bigger that the rest of V4 countries. This latter is also pointed out by intellectuals of other V4 countries – an example could be found in the following statement: “In itself, Poland is also a problem. It is only partially Central European, as its cultural history has been strongly influenced by the North Sea/Baltic States and Eastern Europe. It, therefore, has priorities that other Visegrad states do not share (mainly with regards to the Baltics, Belarus and Ukraine). Unlike the other three, it is also a nation with a ‘big country’ identity. It often engages in European and world affairs (e.g., Iraq), with unyielding positions that the other Visegrad states do not necessary share” (Pogátsa 2012: 12). To overcome that conviction would probably be one of the most significant challenges for Poland in the upcoming years, as it seems that CEE should be set up as a new strategic goal for Warsaw. The benefits might serve all parties involved.

References Chmel, R. (2012) “Nobody Questions the Geopolitical Identity of the Region Anymore”, Interview With Rudolf Chmel, Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister for Human Rights and National Minorities, Visegrad Insight, no. 1, vol. 1/2012, pp. 42–44. Cohen, S. B. (1963) Geography and Politics in a World Divided. New York: Random House. Davies, N. (2012) presentation at Wrocław Global Forum 2012, Day 3. Drulak, P. (2006) “Between Geopolitics and Anti-Geopolitics: Czech Political Thought”, Geopolitics, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 420–438. Friedman, G. (2009) Następne to lat: Prognoza a XXI week [The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century]. Warszawa: AMF Plus Group. Kaczyński, J. (2012) Ważny wywiad Jarosława Kaczyńskiego dla “Tygodnika Solidarność”: Co usłyszał śp. Lech Kaczyński dwa dni przed śmiercią? [Online] http://wpolityce.pl/ wydarzenia/24179-wazny-wywiad-jaroslawa-kaczynskiego-dla- tygodnika-solidarnoscco-uslyszal-sp-lech-kaczynski-dwa-dni-przed-smiercia, Available 12 October 2012.

106  Wojciech Kazanecki Kazanecki, W. (2009) “Europa nie jest pępkiem świata”, Polska Gazeta Wrocławska, 29 September. Kazanecki, W. (2010) “Bezpieczeństwo energetyczne w polskiej debacie publicznej w okresie 21.10.2007–9.01.2009 r. w świetle debat parlamentarnych (Energy Security in Polish Public Debate Between 21.10.2007–9.01.2009 in the Light of Parliamentary Discussions)”, in Mickiewicz, P. and Sokołowska, P. (eds.) Bezpieczeństwo energetyczne Europy Środkowej. Toruń: Wydawnictwo Adam Marszałek, pp. 254–269. Kuus, M. (2007a) “Something Old, Something New: Eastness in European Union Enlargement”, Journal of International Relations and Development, vol. 10, no. 2 (June), pp. 150–167. Kuus, M. (2007b) Geopolitics Reframed: Security and Identity in Europe’s Eastern Enlargement. New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Kuus, M. (2008) “Švejkian Geopolitics: Subversive Obedience in Central Europe”, Geopolitics, vol. 13, pp. 257–277. Mackinder, H. J. (1942) Democratic Ideals and Reality: A Study in the Politics of Reconstruction. London (first Published in 1919): Constable Publishers. Ministry of Regional Development. (2012) [Online] www.mrr.gov.pl/aktualnosci/polityka_ rozwoju/strony/Spotkanie_ministrow_d s_polit yki_regionalnej_V4_Slowenia_101012. aspx, Available 12 October 2012. Musiał, S. (2011) “Współczesne rozumienie pojęcia geopolityki i pojęć pochodnych”, Stosunki Międzynarodowe: International Relations, vol. 44, no. 3–4, pp. 163–177. Stefan Batory Foundation (post-conference material), New Geopolitics of Central and Eastern Europe: Between European Union and United States (2005) Warsaw: Stefan Batory Foundation. Padewski, A. (2012) “Nie sprzedam się Lacie, zrobię wszystko, by nie wygrał (Interview)”, Gazeta Wrocławska, 3 September. Pogátsa, Z. (2012) “The Future of Visegrad Cooperation”, Visegrad Insight, vol. 1/2012, no. 1, p. 12. Zielonka, J. (2006) Europe as Empire: The Nature of the Enlarged European Union. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Links Ważny wywiad Jarosława Kaczyńskiego dla “Tygodnika Solidarność”: Co usłyszał śp. Lech Kaczyński dwa dni przed śmiercią? (2012) [Online] http://wpolityce.pl/ wydarzenia/24179-wazny-wywiad-jaroslawa-kaczynskiego-dla- tygodnika-solidarnoscco-uslyszal-sp-lech-kaczynski-dwa-dni-przed-smiercia, Available 12 September 2012.

12 Geopolitics in Polish national strategies1 Łukasz Medeksza

Geopolitics is not only about interests, but also about values – at least from the point of view of Polish national strategic documents. That is why it is interesting to analyze both: the government’s stand on the geopolitical context of Poland, and the declared value system that forms the basis of the Polish foreign policy.

***** My personal reflection is that Polish geopolitics is about being aware of the complicated geographical context in which we are placed and also being aware of the risk that our dramatic history can always repeat itself. But 23 years after the fall of communism, we still do not know what to do with that awareness. We see that the world is running away from us. But when I read our national strategies, I have an impression that the only answer we have today is cultivating the myth of modernization, development, and progress. At the same time, we feel that we have something important to say about values and value systems. It seems that we behave as if we were not sure what primary values we share and want to promote. My text is not about any sophisticated academic geopolitics. What I am talking about is a more practical approach. This is the official geopolitical narrative of the Polish government of Donald Tusk. How Poland defines its geopolitical position My field of interest is the new system of Polish national and regional development strategies. I have chosen to look for the geopolitical narrative mainly in the documents that form that system. The most notable ones are the Long Term National Development Strategy 2030 (which was adopted by the government in February 2013, see Długookresowa Strategia Rozwoju Kraju 2030, 2013), the National Development Strategy 2020 (adopted by the government in September  2012, see Strategia Rozwoju Kraju 2020, 2012) and the National Spatial Development Concept 2030 (adopted by the government in December  2011, see Koncepcja Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania Kraju 2030, 2011).

108  Łukasz Medeksza There is some geopolitics in those documents. But there is much more in the Strategy of Development of the National Security System (adopted by the government in April 2013, see Strategia Rozwoju Systemu Bezpieczeństwa Narodowego RP 2012–2022, 2013) – this document is one of the nine so-called thematic strategies, which are also a part of that new system of strategic documents. Another important document from that field is Polish Foreign Policy Priorities 2012–2016. This is not a strategy, but its role is comparable with that of the thematic strategies. All those documents form a more or less logical system. If you want to learn what they say about geopolitics, you should read the foreign policy priorities first and then check the strategy of development of the national security system. You will find some short reflections on the long-term development strategy. There are also some interesting remarks in the National Spatial Development Concept, especially in the field of a city-centric approach to geopolitics. Last, but not least, there is a speech by Radoslaw Sikorski (Polish minister of foreign affairs) called “The address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the goals of Polish foreign policy 2013” that is worth reading, as it says a lot about the understanding of geopolitics by the Polish government. The strange thing is that those documents very rarely use the terms “geopolitics” or “geopolitical”. Those words are absent in the Long Term National Development Strategy 2030 and the Strategy of Development of the National Security System. They have been used only once in the Polish Foreign Policy Priorities and twice in the National Spatial Development Concept. That, of course, does not mean that there is no geopolitical reflections in those documents. On the contrary, they say a lot about geopolitics without using that word. So, what do we find in these documents? They point out that among the primary contexts of Polish foreign and development policy are the economic crisis in the West and the strengthening position of the emerging economies, especially China. In effect, we have to deal with some significant changes not only in the global economy but also in world politics. Polish authorities are aware that 40 years from now, the global role of the biggest European countries can be significantly smaller than it is now, and the role of China and India can be much more prominent. The Long Term National Development Strategy 2030 underlines the importance of demography  – while the West, including Poland, is undergoing a demographic crisis, many countries of the global South have excellent demographic results (for example, in an earlier version of this document – from May 2012 – we can find that 61 percent of the Egyptian population are people under 30). At the same time, such countries are poor in comparison with Europe. That means that in the future, we will have to confront the demography of North Africa and the Middle East with the problems of the aging Europe. It is interesting that the government describes the position of Poland in that context, not only regarding the economic condition and political stance, but also from the values’ point of view. The Polish Foreign Policy Priorities express it very clearly: “Poland’s actions in the international arena are a reflection of the values that are the foundation of its statehood: democracy, the rule of law, respect for

Geopolitics in Polish strategies  109 human rights and solidarity”. The problem is that many countries do not agree with our values. As the document points out, “Western values are no longer the sole reference point for the rest of the world. An authoritarian model coupled with the promise of prosperity has become – in the eyes of some people – a real alternative to Western universalism”. The emerging economies “are not always willing to comply with human rights standards, employee and welfare rights or environmental principles”. The situation seems even worse when we consider that “most Asian countries, as well as Russia, are dramatically increasing their defense spending – in spite of crisis”. In his address on the goals of Polish foreign policy in 2013, Minister Sikorski defined the West as based on “modernity and democracy” and Russia as following “a different civilizational model”. Poland is aware of the weaknesses of the European Union but wants to strengthen both the EU and the Polish position inside it. The Polish Foreign Policy Priorities show that our government wants the EU to become a political union, but not a super-state. It wants the EU to be based on three values: competitiveness, solidarity and openness. In practical terms that means, for example, that we wish not only to expand the common market but also to maintain the cohesion policy. Poland would like to become a member of the eurozone but is careful about it. The main goal in the EU for Poland is the realization of the Strategy Europe 2020 – that means that modernization and development policy are inextricably connected with the geopolitical narrative. By the way, in his so-called “second expose”, the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk declared in October 2012 that Poland has to be ready, because “history can show its ugly face again in this part of the world because it has always done so.” That means that we have to invest quickly in our children, build new roads and so on, because we do not have too much time. What is critical from the geopolitical point of view is that the Polish government underlines that “the EU should continue the process of enlargement.” That means opening itself mainly to the east (Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey and even the South Caucasus) and the near south (Western Balkans). “The Mediterranean orientation of EU activities cannot be pursued at the cost of cooperation with Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus” – says the Polish Foreign Policy Priorities. Poland sees its main partners in Europe in Germany and France. It also wants to develop cooperation with its partners from the Baltic Sea area  – especially Sweden. Visegrad countries are also on the list, although this particular direction is seen as just one of various equal partnerships inside the EU. On the other hand, we have to admit that Poland clearly expresses its will to “identify new platforms of cooperation in the Visegrad Group and beyond . . . attempting to build a common Central European perspective, including close collaboration in the area of security and stability in the region, with Romania and Bulgaria, among others”. At the same time, the government stresses the importance of the EU Eastern Partnership as an instrument of “increasing Poland’s security” by “making its neighbors part of the political, economic and social modernization processes promoted by the European Union.” Poland wants to make the Partnership “more attractive”, for example “by liberalizing or lifting of visa regimes”. The goal is to build “an area of democracy and stability east of Poland” and develop “cultural exchange”.

110  Łukasz Medeksza Also, the Strategy of Development of the National Security System defines “deepening the cooperation inside the Visegrad Group” as one of its goals. It suggests that in the future the Group could open itself to other countries – from Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the Baltic States. It proposes stronger cooperation between the armed forces of the Visegrad countries and activity in the field of solidarity of the Group. The other main framework of Polish foreign policy is NATO. We want to maintain the global position of the Alliance and of the quality of the transatlantic relations, which are seen “as the cornerstone of the Western security policy” – say the Polish Foreign Policy Priorities. That, of course, means keeping the ties with the United States as close as possible. Poland wants to co-create the “EU and NATO security policy toward Russia and Eastern European countries” and “have a say” in the discussions within the EU and NATO “concerning operational involvement, especially in Afghanistan and the Balkans”. Geopolitics as the clash of civilizations? In his address about the goals of Polish foreign policy in 2013, Minister Sikorski defined the strength of the country as based on GDP. From this point of view, Poland’s position is improving. But there is still a lot to do: “within two decades Poland’s GDP per capita will reach Western European levels” – explained Sikorski – “This will not, however, mean that we will have reached the end of the road and that our living standards and wealth levels will have become aligned with the West. For historical reasons, Poland’s delayed process of wealth accumulation – be it personal or national – will take longer still”. One of Poland’s main goals is entering the eurozone as “a future zone of stability and predictability” and “the mainstream of economic, financial, and political integration”. Sikorski left no doubts about it: “let it be clear”, he said, “joining the Eurozone lies in Poland’s strategic interest.” Another big goal is to create “a transatlantic free trade area agreement – the European Union and the United States”. There is also an important political goal – expanding Europe’s influence to the east: Should the Eastern Slavic, Orthodox world one day be willing and able to adopt the legal and institutional acquis of our Union, the European horizon would extend not just to the Dnieper river, but far beyond, all the way to the Chinese and Korean borders. Poland would overcome its ‘periphery syndrome’ once and for all and sit safely in the center. The West expanded as such  – complete with Russian resources, the EU’s economic strength and American military might – would stand a chance of retaining influence in a world dominated by rising powers from outside Europe. (Sikorski 2013: 13) That means that Poland does not want to be “an axis of integration” on its own, because “the only feasible, practical application of the Jagiellonian ideal in today’s world is EU enlargement” – underlined Sikorski.

Geopolitics in Polish strategies 111 Apart from other important topics (NATO, EU, cooperation with Germany and France) the minister of foreign affairs dedicated a relatively long part of his speech to the Visegrad Group. He said that “the GDP of the four Visegrad Group countries amounted to almost USD 270  billion. Today, it is nearly four times larger” and that “in the Council of the European Union our four countries hold 58 weighted votes – as many as Germany and France combined”. The Visegrad countries cooperate with each other not only economically, but also politically and militarily. Sikorski drew a connection between value systems and geopolitics. He clearly stated that Ukraine’s choice is “a choice between modernity and democracy on the one hand, and a different civilizational model on the other” (it is interesting though that the minister did not explain what the core values of that “different model” are). The minister twice used the word “geopolitics”; for the first time, while speaking about the Polish plan to join the eurozone. “What is at stake is the geopolitical consolidation of our country for decades and perhaps – hopefully! – for centuries to come” – he argues. The second time he used that word in the context of energy: “We are keeping a close eye on changes in the American energy market and their geopolitical consequences”. Sikorski’s vision of the future of political geography seems very clear. He wants the Western world to expand  – “all the way to the Chinese and Korean borders”. But he is aware that the West is not the only “civilization” in the world. There are some different models. One of them has been suggested – this is Putin’s Russia. We can deduce that another one is the Far East (that is, China and Korea outside the borders of the possible future Western empire in Sikorski’s vision). We can assume that the Polish foreign policy is not about trying to “end the history” by transforming every country in the world into a “modern economy” and democracy. We are rather trying to stabilize our geopolitical situation by expanding Europe. And at the same time, we are strengthening our army. “We are one of the few NATO countries to maintain military spending at recommended levels, all the while preserving fiscal stability and not forgetting about our commitment to future generations”, said Sikorski. “Only Poland and a few other NATO countries have increased their defense spending since the onset of the crisis.” We can add that the Ukrainian crisis of the late 2013 and early 2014 showed the importance of Eastern Europe for Polish foreign policy. Our government had to try actively to convince EU countries to give Ukraine more support and a more realistic perspective of a close political cooperation (and maybe some integration in the future) with the West. We have to do that to keep Putin’s Russia – that “different civilizational model” from Sikorski’s speech – faraway from our borders. It is important to add that we can trace yet another approach to geopolitics in Polish strategies. It is city-centric. We can find it in the National Spatial Development Concept 2030. Cities are the main characters in that play. The National Spatial Development Concept describes Poland not regarding the so-called development axes, but as a network, whose main hubs are the cities. Poland has a polycentric structure which forms a net of connections not only internally, but also externally – with other European

112  Łukasz Medeksza cities. That is why the first of the six objectives of the National Spatial Development Concept 2030 is: “Improving the competitiveness of Polish major urban centers within the European space . . . at the same time retaining the polycentric settlement structure which is beneficial for cohesion”. Time for a culture-oriented approach to geopolitics? But let us return to values and value systems. Poland sees itself as a kind of an exporter of democratic values. It is “willing to share its transformation model”, especially in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and also in the Eastern Europe and Western Balkans. Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs finances and promotes the Solidarity Fund, which  – in its words  – “is a democracy support and development cooperation agency”. It operates in several countries, for example, in Tunisia and Moldova. The Long Term National Development Strategy 2030 praises the Polish transformation as a success, but at the same time, it underlines that we have to work hard and develop – to be creative and innovative and avoid economic and political marginalization of Poland. The Polish Foreign Policy Priorities proposes to promote our know-how about transformation, but the main national strategies leave an impression that we are not satisfied with our transformation. On the contrary: Poland itself is still looking for external inspirations. So the question is: what exactly do we want to promote when promoting change? What set of values do we want to promote? Democracy and human rights seem good, but these are the values the whole Western world is developing. Do we have something unique, something that could be a Polish specialty among different value systems? Maybe solidarity is such a value? But then again – do we feel that our country has been built on solidarity? Is solidarity the core value of the national strategies? My personal impression is that economic competitiveness and individual well-being are considered equally important or maybe even more important than solidarity. On the other hand, the Long Term National Development Strategy 2030 uses the word “solidarity” many times and also proposes three “models of solidarity” which should be respected by the Polish development policy: solidarity between competitiveness and the equalization of opportunities and – as a part of it  – solidarity for innovations; solidarity between the regions; and solidarity between the generations. Nevertheless, we have to be aware that those three models of solidarity are treated as tools for achieving a higher goal which can be described as building an innovative economy and avoiding the peripheralization of Poland. This, of course, could be a subject of a longer discussion. Is geopolitics about values? Is there any set of different Polish or Central European values? And if such values exist – are they worth promoting elsewhere, for example, in North Africa? Such a value-centered reflection on geopolitics could be something very Central European by itself.

*****

Geopolitics in Polish strategies  113 In his famous essay, “The Tragedy of Central Europe” (1983), Milan Kundera defined the identity of that part of Europe as a one based on culture. “It is only in that period, only in a world that maintains a cultural dimension, that Central Europe can still defend its identity, still be seen for what it is” – wrote Kundera. The tragedy of Central Europe was that it tried hard to return to Europe, to the West, believing that its identity was also based on culture – and at the same time, the West was “in the process of losing its cultural identity.” In other words, “in Europe itself, Europe was no longer experienced as a value”. The West was undergoing a radical transformation. “Just as God long ago gave way to culture, culture, in turn, is giving way”, argued Kundera. What will replace culture? The author of “The Tragedy of Central Europe” admitted that he does not know the answer to this question. Today we can assume that Western Europe tries to build its identity around democracy, “modern economy” and cohesion. It is also obsessed with the notion of constant development (which can be understood either as only the economic development, the so-called “sustainable development”, or eventually as the process of improving the quality of life of individual citizens). We can see that such a kind of identity has much to do with the material side of life and the formal rules of political life and very little to do with that strong, essential cultural identity Kundera was longing for in the early 80s. What happened to Poland in this context? Assuming from the lecture of our national strategies, I would conclude that Poland went in the exactly same way the West did earlier – it no longer defines itself regarding a cultural identity. Instead, it sees itself as a part of the West (as Kundera described it). But – to be more precise – as a defective part. We still have to undergo a process of “modernization” to become a member of the “European family of nations”, guided by the ideas of “modern economy”, democracy, cohesion, and development. In his address on the goals of Polish foreign policy, Minister Sikorski quoted Kundera’s essay – but only to draw a very different conclusion than the Czech writer did: Central Europe is no longer – as Milan Kundera once wrote in his famous essay – a land of tragedy. It is more reminiscent of the dream, at last fulfilled, of the free and prosperous region described by the Hungarian writer György Konrád, or of the integrated region of Czechoslovakian Prime Minister Milan Hodža. The potential of our part of Europe is already quite significant – and getting ever stronger. In recent years, the growth rate of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary surpassed the EU average. In the mid1990s, the GDP of the four Visegrad Group countries amounted to almost USD 270 billion. Today, it is nearly four times larger. Together, we are Germany’s biggest trading partner – more important than, for example, France. (Sikorski 2013: 14) Where has Kundera’s longing for a cultural identity gone? It just vanished. What has replaced it? The ideas of freedom and prosperity – that is, a democracy, a “modern economy” and a high quality of life – and integration (which can also

114  Łukasz Medeksza mean cohesion). The potential of the Visegrad countries is not defined regarding culture, but regarding GDP. There is still some hope for a more culture-oriented approach. The Long Term National Development Strategy 2030 acknowledges the importance of culture – but mainly as a sphere that can inspire creativity and innovations and strengthen the social capital. Also, the National Development Strategy 2020 understands the growing role of culture in “modern development.” The document defines culture as “values, norms of behavior, codes of communication and practices which are essential for cooperation” and underlines its importance for innovations and social capital. There is also a thematic strategy devoted mainly to culture – the Strategy of Development of Social Capital. If we agree that the typical dilemma of Central European countries can be defined as a choice between imitating the West (“modernization”) and looking for some “own path” based on a strong local identity, we see that the Polish government has chosen the first option. Was it a good choice? This question has to remain unanswered. Maybe there is no other option in the modern, globalized and highly competitive world.

Note 1 This text was prepared in 2014 and reflects Poland’s and Central Europe’s sociopolitical situation and the author’s opinions and state of knowledge of that time.

References Długookresowa Strategia Rozwoju Kraju 2030 (The Long Term National Development Strategy 2030), adopted by the government in February 2013, [Online] http://monitor polski.gov.pl/mp/2013/121/M2013000012101.pdf, Available 2 November 2016. Koncepcja Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania Kraju 2030 (The National Spatial Development Concept 2030), adopted by the government in December 2011, [Online] http:// mr.bip.gov.pl/fobjects/download/48478/kpzk_uchwala_zal_do240_13042012-pdf.html, Available 2 November 2016. Kundera, M. (1984) “The Tragedy of Central Europe”, New York Review of Books, 26 April, pp. 33–38. Polish Foreign Policy Priorities 2012–2016, March  2012, [Online] www.msz.gov.pl/ resource/d31571cf-d24f-4479-af09-c9a46cc85cf6:JCR, Available 2 November 2016. Sikorski, R. (2013) Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the Goals of Polish Foreign Policy 2013, [Online] http://msz.gov.pl/resource/f2d6a20d-6e30-4bd7-99b8522f52932051:JCR, Available 2 November 2016. Strategia Rozwoju Kraju 2020 (The National Development Strategy 2020), adopted by the Government in September  2012, [Online] www.mr.gov.pl/media/3336/Strategia_ Rozwoju_Kraju_2020.pdf, Available 2 November 2016. Strategia Rozwoju Systemu Bezpieczeństwa Narodowego RP 2012–2022 (The Strategy of Development of the National Security System), adopted by the Government in April  2013, [Online] www.bbn.gov.pl/ftp/dok/01/strategia_rozwoju_systemu_bezpiec zenstwa_narodowego_rp_2022.pdf, Available 2 November 2016. Tusk, D. (2012) Second Expose,12 October, [Online] www.se.pl/wiadomosci/polska/ expose-tuska-12102012-stenogram-pelen-tekst-zapis-drugiego-expose-donaldatuska_284868.html, Available 2 November 2016.

13 Towards a sustainable Visegrad Some reflections on the future role of Central Europe in the EU Tomáš Strážay Introduction The membership of the Visegrad countries in the European Union provided them with an additional instrument to push more effectively for national, as well as regional priorities by shaping different EU policies. In fact, all Visegrad countries found themselves in quite a comfortable position in the EU, since the weight of their votes in the European Council was bigger than the voice of France and Germany together. Institutional arrangements in the EU were clearly advantageous for smaller countries, which was also very much in the interest of the V4, even when taking into account that Poland is significantly bigger than other three. In the post-accession euphoria, old geopolitical traumas from which Central Europe had suffered for a long time seemed to be forgotten. Also, the importance of the Visegrad Group and its reputation rose significantly. This was considered further proof that after a long time of negative experience with big powers, the four Central European countries finally found their proper place on the map of Europe. This chapter is divided into three main parts. The first part analyzes briefly the main achievements of the Visegrad Group. The second part focuses on some dividing issues, while assessing their impact on the future development of the Visegrad cooperation. In the third part, some conclusions regarding the future geopolitical constellation of Central Europe are made.

Past achievements – basis for further development Despite the fact that in the more than twenty-year-long history the Visegrad Group experienced some slowdowns, the V4 can be evaluated as a successful project of regional cooperation in Central Europe (The Bratislava Declaration of the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Visegrad Group 2011). Not only that – the Visegrad Four became the most successful among all regional initiatives appearing in the region. There are no doubts that the biggest priority for Visegrad countries was their integration into the European Union (Declaration on Cooperation Between the

116  Tomáš Strážay Czech and the Slovak Federal Republic, the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Hungary in Striving for European Integration 1991). The accession into the EU can be considered an achievement of individual countries, as well as the Group’s success. The integration process as such showed that solidarity – declared as one of the leading principles of the Visegrad cooperation – also had a practical meaning. The example of Slovakia demonstrated that the three other V4 countries solidarized with the smallest partner, and thanks to their assistance, the Slovaks managed to catch up in the integration process. Though in the pre-accession phase V4 countries did not always speak with one voice, they were able to forget their differences for the sake of the integration process. Though it was quite difficult to replace the goal of EU accession with similarly important priorities, the development in the post-accession period showed that the V4 managed to cope successfully with this task (Declaration of Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic on the Cooperation of the Visegrad Group Countries After Their Accession to the European Union 2004; Guidelines on the Future Areas of Visegrad Cooperation 2004). The intensification of cooperation was what characterized the V4 in some areas, both on the regional and EU levels. The coordination of positions before important EU meetings has provided added value and comparative advantage to the Visegrad cooperation. V4 countries also managed to shape EU policy  – though to a different extent  – towards the neighboring regions of Eastern Europe and Western Balkans. Another field where the Visegrad Group and V4 countries achieved significant progress is energy security. The gas crisis from the beginning of 2009 significantly intensified existing cooperation regarding the security of energy supplies and infrastructure. The maintenance of the high-level expert working group, as well as the development of concrete energy projects on the regional basis, is certainly proof that V4 countries assign an important role to energy security. Last but not least, recent developments also show that cooperation in security and defense is becoming more and more important. There exist some other areas in which the V4 countries already started to enhance cooperation – these include, for instance, infrastructure, spatial planning, and the environment. Particular attention is paid to cooperation with non-V4 partners – countries or whole regions – in the V4 + format. Particularly noticeable are achievements of the International Visegrad Fund, which is practically the only standing Visegrad institution (see also Strážay 2011).

The difference between positions – to what extent are they important? A sober assessment of past achievements of the V4 provides some reasons for future optimism. However, it would be idealistic to expect all V4 countries to speak with one voice; there will always be differences in a broad range of issues. For instance, it is a well-known fact that Slovakia is the only V4 country that does not recognize the independence of Kosovo. Though the other three Visegrad countries have the opposite opinion about this issue, the Slovak non-recognition

Towards a sustainable Visegrad 117 policy does not have a negative impact on cooperation with the V4 and the Western Balkans. For Slovakia, as well as for other V4 countries, the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU remains one of the top priorities, and therefore, it is in their joint interest to develop programs and policies supporting the European perspective of the whole region, including Kosovo (see for instance, Sharing the Experiences of the Visegrad Cooperation in the Western Balkans and the Eastern Neighbourhood Countries 2010). From this point of view, the issue of the recognition of Kosovo is less important than support for European integration, which is a strategic goal. Another thing is that V4 countries would probably maintain – due to a different structure of their societies – slightly divergent positions regarding the future of Common Agricultural Policy. From this perspective, however, it is more important that they stick together in strategic issues related to the EU budget, as was shown during the debate on the 2014–2020 fiscal period, especially regarding cohesion policy. A  certain level of competition, especially regarding attracting foreign investors, is not likely to disappear, but this kind of rivalry is natural and, therefore, can be considered positively. On the other hand, what can potentially divide the V4 countries are their stances towards the deepening of European integration. Slovakia, also due to its membership in the eurozone might occupy a different position than Poland, which seems to advocate for a more important role of sovereign states in European affairs. Nevertheless, it is in the interest of all four V4 countries, especially after Brexit, to protect the single market and the four freedoms as important pillars of European integration.

Today’s answers to future challenges An ongoing debate in the EU on the development of future integration models is often connected with the idea of a multi-speed Europe. The possible division of the EU into a center, semi-periphery and periphery reminds old divisions of Europe and is therefore a big concern of the V4 countries. From their perspective, the center-periphery dichotomy is, to a certain extent, compatible with old geopolitical thinking in which Central Europe was placed on the outskirts of occidental Europe, between “mythological” East and West. This time, however, in some dark scenarios, the dividing line goes through the Visegrad Group, which is even more worrying. Though the V4 cooperation has not been affected so far by the fact that V4 countries find themselves on different orbits of EU integration, in the long run the convergence of positions seems to be a precondition for the future progress of the V4. The Visegrad Group is also going to face other challenges shortly. It is worth mentioning that the weight of the V4 measured by the number of the votes in the EU Council is going to decrease due to the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty. This might either strengthen centrifugal tendencies in the Visegrad Group or, on the contrary, become an incentive for building ad hoc coalitions with other EU members or regional initiatives. To attract more partners on the

118  Tomáš Strážay EU level, however, the V4 countries should concentrate on a positive agenda. The possible deepening of European integration would also require the enhancement of the Visegrad cooperation, though not necessarily through stronger and more extensive institutionalization. Other possibilities, such as a more intensive use of existing instruments of cooperation, as well invention of new measures are to be considered. This article can thus be perceived as an invitation to a debate on the future vision of the V4.

References The Bratislava Declaration of the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Visegrad Group. (2011) Bratislava, 15 February, [Online] www. visegradgroup.eu/2011/the-bratislava, Available 24 January 2014. Declaration on Cooperation Between the Czech and the Slovak Federal Republic, the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Hungary in Striving for European Integration. (1991) [Online] www.visegradgroup.eu/documents/visegrad-declarations/visegrad-dec laration-110412, Available 24 January 2014. Declaration of Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic on the Cooperation of the Visegrad Group Countries After Their Accession to the European Union. (2004) [Online] www.viseg radgroup.eu/documents/visegrad-declarations/visegrad-declaration-110412-1, Available 27 January 2014. Guidelines on the Future Areas of Visegrad Cooperation. (2004) [Online] www.viseg radgroup.eu/cooperation/guidelines-on-the-future-110412, Available 2 January 2014. Sharing the Experiences of the Visegrad Cooperation in the Western Balkans and the Eastern Neighbourhood Countries, Project Preparatory Study. (2010) [Online] www.icdt.hu/docu ments/publications/GUAM-Project-Preparatory-Study.pdf, Available 27 January 2014. Strážay, T. (2011) “Visegrad – Arrival, Survival, Revival”, in Dančák, B., Gniazdowski, M., Hamberger, J., Hudek, A. (eds.) Two Decades of Visegrad Cooperation: Selected V4 Bibliography. Bratislava: International Visegrad Fund.

14 Popular geopolitics Understanding the Central European space in the Czech Republic Matúš Halás Introduction Understanding the geopolitical meaning of space through official policies and strategies, or with help of received scientific theories from the period of classical geopolitics, is the elite’s prevalent perspective. Most scientists and politicians pay attention only to understandings of space by other scientists and politicians. Both formal and practical geopolitics (Dittmer and Dodds 2008: 441) are merely a self-reference exercise. Critical geopolitics (Ó Tuathail 1996) attempts, on the other hand, to undermine this hegemony and focus on the very practices of (re)-creation of accepted meanings by those socially and politically privileged. It turns its attention away from the perspective of powerful that search for the true meaning of space and back to the analysis of conditionality of supposedly fixed and stable interpretations of territory. Popular geopolitics as a part of this shift has recognized “geopolitics as something everyday that occurs outside of academic and policymaking discourse” (Dittmer and Gray 2010: 1664). This chapter is an attempt to offer precisely such a critical view of how the Central European space is perceived today, with the help of several illustrations from Czech popular culture. Understanding domestic territory as an empty space and space abroad as an Oriental world of tradition, backwardness, and passion is demonstrated in examples of David Černý’s controversial artwork Entropa, Petr Zelenka’s movie Karamazovi, and several novels by Michal Viewegh.

Lessons of the masters A book by George Steiner (2003) about the relationship between teachers and disciples from Socrates and Plato to Heidegger and Arendt serves here multiple purposes. To start with, it might seem a bit strange that somebody from Slovakia tries to deliver an argument about Czech perspective on the Central European space. It becomes more justified only after realizing that the author of this text spent four years of his postgraduate studies at the Charles University in Prague and that his ‘master’ was the most respected scholar in International Relations, namely, Petr Drulák. It is he who wrote an article on Czech geopolitical thinking (2006), and I will show that his message can describe even the understanding of space in Czech popular culture.

120  Matúš Halás In one of his stories, Steiner deals with teaching methods of Rabbi Maggid of Mezritch, a student of Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Hasidic movement. He explains that Maggid “would not tell his disciples who among them had arrived at the correct interpretation of his instruction” and that he merely tried to “lit the candles in his disciples’ consciousness” (Steiner 2003: 153). The true meaning of sacred texts was to be discovered only by students themselves over lengthy periods of study and meditation. This can be applied in many ways also to the case of popular geopolitics in the Czech Republic. First, I  never spoke with Drulák about geopolitical problems. The understanding between us is thus silent, unspoken, Maggidean in nature, and not based on any guiding hand leading the reader to the true knowledge. Second, the relationship between popular geopolitics and elite texts is similar to that between Maggid’s students and sacred texts. Popular geopolitics many times scrutinizes and teases out everyday meanings of space inspired by the sacred texts of politicians and scientists. Finally, I will not dare claim what interpretation of the Czech perspective on the Central European area is the correct one. This text might be merely a shadow projected on the wall of a cave by the light of a candle. Drulák’s analysis of Czech political thought (2006) focused on four periods and four leading representatives that illustrated prevalent nature of thinking about space and politics in the given era. František Palacký, as a  founding father of national revival in the 19th century, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk as the first president of interwar Czechoslovakia, Zdeněk Nejedlý as “the most prominent Czech intellectual” after 1948 and simultaneously the first communist minister of education, and finally Václav Havel as a dissident turned president of democratic Czechoslovakia after 1989. Arguments of all of them were characterized by the prevalence of anti-geopolitical ideas. Drulák described this thinking as the stress on “ideas, human agency, and the possibility of profound social change transcending the straitjacket of objective conditions [of space]” (2006: 422), and he identified this disregard for space as a long-lasting feature of Czech political thought. I claim that this feature can now be tracked down in Czech popular culture too.

Everyday geopolitics To pay attention only to the ideas of the socially most powerful individuals, such as Masaryk or Havel would be to limit our understanding of spatial thinking merely to one-half of the whole picture. As Dodds noted: “practices and representations of global political space do not reside exclusively in politically elite cultures” (2005: 267; cf. Sharp 1993: 493). If one tries to analyze the (re)creation of meanings of particular territories, then there is a need to ponder also about how the ideas of practitioners and political geographers are received by and mirrored within the mass society and how the general public understands particular representations. Popular geopolitics, as a recent offshoot of critical geopolitics, has to be an integral part of any informed geopolitical analysis, in addition to formal and practical points of view. Since popular culture “is one of the ways in which people come to understand their position both within a larger collective identity

Popular geopolitics 121 and within an even broader geopolitical narrative, or script” (Dittmer 2005: 626), then the analysis of perceptions of space in Czech popular culture must be a further supplement of Drulák’s text on formal and practical geopolitical discourse. I argue that the anti-geopolitical nature of political thinking in the Czech environment, as identified by Drulák (2006), was taken over by popular culture and turned into a metaphor of empty space at home. The territory of Czech Republic is thus an example of a signifier without a signified. Not a non-existent signifier, not a non-existent space, but rather space without meaning – meaningless, empty space without any content. It is only outside the borders of the homeland that space acquires meaning. Thus as foreign lands are perceived through stereotypes of Orientalism, the home territory is simultaneously turned into the stereotype of emptiness. The ever-present push to leave and escape from the emptiness at home is, nevertheless, balanced by equally perennial urge to return home. The concept of home in Czech popular culture is therefore linked with the frustrating struggle between leaving and returning that often leads to resignation. Space abroad (in the East) is then depicted with the help of Orientalist metaphors of backwardness, traditionalism, and passions-driven populations as opposed to modern, developed, secular, and analytically minded travelers/conquerors from the Czech Republic.

Stereotypes of an empty space While trying to track down everyday (re)creation of the meanings of space in a given social environment, popular geopolitics shifts its attention to “a variety of institutional and visual contexts including cinema, newspapers, cartoons, comic strips and formal architecture such as memorials and statues” (Dittmer and Dodds 2008: 443). In this text, I deal with three examples from Czech popular culture that represent art, cinema, and literature. Attention is paid to the controversial artwork by David Černý called Entropa, to a movie by Petr Zelenka, Karamazovi, and to novels by Michal Viewegh. Although probably being the best illustration of what is usually interpreted as the ‘characteristically’ Czech attitude towards politics, war, military, and territoriality, I will not rely on Jaroslav Hašek’s book The Good Soldier Švejk. That novel can be perfectly useful for geopolitical analysis of Central European environment as shown by Kuus (2008), but it is not an example of current Czech popular culture.

Entropa David Černý installed this artwork in the Justus Lipsius Building of the Council of the EU in Brussels on the occasion of the Czech half-year-long presidency in the EU in 2009. It exemplified, not only in fact but also in intention, an attempt to ironize the omnipresent stereotypes held about identities of individual member states of the EU (Černý 2009). Individual countries of the EU corresponded to the parts of an unassembled model kit. The Czech Republic was shown as an empty space with clearly marked borders and nothing within them except for a display matching in color with the background and with running quotes of President

122  Matúš Halás Václav Klaus displayed on it. No allegory, no irony, no symbols or references to the past, it was just an empty space and words. Anti-geopolitical thinking turned into an artistic portrayal of the stereotype of an empty space. To further illustrate the difference between an empty space and no space at all (a nonexistent one), compare the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. The UK was depicted there as a missing piece in the model kit thus referring to the traditional perception of this country as the most Euro-skeptic member of the EU. Three neighboring countries east of the Czech Republic were portrayed with the help of symbols more or less accurately referring to prevalent stereotypes about territories concerned. Poland was shown as a land of Catholic priests raising a flag of gay and lesbian movement thus highlighting traditionally strong Catholicism in Polish society. Watermelons and salami in place of Hungary made a reference to the allegedly agrarian nature of this country and its economy. Finally, the portrayal of Slovakia as a Hungarian sausage stressed an obsession of local nationalistic discourse with defining Slovak identity against internal (the minority) as well as external Hungarian other (the neighbor). Worth notice here is the fact that Czech word for the sausage (uherák) is etymologically close to Slovak term for the pre-WWI Hungary (Uhorsko). The territory of present-day Slovakia was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, and Slovak nationalists often see this period as a 1000-year-long oppression of Slovak nation. Unlike a geographically meaningless depiction of the Czech Republic, neighboring countries were portrayed through Orientalist metaphors utilizing stereotypes of backwardness, nationalism, traditionalism, and agrarianism. Entropa illustrates a conscious ridiculing of stereotypes about national identities. It perfectly fits in the line of other works by Černý that ironized big events and great individuals of Czech national history, like the inverted equestrian statue of Saint Wenceslaus or the Soviet tank painted pink in front of the military museum in Prague. Sadly enough, this conscious ridicule of emptiness and Orientalist thinking is gradually turned into serious stereotypization of space as one moves toward other examples of popular culture in the Czech Republic.

Karamazovi Despite its critical acclaim and screenings in cinemas across the Czech Republic, the movie directed by Petr Zelenka (2008) that we are going to deal with did not achieve major success with the audience. Karamazovi received two Czech lions (a national equivalent of Oscars) for the best movie and the best director in 2009, as well as journalists’ FIPRESCI prize at the 2008 International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, but it finished as only the 42nd most visited movie in Czech cinemas in 2008. Revenues from tickets did not even cover the production costs. Still, I would like to show that this film used the same stereotypes and views linked to the Central European space as other examples mentioned in this chapter. The same images of space are used within the entire Czech popular culture, and the movie was picked to emphasize the crucial position “according to which filmic sources are seen as providing exemplary geopolitical image(s)” (Scharf 2005:

Popular geopolitics  123 380; cf. Dodds 2005: 268). I will not offer any “exegesis of some hidden meaning, intentional or not” (Dalby 2008: 444). Instead of claiming the truth value for itself, the following interpretation of the movie merely tries to contribute to a possible debate on discoursive construction of meaning and to kindle the Maggidean candle of thinking about space. The movie’s narrative starts on the bus with actors of the Dejvice Theatre (a district in Prague), which carries them to the festival of alternative theater taking place at the Nowa Huta ironworks near Krakow. Not a single shot of the movie, however, depicts the landscape of the Czech Republic. The whole movie is in fact about Czechs going abroad, speaking mostly in Czech, and representing Czech culture while performing abroad, but without any images from the country they come from. The push to leave the home territory is expressed at the very beginning by the leading actor (David Novotný) who plays Dmitri Karamazov. When he expressed his relief that he finally left Prague, another actor (Igor Chmela), standing for Ivan Karamazov, immediately points out that it is ‘a bit out of hand’, regardless of the fact that Poland is a neighboring country. This metaphor of leaving and returning to the empty space is further stressed by the sudden need of Dmitri to go home to shoot the final sequence of a movie that the actor stars in. Since this need is discovered only when the whole company arrives at Nowa Huta, it leads to a great frustration both on the side of Dmitri and the director of the Czech theater, who insists that Dmitri stays for the rehearsal as well as the play on the other day. The director then solves the problem by taking Dmitri’s ID card to prevent him from flying back to Prague. Other scenes point to the impossibility of understanding between Czechs and Poles and to the fundamental importance of space as well. It is actors’ presence in Nowa Huta and their interactions with locals that remind us of the very nature of this non-understanding. Ivan is the only Czech who speaks Polish, but he can still do that only when he takes a break outside of the hall in which other members of the group rehearse. He talks to an employee who is also the father of a boy that was hurt in the factory a day ago and is currently operated in the hospital because of severe injuries. Dmitri later questioned this story of an ‘accident’ and claims it might be a director’s plot intended to make them perform well. (Spoiler Alert) Although it is unclear whether the father understood Dmitri’s doubts expressed to him in Czech, he asks the company to continue rehearsing even after receiving a call that his son already died. He then shoots himself in front of factory hall at the end of the rehearsal, ultimately making it possible for frustrated Dmitri – already charged with father’s misfortunes suiting his goal to leave  – to return home in time for the final shooting (pun intended). The traditional character of Polish society is mocked again by the reference to Pope John Paul II. While rehearsing a scene, in which Fyodor Karamazov (played by Ivan Trojan) is supposed to spit on a religious icon during a conversation about the existence of God, the possibility of sin, and immortality, he is handed a photograph of the pope as a practical joke by one of his colleagues. Conscious of the environment in which he performs, confused Fyodor pretends to spit on the photograph as required by the plot and later blames his fellow for handing him

124  Matúš Halás the picture. The only result is that other actors make further fun of him by joking that he will not be able to perform in Poland ever again. The topic of religion and faith was explored during the whole film, independently from the nature of Dostoyevsky’s play itself. To sum it up, Karamazovi not only portrayed an empty Czech space with a related fight between a frustrating struggle to leave and an urge to return, but it also portrayed Poland through metaphors of religious traditionalism and wrecked industrial landscape.

Blissful years The last example illustrating the perception of space in Czech popular culture relates to novels by Michal Viewegh. All three books mentioned here were later turned into movies and were similarly successful as the originals. After all, Viewegh is, despite faint critical reception, by far the best-selling Czech writer in the last years. His works are therefore useful illustrations of trends in contemporary mass culture. I argue here that these popular novels employ common stereotypes about neighboring countries and also stress the wish to escape/leave the empty space at home that is often caused by frustration and despair that only competes with the similar urge to return home again afterwards. Blissful Years of Lousy Living (Viewegh 1997), which portrayed the life of an ordinary Czech family during the communist normalization of the mid-1970s, was one of the first successful novels by the author. The most important part of the book, as regards the argument presented in this chapter, is the holiday that the family of four spent in Krkonoše Mountains. While staying there, they decided to go for a hiking trip to the highest Czech mountain (Snežka). Problems started when the father realized that the trail goes partly through the Polish territory. He refused to continue walking along the path arguing that he does not need to prove his ‘courage’ by making 30 steps on Polish territory and thus ostentatiously provoking the border guards. The father remains unconvinced by his older son’s (Kvido) claim that all other tourists go along the path under the eyes of police officers and that there is nothing to fear. Kvido is clearly unable to understand the behavior of his father. Paco then jokingly whispers to his older brother that their father is only faking and that Poland is simply not good enough for him. Hence, one can find a motive of leaving related to crossing the border between the Czech Republic and a neighboring country, which is jokingly described as less attractive than the home. Further books follow the similar path. The story of one of the latest books – Men’s Novel (Viewegh 2008)  – evolves around the relationship between three siblings: Bruno, Aneta, and Cyril. After finding out that Bruno is terminally ill, an extremely rich and probably corrupt judge, Cyril, decides to pay for a skiing holiday for all three in the mountains and also for a stripper called Tali that is supposed to please Bruno. Frustration and resignation caused by the approaching death of their brother make the siblings leave the country and go on holiday. Assuming that the differences between the book and the movie were caused by an attempt to increase the attractiveness of the story for the general public, it is

Popular geopolitics  125 important to note that the holiday’s destination, as well as stripper’s nationality, were altered. In the book, the trio headed towards Dolomites in Italy, but the movie used High Tatras in Slovakia as a place of never-ending pleasures instead. The unspecified nationality of the stripper in the book was altered too, and she now speaks Slovak in the movie. The same pattern of stereotyping the foreigner as a passionate other was also used in the film Shameless, inspired by the Viewegh’s book Short Stories about Marriage and Sex (1999). A mid-30s former weather forecaster is the main character in the movie that evolves around his promiscuous life. He seems attracted by both a much older singer that speaks Slovak and by a much younger student of Hungarian nationality that pays more attention to her pet turtle than to anything else. Citizens of neighboring countries of the Czech Republic are thus again portrayed as passionate mysteries that serve as a tool of pleasure for natives frustrated by their own midlife crisis.

Conclusion Popular geopolitics seems to be a useful approach to analyze Czech political thinking about space, provided that the elite scientific and political sources were already dealt with elsewhere (Drulák 2006). However, objects of popular culture cannot be separated from elite texts, since they provide “the context within which elite geopolitical texts are received but also in which they are produced” (Sharp 1993: 491). In agreement with that, I tried to argue that anti-geopolitical nature of formal and practical geopolitical thinking in Czech environment was translated into a metaphor of empty space and that this helps to recreate and strengthen specific pattern of thinking about territory. The empty space metaphor is further developed by resignation and frustration as the driving forces behind the urge to leave and the struggle to return. In contrast to official discourse that interprets the post-1989 era as an optimistic and progressive struggle to catch-up with the West, in popular culture, it seems that home is the very cause of frustration that leads people to leave. Other Central European countries neighboring the Czech Republic are usually portrayed in popular culture as places of passionate pleasures for frustrated Czechs seeking a refuge from troubles back home, or as traditional and backward societies implicitly contrasted with modern and developed Czech lands. Citizens of neighboring countries are passionate and irrational females that are seducing/ seduced by handsome Czechs. Alternatively, they are portrayed as overly traditional, religious, and nationalistic individuals. The imagination of the Central European space in Czech popular culture is thus much more nuanced than the formal and practical political discourse suggests. This imagination offers not only an anti-geopolitical empty space at home, but also a frustrating struggle between leaving and returning, as well as Orientalist descriptions of the eastern neighbors.

References Černý, D. (2009) Entropa, [Online] www.davidcerny.cz/cz/entropa.html, Available 12 April 2009.

126  Matúš Halás Dalby, S. (2008) “Warrior Geopolitics: Gladiator, Black Hawk Down and the Kingdom of Heaven”, Political Geography, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 439–455. Dittmer, J. (2005) “Captain America’s Empire: Reflections on Identity, Popular Culture, and Post-9/11 Geopolitics”, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol. 95, no. 3, pp. 626–643. Dittmer, J. and Dodds, K. (2008) “Popular Geopolitics Past and Future: Fandom, Identities and Audiences”, Geopolitics, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 437–457. Dittmer, J. and Gray, N. (2010) “Popular Geopolitics 2.0: Towards New Methodologies of the Everyday”, Geography Compass, vol. 4, no. 11, pp. 1664–1677. Dodds, K. (2005) “Screening Geopolitics: James Bond and the Early Cold War Films (1962–1967)”, Geopolitics, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 266–289. Drulák, P. (2006) “Between Geopolitics and Anti-Geopolitics: Czech Political Thought”, Geopolitics, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 420–438. Kuus, M. (2008) “Švejkian Geopolitics: Subversive Obedience in Central Europe”, Geopolitics, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 257–277. Ó Tuathail, G. (1996) Critical Geopolitics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Scharf, I. (2005) “Staging the Border: National Identity and the Critical Geopolitics of West German Film”, Geopolitics, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 378–397. Sharp, J. P. (1993) “Publishing American Identity: Popular Geopolitics, Myth and The Reader’s Digest”, Political Geography, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 491–503.Steiner, G. (2003) Lessons of the Masters. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Viewegh, M. (1997) Báječná léta pod psa. Brno: Petrov. Viewegh, M. (1999) Povídky o manželství a sexu. Brno: Petrov. Viewegh, M. (2008) Román pro muže. Brno: Druhé město. Zelenka, P. (2008) Karamazovi, Czech Republic: První veřejnoprávní – Warsaw Pact Film Production – Česká televize, Cinemart.

15 Regional geopolitics The case of Hungary Attila Jakab

Hungary and geopolitical thinking The Carpathian basin – the historical Great Hungary1 that had been part of the Habsburg Empire prior to the Compromise in 1867, thereafter of the AustroHungarian Empire  – has been considered by the British geopolitical school as part of the World-Island, and most strictly as part of its core, called “Heartland”. According to the famous quotation of Halford John Mackinder: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland, who rules the Heartland commands the WorldIsland; who rules the World-Island controls the world” (Mackinder 1919: 106). In spite of the importance of its geographical position, Hungary never developed serious geopolitical thinking. According to Zoltán Palotás  – who’s study includes a short presentation of (German, French and Anglo-Saxon) geopolitical thinking and summarises the question that a “Hungarian” geopolitical treaty must discuss the country, the nation, the economy and the state power – the reason for this was that in the first half of the 20th century the term “geopolitics” was used by the Hungarian journalists in a “German” sense; namely, to justify some political and/or economical goals. Consequently, the scholars (including the geographer and politician Pál Teleki; 1879–1941) considered geopolitics above all propagandistic and thus preferred the concept of “political geography”. Even if Hungarian geographers have provided in their works a lot of elements for a possible Hungarian geopolitical system to be created, it was never built up. Between the two world wars, only some isolated publications (by the controversial Géza Czirbusz (1919) and Gusztáv Kalmár (1942), who’s book is more a geo-history than a geopolitical work) attempted to answer the question: “what is geopolitics” (cf. Palotás 1943)? But in fact, no study presented and analysed the history of the Hungarian geographical science before the end of the Second World War from a geopolitical point of view. Moreover, under the Soviet influence in the first years of the Bolshevik regime, in the early 1950s, geopolitics was regarded in Hungary as a fascist science (some Soviet books have been translated into Hungarian) (cf. Zvavič 1950; Semenov 1953). It was banished for decades from the scientific field. But then again, even without this decision, it was never actually present  – or represented  – in the Hungarian scientific life of the 20th century. Unsurprisingly, geopolitics, as

128  Attila Jakab an autonomous field of research, is practically non-existent in Hungary at the moment. Only a few scholars take an interest in this scientific analysis and approach, and their interest is irregular and far from being constant. Their singular and isolated publications could not be considered as representative examples of modern Hungarian geopolitical thinking. In reality, Hungarian geopolitics appears closely connected with the political geography (as a description of a territory) or the security policy. The publications of the last decade illustrate this fact very expressively (cf. Hajdú 1998; Bernek 2002; Békési 2004; Gazdag 2006; Deák 2007; Gazdag 2011). In the book edited by Péter Deák (cf. Deák 2007) for example, the authors propose an overview of the security and (with insistences) the defence policy problems of Hungary and talk about the geopolitical environment of the country at the beginning of the 21th century. If they discuss the “geostrategy” of the East-Central European countries (cf. Ara-Kovács and Tóth 2007): Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania, they will omit talk about the “geostrategy” of Hungary. Probably because in fact the country does not have any dangerous elaborated regional strategy. The ambitions uttered in political discourse (sometimes exaggerated, really imperials) expressed more historical frustrations and hopes which never had been accomplished, that real stratagem. In effect, the Hungarian state and society presently dispose neither internal resources for their aspirations nor a clear future vision of his destiny. According to Ágnes Bernek, head of the Zsigmond Király College’s Research Center for Geopolitical Studies, “Geopolitics has never been defined in a way acceptable to everyone. In the most comprehensive and general sense we usually describe the science of geopolitics as follows: the examination of the relationship between natural environment and social factors with a predetermined political objective. However, many consider geopolitics not as a science, but as world politics itself.” (Bernek 2010a: 1). In this statement, it is not so hard to recognise the reminiscence of the “German” sense of geopolitics from the beginning of the 20th century. It is very different from what David Criekemans (“geopolitics, in its essence, draws attention to the question of what role ‘territoriality’ still plays in international politics or on the identity and foreign policy of a political entity”; Criekemans 2009: 7), and Gyula Csurgai (“method of interdisciplinary analysis”; Csurgai 2009: 50) said. An enormous gulf separates the international geopolitical research and what is considered “geopolitics” in Hungary. This is clearly palpable if one gains insight into the slight Hungarian scientific production.

Publications If we take into account recent publications, we can observe that in the last ten years only a few – isolated – titles were published in the field of geopolitics. The publication of two anthologies of selected and translated geopolitical studies had to be considered as an interesting beginning; but it failed to have any continuation (cf. Csizmadia, Molnár and Pataki 1999; Siselina and Gazdag 2004).

Regional geopolitics  129 Miklós Bárdos-Féltoronyi, professor emeritus of the Louvain Catholic University, published Introduction into the geopolitics and planned to launch a series. However this first – and also the only – book did not continue; the author is not present in Hungarian scientific life (cf. Bárdos-Féltoronyi 2006, 2012). The publications of Ferenc Mező show considerable confusion about geopolitics (he uses the term without clarity and consistency) and an incomplete knowledge of the international scientific literature. For him, geopolitics is more like a description (of the geographical conditions of the states and nations, including history, ethnicity, human and material resources, religious, political purposes, etc.) than an analysis (cf. Mező 2006). The same observations could also be made about József Hubai’s geopolitical and geostrategic manual (cf. Hubai 2009). Recently, József Bayer’s study about the globalization and the challenges of the 21st century represented, in reality, a concise presentation of some books from American authors (John Agnew, Brian W. Blouet, Edward N. Luttwak, Robert Kaplan, Zbigniew Brzezinski, James N. Rosenau, Laurent Cohen-Tanugi, M. T. Klare). Unfortunately, however, he does not formulate any personal ideas. On the other hand, he seems not to be very knowledgeable about the French or Italian geopolitics (cf. Bayer 2010). In fact, summaries of the thinking of Western authors is very usual in Hungarian scientific life.

Institutes If we consider the problem of institutes, the result is the same as with the publications. In Hungary, workshops representing serious geopolitical research and tuition had only a virtual existence. Two initiatives could be mentioned and presented. But in each case, we can talk about a one-man-show, which is common practice in Hungary. They fall for the same reasons: 1) lack of human resources; and 2) personal and ideological rivalries, which haunt the entire Hungarian society, including the academics, and thus make any collaboration difficult. This had a very long tradition because, in the field of “geopolitics” at the beginning of the 20th century, Géza Czirbusz and Pál Teleki opposed one another in a highly personal and professional rivalry. They tried to harm each other again and again. I) The first initiative was the establishment of a foundation in 2001, The Council of Geopolitics,2 whose activities between 2002 and 2009 were extremely varied. Most of them had nothing to do with geopolitics.3 But, at the beginning of a promising future, an interesting review (GeoFocus. The Official Journal of the Council of Geopolitics) was also launched (in 2002), but only two issues were published.4 In the first years, a few studies5 were written under the auspices of the Council. After them, a lot of working papers were produced, centred on very different problems: NATO’s role, military questions and terrorism (2006–2007), virtual space (2009), secret services (2010). From a geopolitical perspective, the activity of the Council, at the moment,

130  Attila Jakab is more symbolic that factual. Since December  2011, it has been fighting a theoretical struggle against corruption and has been publishing an online newspaper in Hungarian (The SecInfo).6 II) The second initiative is the “Research Center for Geopolitical Studies” founded by and at the Zsigmond Király College7 at the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010.8 It was the time when, for ideological and political reasons, an ambitious religious study project (on the history of monotheistic religions) was choked by the academic committees of accreditation. We cannot exclude that the private, and deliberately profit-oriented, educational establishment probably hoped to find something new and financially attractive in geopolitics which could take the place of the aborted project. The initial objective was to create the first and only geopolitical research centre in Hungary that could provide scientific justification for the new geopolitical strategy of the country and that of the entire East-Central European region. For this reason, the founders have been thinking in terms of a large-scale cooperation with national and international institutes as well as with the Hungarian governmental institutions. But, from the beginning, the content of the project could be considered like a patchwork: in function, what the friends associated with this initiative have thinking they are able to do. So they planned to study Iran, globalisation, the freedom of the media and the media policy, international security policy, geoeconomics, identity constructions, Germany and the Soviet Union between the two world wars, and the protection of the interests of the Gipsy populations.9 A scientific review was also founded: Geopolitika a 21. században (Geopolitics in the 21st century). Only two issues (linked to two conferences: 6 October 201010 And 11 February 2011)11 were published, both in Hungarian and English versions: 2010/1 (“Geopolitics in the 21st century”) and 2010/2 (“China as the 21st century’s power?”). For the next two issues, only the subjects were defined: 2011/1 (“The ‘strategies’ of the great powers in the struggle for the energetic resources in the 21th century”) and 2011/2 (“The Russian geopolitics and the Eurasian powerspace in construction”). These issues had not yet been published. But the apparition of the term “power-space” in the title could be interpreted as the fruit of a political calculation. This term is, in fact, a key concept in the political discourse of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. He uses it to define an exclusive “central powerspace” in Hungarian political life, supposed to unify the entire Hungarian nation around his person and under his direction. In contrast with what was announced at the beginning, the homepage of the centre does not provide any particular material or courses; regular seminars to give a geopolitical analysis and explications of the most important international events are not organised; no crisis-simulation game has been developed; and the centre represents no framework of any kind to arrange and conduct research. The last lesson, concerning the geopolitical and geo-economical pursuit of the “Chinese Empire” in the 21st century, was given by the end of the 2010–2011 academic years.12 In reality, we cannot talk about real teaching, because – all at all – only six conferences were given between October 2009 and June 2011.13

Regional geopolitics  131 Unfortunately, the fate of the Zsigmond Király College’s Research Center for Geopolitical Studies represented not the exception but the everyday practice in Hungary. The great majority of ambitious projects – even though they are wellconceived – run out of energy in a very short time. As the key (or leading) person considers the project as his own (reserved) business, nobody is interested in cooperative work. This could work if and only if there was any significant personal interest to talk about. Without that, the cooperation also ceases to continue. Unsurprisingly – after a year of being active – the centre became a virtual institution. At the moment, they do not conduct any real activity: there are no conferences, nor seminars or lessons. They even stopped publishing the once promising review.

Has Hungary got a geopolitical strategy? In the light of all the above, it is not difficult to conclude that Hungary has no real geopolitical conception or plan about its role and place in the international politics. The recent case of the release of Azeri army officer Ramil Safarov by the Hungarian government,14 who hacked, with an ax, an Armenian officer in Budapest in 2004, illustrates very clearly that the Hungarian political elite had no idea what happens in the world around them. The explanation is simple and easy. In Hungary, the political elite do not support the experts and intellectuals who think autonomously. They do not want advice. In the mind of a Hungarian politician – who considers himself a genius – the role of the experts is to corroborate his ideas. If it is not the case, then politicians no longer consult the named expert, who slowly becomes a marginalised person. Consequently, many Hungarian experts and intellectuals  – for personal and existential reasons  – are ready to tell politicians what they want to hear. Moreover, for Hungarian politicians, the most important thing is how to seize and maintain power. For this reason, political discourse about the “national interest” are covered, in reality, with basic personal, familial or clan interests. With the exception of the problem of the Hungarian national minorities in the neighbouring countries – used also above all in the internal political life and struggle – the Hungarian government has no regional and international geopolitical strategy to speak about. It is therefore not surprising that geopolitics (as an interdisciplinary analysis method) – even though the word is used from time to time in public speech – is, in reality, absent from the Hungarian political and academic thinking. However, in spite of the geopolitical ignorance and the absence of any real geopolitical strategy, a Hungarian geopolitical vision could still be detected. This is represented by the declared ambitions of Hungarians (mostly of the Hungarian right) to be or become the (political, economical, cultural, intellectual) leader of the Carpathian Basin region. Presently, this could be detected in the Wekerle Plan of the Orbán government,15 which outlines the economic development of the entire Carpathian basin, under Hungarian leadership, without any consideration of the actual political frontiers. This plan attempts to make use of the Hungarian national minorities in the neighbouring countries, and it could be perceived as a project to try to restore something about the 19th century’s Hungarian dominance in Central

132  Attila Jakab Europe (cf. Romsics and Király 1998).16It is very likely that this nationalistic project will be more and more emphasised with the increase of internal problems and the generalisation of the Hungarian social, economic and political crisis. Nevertheless the dream of an eternally lost greatness (Hungary as a Carpathian imperium) – which is present in the political discourse of the right (the Hungarians have become a “world nation”, said Prime Minister Orbán recently)  – is entirely disconnected from reality. Presently Hungary has simply no resources to do anything to achieve its ambitions. But the danger exists, that the country and society may take their vision for reality. At this moment, the most important national target is to avoid bankruptcy.17 Given the fact that the Hungarian government is in a “verbal-war” for “liberty” with the EU and the International Monetary Fund, it is feverishly looking for foreign sponsors (e.g., China, South Arabia, Azerbaijan, Russia). This is the essence of the current political improvisation, called “Opening to the East”.18 As Hungary is becoming more and more unforeseeable, it is slowly presented as a potential threat or dangerous example in the European Union and in a Euro-Atlantic socioeconomical and defence system. The country is confronted with a crisis and the challenge of significant and irreversible changes. In this situation, neither the EU nor NATO could allow, in the long run, that Hungary turn into a geopolitical and geostrategic destabilisation factor in a moment when, in the Middle East, the possibility of a local war is constantly increasing.19 At the moment, the stability of East-Central Europe is one of the most important things. From political, social, economic and cultural points of view, the Carpathian basin, connected closely with the Balkans, is a real melting point, a “transit zone” between East and West. For this reason, geopolitically, the only reasonable “Hungarian way” is to be a “bridge”, not a national “ghetto” or an impassable obstacle. In the 21st century, the national dreams rooted in the 19th century are no longer working, not to mention that the Hungarian (right and extreme right) political elite’s efforts to transform the country into a logistic base – or into a largely open gateway – for the Chinese,20 Russian and/or Iranian national strategy in Europe.

Notes

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

The Kingdom of Hungary. See: www.cgeopol.hu/index.html See: www.cgeopol.hu/Mult_esemenyek.pdf (available only in Hungarian). See: http://geofocus.voila.net/geofocus_en_vol1.html See: http://geofocus.voila.net/discussion.html See: www.secinfo.hu Meanwhile, from August  2016, the College became University, but nothing has changed in the Center activities. 8 This initiative could not be considered far-reaching, because his head (Ágnes Bernek) is also the head of another (economical and managing) research centre, founded in 2010, and who also does not work. 9 See the presentation of the Centre: http://geopolitika.zskf.hu/uploaded/2011/Geopoli tika/GeopolKK_bemutatasa.pdf (available only in Hungarian).

Regional geopolitics  133 10 In reality, this was a presentation of the first issue of the review when the authors summarized their published studies. 11 This second so-called “conference” was also a presentation of the new (second) issue of the review. From the Vietnamese authors, who had given papers to the study, nobody was present. 12 See: http://geopolitika.zskf.hu/uploaded/2011/Geopolitika/Kurzus/Palya2011JuniJuli_11.pdf 13 See: http://geopolitika.zskf.hu/index.php?page_id=457 14 Safarov was immediately greeted as a national hero in Baku. Armenia perceived this as an offence. All the Hungarian–Armenian relations (e.g., diplomatic, academic, and sportive) suffered. 15 See: www.kormany.hu/download/1/45/a0000/Wekerle%20Terv.pdf (available in Hun garian). 16 The fact that the Hungarian “geopolitical” thinking predominantly turns around the Hungarian national minorities is very well illustrated by Gábor Zsolt Pataki (2005),. For another – and larger – approach see Gyula Csurgai (2005). 17 It is done, but the country is sinking into a social crisis. Hungary invented the illiberal national neoliberalism. 18 An interesting indication of the collision between science and politics in Hungary to search new ways outside of EU is the conference proceedings about the role of Russia in the 21st century, and the possibly Russian–Hungarian relations. See Oroszország a XXI. században (Russia in the 21st century). A Nyíregyházi Főiskola és a Kelet-Középeurópai Kutató Központ„ Oroszország an XXI. században” címmel 2009. április 28-án megrendezett konferenciájának anyaga. Nyíregyháza: Bessenyei Kiadó, 2010. 19 Now it is a reality. 20 Ágnes Bernek in the “Chief Editor’s Preface” to the second issue of the Geopolitics in the 21st century review envisions a “Chinese Empire” and asks: “What is the position of Hungary in the new – possibly Chinese-led – multipolar world economy and world political system? How important is the region of Central and East-Central Europe, and within this Hungary? Does the region play a role at all in China’s new geopolitical and geoeconomic aspirations?” (http://geopolitika.zskf.hu/uploaded/2011/Geopolitika/ F%C3%B6szer-koszonto-2sz%C3%A1m-angol.pdf, p. 2)

References Ara-Kovács, A. and Tóth, A. (2007) “A kelet-közép-európai országok geostratégiája” [The Geostrategy of the East-Central-European Countries], in Deák, P. (ed.) Biztonságpolitikai kézikönyv (Manuel of Security Policy). Budapest: Osiris, pp. 325–342. Bárdos-Féltoronyi, M. (2006) Bevezetés a geopolitikába. Budapest: L’Harmattan. Bárdos-Féltoronyi, M. (2012) Vigyázat, jönnek a törökök! Meddig terjednek s egyáltalán vannak-e az Európai Uniónak határai? [Attention, the Turks Arrive! Where Are the Frontiers of the European Union, and He Have It Indeed?]. Budapest: L’Harmattan. Bayer, J. (2010) “Globalization and the Geopolitical Challenges of the 21st Century”, Geopolitics in the 21st Century, no. 1, pp. 9–30 (only the Hungarian Version Is Available), [Online] www.pannonpalatinus.hu/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Bayer-J%C3%B3zsefGeopolitika-I%C3%A9vf-1sz%C3%A1m.pdf, Available 12 December 2012. Békési, L. (2004) A politika földrajza (=The Geography of Politics). Budapest: Aula. Bernek, Á. (ed.) (2002) A globális világ politikai földrajza [The Political Geography of the Global World]. Budapest: Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó. Bernek, Á. (2010a) “Chief Editor’s Preface: Welcome to Our First Issue!” Geopolitics in the 21st Century, no. 1, [Online] http://geopolitika.zskf.hu/uploaded/2011/Geopolitika/ foszerk-koszonto-1sz%C3%A1m-angol.pdf, Available 12 December 2012.

134  Attila Jakab Criekemans, D. (2009) “Geopolitical Schools of Thought: A Concise Overview From 1890 Till 2015, and Beyond”, in Csurgai, G. (ed.) Geopolitics: Schools of Thought, Method of Analysis and Case Studies. Geneva: Éditions de Penthes: Pregny – International Center for Geopolitical Studies, pp. 7–47. Csizmadia, S., Molnár, G. and Pataki, G. Zs. (eds.) (1999) Geopolitikai szöveggyűjtemény (Geopolitical anthology). Budapest: Stratégiai és Védelmi Kutatóintézet. Csurgai, G. (2005) La nation et ses territories en Europe centrale: Une approche géopolitique, European University Studies, ‘Series III: History and Allied Studies’. Bern, Berin: Peter Lang, p. 965. Csurgai, G. (2009) “Constant and Variable Factors of Geopolitical Analysis”, in Csurgai, G. (ed.) Geopolitics: Schools of Thought, Method of Analysis and Case Studies. Geneva: Éditions de Penthes: Pregny – International Center for Geopolitical Studies, pp. 48–86. Czirbusz, G. (1919) Anthropo-geografia, 3th part: Geopolitika. Budapest: Franklin, [Online] www.mtda.hu/books/czirbusz_geza_anthropo_geografia_3.pdf, Available 12 December 2012. Deák, P. (ed.) (2007), Biztonságpolitikai kézikönyv (Manuel of security policy), Budapest: Osiris Kiadó. Gazdag, F. (ed.) (2006) Geopolitika és biztonság (Geopolitics and security), (Coll. Biztonság a XXI. században = Security in the 21th Century). Budapest: Zrínyi Kiadó. Gazdag, F. (ed.) (2011) Biztonsági tanulmányok-biztonságpolitika (Studies in Security Policy). Budapest: ZMNE. Hajdú, Z. (1998) Changes in the Politico-Geographical Position of Hungary in the 20th Century. Pécs: Centre for Regional Studies of HAS, http://discussionpapers.rkk.hu/ index.php/DP/article/view/2147 Hubai, J. (2009) Geopolitika  – geostratégia. Távoktatási tankönyv. Budapest: Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó. Kalmár, G. (1942) Magyar geopolitika (Hungarian geopolitics). Budapest: Stádium. Mackinder, H. J. (1919) Democratic Ideals and Reality: A Study in the Politics of Reconstruction. London: Constable and Company Ltd. Mező, F. (2006) “A  geopolitika formaváltozásai” (Changing Forms of Geopolitics), Politikatudományi Szemle, no. 4, pp.  75–107, www.poltudszemle.hu/ szamok/2006_4szam/2006_4_mezo.pdf). Published also in Polgári Szemle 5 (2009/2) and – with another title: “Térértelmezések a geopolitikában” (Space Interpretations in Geopolitics), Tér és Társadalom, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 1–22. Palotás, Z. (1943) “A geopolitika mint államtudomány” (The Geopolitics as a State Science), Hitel [Minerva, Kolozsvár], no. 1, pp. 98–109, http://ispmn.gov.ro/uploads/063Palotas_ Zoltan_A_geopolitika_mint_allamtudomany.pdf Pataki, G. Z. (2005) Étude géopolitique des minorities hongroises (Dissertationes III). Paris, Budapest and Szeged: Institut Hongrois de Paris. Romsics, I. and Király, B. K. (eds.) (1998) Geopolitics in the Danube Region: Hungarian Reconciliation Efforts, 1848–1998. Budapest: CEU Press. Semenov, Û. N. (1953) Fašistskaâ geopolitika na službe amerikanskogo imperializma. Budapest: CEU Press. Siselina, L. and Ferenc, G. (eds.) (2004) Oroszország és Európa: orosz geopolitikai szöveggyűjtemény (=Russia and Europe: Russian Geopolitical Anthology). Budapest: Zrínyi Kiadó. Zvavič, I. S. (1950) Fašistikaâ “geopolitika” na siužbe anglo-amerikanskogo imperializma. Budapest: Zrínyi Kiadó.

Part IV

Nationalism

16 Nation Central European context Radosław Zenderowski

Introduction When answering the question if in Central Europe the notions of nation and nationalism are understood differently than in Western Europe and the United States, one shall indisputably give an affirmative answer. Yes, the idea of a nation in the minds of the Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians and also Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Romanians, Moldavians, Bulgars, Slovenians, Croatians, Serbs, Macedonians, Bosnians (Bosnian Muslims), Albanians and other nations is in many cases of the utmost different than this, to which British, French, Spaniards, Italians and even Middle Europeans such as the Germans and Austrians are accustomed. This distinctness from the rest of Europe, or further –European civilization, is at the same time a reason for pride and a reason for deeply hidden complexes. One with the other creates a typically explosive Central European mixture, hard to explain and understand scholarly, but to which one can get accustomed, living at the crossroads of different civilizations, religions and world views. Therefore, let us take a closer look at what, in thinking about the nation, seems to be particularly Central European. In this article, I intend to outline four essential differences existing between Central and Western European perceptions of what a nation is.

Nation–state relationship At the end of the 18th and throughout the 19th century, when modern nation states in Western Europe arose, Central Europe or even further  – East-Central Europe – was still in the age of premodern empires: multinational, multireligious and multicultural political organisms that were not aspiring to culturally unify their territories. Turkish sultans, Russian tsars or even Austrian emperors ruled the nations whose origins and history were often not known to them, not even in the utmost broad outline and whose existence was sometimes entirely unnoticed. First, modern ably governed and centralized states arose in the West. Given time, within their borders and with the use of administrative methods, public education and – quite often – under a physical constraint (including corporal punishment in schools meted out for the use of non-state language), nations, whose names are

138  Radosław Zenderowski nowadays known around the world, were created. The dominating ethos (politically, culturally, not necessarily in number), or to be more precise – the political and cultural elites – executed a particular political and cultural invasion over the subordinate ethnos. The language, a correct version of the history, notions about enemies and allies, and often religious conversion (through repressions on the infidel) were imposed on them. As an effect of a consequent elimination of Celtic traditions from public life, Anglo-Saxons created an (imperial) British nation, and the Parisian elite, by exiling the Celtic and German traditions to the folk-antiquarian dregs, brevetted a “uniform” French nation. At the same time, a political and cultural offensive of WASP (white Anglo-Saxon protestants) lasted in the United States, aiming at the creation of a distinct promised land, free from depravity, so characteristic for the Old Continent (Altermatt 1998; Chlebowczyk 1975, 1983; Halecki 1994; Hroch 1996; Radzik 1993, 1999; Szűcs 1995). In the meantime, Central Europeans such as Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Lithuanians, Hungarians and others simply did not have their states. They did not exist in the political or administrative sense. In the world – not counting the Poles and Hungarians (two nations of an extended state tradition, which at a time were the regional superpowers, regularly commencing uprisings having wide repercussions in Europe) – no one knew of Slovenians or Slovaks (notably, the two nations are still not distinguished in Western Europe). A representative of the middle class from a Western country would say “No state – no nation”. But is it true? Did not the Czechs exist in the 19th century as a conscious ethnocultural community? Were there no Croatians, Serbs or many other nations? Yes, they were, but their existence was not embraced in the Parisians, Londoners and New Yorkers paradigmatic thinking about the world of nations. Well, in the discussed region, the nation formation process is fundamentally different than what took place in the West. An excellent description of this process is given by Józef Chlebowczyk, a historian born in Cieszyn Silesia. According to him, “In Europe we are dealing with two models of the nation formation processes: (a) state community – language community – nation community; (b) language community – nation community – state community”. The first process illustrates the nation formation process in Western Europe. “The centralisation of state organisms is its starting point; then through language unification, it leads to the shaping of the national (state-national) consciousness”. The second corresponds to the nation formation processes in East-Central Europe. “The initial moment was the advancement of a language community as the central element of nation formation process”. In Central Europe, the nations created states, not the contrary (Chlebowczyk 1975, 1983). As a consequence, the inhabitants of Central Europe, recognising their nations as predominantly formed in a long ethnocultural community historical process, can imagine their existence independently from currently owned national states and border lines. This explains – first of all – why ideas such as “Hungarian nation” and “Polish nation” do not allow them to enclose themselves in the administrative borders of Hungary and Poland. When József Antall, the prime minister of 10 million inhabitants of the Hungarian Republic solemnly declared being the prime minister of 15 million Hungarians, the inhabitants of Central Europe correctly understood that he meant the fate of

Nation: Central European context  139 his compatriots living in Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. An inhabitant of the West, undirected in the meanders of Central European politics, would consider that the prime minister confused the statistics or suffers from national megalomania. Secondly, the consequence of a long national development, independent of the state or its sovereignty, is a lack of due respect for its institutions. The state is something external, not internalised, that is fundamentally unnecessary for the existence of the nation. Tax frauds and bribing civil servants are not regarded as a practice striking the nation as a community, which lives by the strength of the spirit, and not by the strength of the administrative effectiveness. No matter how pathological that is, let us not deceive ourselves – it does have its advantages, especially during a crisis of a state institution as such (Chlebowczyk 1975, 1983; Hroch 1996; Kłoczowski 2000; Kuzio 2001; Waldenberg 1999, 2000; Lewandowski 2005).

Nation–religion relationship The value of religion in the nation formation process, including – speaking somewhat pompously – the survival of many nations in Central Europe, is incomparable with its influence on the shaping of the modern national identities in Western Europe. In most cases (with the exception of the Czech Republic, although even that is discussable) two phenomena are strictly connected with each other: religion ethnicisation and ethos sacralisation left their stamp on contemporary national identities. Why? There are at least four main reasons (Zenderowski 2011). First of all, the churches substituted (often almost in the literal meaning) the destroyed states. For a long time, individual nations of East-Central Europe were deprived of their states. They were lost due to annexation or joining with a stronger political organism, in such nations as Poles, Czechs, Lithuanians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Hungarians, Croatians, Greeks. The lack of statehood in the cases mentioned above is not some little episode, but a period which lasted even for several centuries! The loss of political sovereignty occurred as follows: for Poland in 1795, for the Czech Republic in 1620, for Hungary in 1526, for Bulgaria in 1398, for Serbia in 1389, and for Lithuania in 1385 (Union in Krew) or 1569 (Union of Lublin). This means that the Lithuanians were deprived of their statehood autonomy for the longest time (however, the Republic of Poland was recognised as a common Polish–Lithuanian state) – 533 years – while Bulgarians for 510 and the Serbs for 489 years. Hungarians did not have their state for 341 years, and the Czechs for 298 years (if we recognise Czechoslovakia as a state in which the Czech nation possessed political subjectivity). If Byzantium would be considered a Greek state, the Greeks were deprived of their statehood for 377 years (from the collapse of Constantinople in 1453 until 1830). Until the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, some East-Central European nations did not succeed in coming into being as a political subject under their own “name” (Slovaks, Slovenians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Latvians, Estonians, Romanians and Albanians). Moldavians and Macedonians are an exceptional case, as those names appear in the middle ages or even antique past; however, the relationship between the modern nations and the

140  Radosław Zenderowski old states named the Moldavian Principality and Macedonia raise some justified questions. Still, Lusitzi, Krym Tatars, Gagauz and other minor ethnic groups have not gained their national state to this day (Zenderowski 2011; Borowik 1999). In East-Central Europe, an autonomous statehood in the perspective of 10–11 ages of history, discloses as a rare property, as a deviation from a rule, not as a rule. Here, statehood represents an important episode in the history of nations struggling with the experience of different reigns (no matter how disputable the idea of “foreign” in the pre-nation Europe may be). In this situation, the lack of national state (political) institutions was often affected in the integration of an ethnos around one church (seldom two churches), being an institution that organises a social life in the scope ranging beyond the standard pastoral ministry. As an effect, the churches – often nolens volens, became at the same time the institutions of religious and national life. On one hand, churches were engaged in social welfare and education, and on the other, they created a history narration, anointed political leaders and supported national uprisings. The most distinct exceptions in this scope are Polish and Serbian churches (Zenderowski 2011; Borowik 1999). Secondly, churches (especially the Catholic Church in Poland) played a significant role in the age of communism, when they became private oases of an unfettered national discourse. They were the only “space” where an open manifestation of national identity and willingness to regain lost sovereignty was possible. At the same time, it should be emphasised that the hostility of the communists towards the Church had an ambivalent justification. Firstly, it was a doctrinal and ideological hostility towards religion, understood in the Marxist way –an opium for people. Secondly, the hostility towards religion and the Church had its pragmatic dimension – for the Church was perceived as a quasi-political authority competing with the official, state central authorities. Its existence effectively prevented the monopolisation and centralisation of governing bodies by the communists (Zenderowski 2011; Borowik 1999). Thirdly, individual churches in East-Central Europe played and still play a significant role in strengthening and preserving the national identities of ethnic minorities. According to Halina Rusek: “Often, for the majority of ethnic or national minorities, religion is the basis of national identity, distinguishes those groups among others, separates from ‘strangers’ and integrates with ‘ours’. Religious, national or ethnic identity is frequently based on the set of the same values” (Zenderowski 2011; Rusek 2002). Fourthly, religion plays a more important role at the crossroads of creeds, and exactly such a place – what should be emphasised here – is all of East-Central Europe. What we have here, are two kinds of religious crossroads: Catholic– Orthodox Church (Catholic–Protestant and Protestant–Orthodox definitely to a smaller degree) and Christianity–Islam (Orthodox–Islam mainly). Religion on the crossroads is not only faith in God, but also the faith in the integrity of an ethnic community, and sometimes even more – the civilisation community. In any case, in East-Central Europe, religion is not (and never was) a private matter (it is about the nation and its existence) nor – predominantly – an indifferent matter.

Nation: Central European context  141 The idea of antemural Christianity deserves particular attention in the described exception. It is extremely clearly inscribed in the national identity of Catholic Poles, Lithuanians, Hungarians and Croatians, and also in the status of Orthodox Romanians, Cossacks (ex post identified with the Ukrainians) or Serbs. In our part of Europe, the Christian religiousness, even if only superficial and ostentatious, for a long time has been recognised as the most certain assurance certifying belonging to Europe. Individual nations knew their European character not by the means of political or economic institutions, but by the means of culture, and especially religion. And, in particular, through the constant readiness to scarify themselves for the good of European civilisation. At the same time, it should be noticed that with such a picture of their role in the history of Europe, many inhabitants of our region were (and still are) accompanied by the feeling of ingratitude from the Western countries, which enriched themselves by conquering the colonies, while the Eastern part protected the European borders with great devotion (Zenderowski 2011; Borowik 1999).

Nation–history relationship As opposed to most Western nations, characterised by “prospective” mentality and limited interest in their history, most Central European nations are characterised by a “retrospective” mentality. Those nations live on memories, the past, what nota bene is best visible in the cemeteries, not necessarily only during religious or state holidays. What they look for in the past is a consolation, the taste of bygone glory, and also – and here we encounter another characteristic of Central Europe – the arms against the enemies. The victim and tormentor, the guilt and satisfaction – those categories are an inseparable element of public debates on the state and nation, as well as an element of the ominous repertoire of accusations and demands in international politics. Day by day, we observe more intense and loudly articulated feelings of being aggrieved in history, especially the newest one, connected with the First and Second World Wars, with a few dozen years of communism, and in the case of former Yugoslavia nations – during the Yugoslav Wars. We are dealing with something that, without hesitation, can be called a secular (although assuming the religious and parareligious symbolism) worship of an innocent victim. Nolens volens, we are witnessing a somewhat bizarre victimisation contest for which of the nations suffered the most. As if the winner of such a morbid race was to be healed from all the miserable ailments, traumas and frustrations. As if the winner was to regain all of the reputedly lost chances for better development (to become a superpower, a part of Western countries, to gain political autonomy). An American psychologist, Peter Wolson, aptly observes: “Indeed, the victimisation discourse is all about a kind of compensation for the loss of self-esteem, caused by a certain spectacular national defeat”. As defined by a Romanian political scientist Vladimir Tismaneanu, “visions of salvation” are created in front of our eyes. One of the salvation conditions is, among others, to prove ones’ moral superiority, which  – on the contrary to the aggressor, the

142  Radosław Zenderowski victim has  – to some extent  – at its disposal. East-Central Europe seems to be a peculiar place on the Old Continent, where the feelings of grudge, bitterness, complaints and pretensions culminate. Still, we are dealing with unsolved ethnic issues, long-standing matters in disputes about land, properties, cultural goods, indemnities and finally  – with the toughest ones: concerning memory, honour and prestige. For an external observer, East-Central Europe from the perspective of discourses conducted in the individual states of the region, may appear as a civilisation of victims and persecuted nations (Babiński 1995; Halecki 1994; Bibo 1994; Tismaneanu 2000). In conclusion, it is worth mentioning one important feature, which fits within the three measures mentioned above of discourse about the nation in the Central Europe. Namely, the traumatic fear of physical extermination, rapid depopulation due to mass emigration or “melting” in neighbouring or more distant and stronger ethnos. This observation concerns mostly the 19th century, when the processes towards, among others, Germanisation of Slovenians, Czechs or Poles, Russification of Byelorussians and Ukrainians, Hungarisation of Slovaks, Serbs and Romanian and Polonisation of Lithuanians occurred. As an answer to the assimilation pressure, but also due to prevailing hunger and poverty in many regions, people abandoned their family neighbourhoods and left to earn their bread faraway, even overseas. Even whole villages or regions migrated at a time (vide: the famous great migration of Kosovo Serbs to the Austro-Hungarian territories, sudden depopulation of Eastern Slovakia and Trans-Carphatian Ruthernia). The experts on national issues of that period were betting over not if, but for how long, Slovenians, Czechs, Slovaks and even Hungarians will last in Europe, whom by the end of the 18th century the unchallenged authority, Johann Gottfried Herder foretold, will inevitably melt in the Slavic sea as salt melts in water. In the Polish national anthem, the first words sound equally heroic and dramatic: “Poland has not yet perished so long as we still live” [retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org – translator’s note] (notably the anthem of another great nation – Ukraine – begins with similar words). It is perfectly understood by many Poles, that in the words “as we still live” sounds the voice of insurgents marching towards extermination – the participants of the November Uprising (1830– 31), January Uprising (1863–1964), and finally, the Warsaw Uprising (1944). Undoubtedly, the first words of the national anthem were also sung by the Polish officers assassinated – among others – in Katyn. Paradoxically, this fear, which accompanies the Middle European nations almost from the very beginning, or at least from the exceptionally destructive Mongol invasions from the 13th century, today meets with the fear concerning the survival of many West European nations (the fear of immigrants from Islamic countries) (Bobrownicka 2006; Bugajski 1995; Hjerm 2003; Wandycz 2002).

References Altermatt, U. (1998) Sarajevo przestrzega: etnonacjonalizm w Europie. Kraków: Znak. Babiński, G. (1995) “W poszukiwaniu modelu wyjaśniania przemian etnicznych w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej: o przydatności i nieprzydatności ogólnych teorii”, Przegląd Polonijny, vol. 4, pp. 69–80.

Nation: Central European context  143 Bibó, I. (1994) “Nędza małych państw wschodnioeuropejskich”, Krasnogruda, no. 2–3, pp. 20–32. Bobrownicka, M. (2006) Patologie tożsamości narodowej w postkomunistycznych krajach słowiańskich. Uwagi o genezie i transformacjach kategorii tożsamości. Kraków: Universitas. Borowik, I. (ed.) (1999) Church – State Relations in Central and Eastern Europe. Kraków: NOMOS. Bugajski, J. (1995) Nations in Turmoil Conflict and Cooperation in Eastern Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chlebowczyk, J. (1975) Procesy narodotwórcze we Wschodniej Europie Środkowej w dobie kapitalizmu (od schyłku XVIII do początków XX w.). Kraków: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. Chlebowczyk, J. (1983) O prawie do bytu małych i młodych narodów. Kwestia narodowa i procesy narodowotwórcze we wschodniej Europie Środkowej w dobie kapitalizmu (od schyłku XVIII do początków XX w). Warszawa-Kraków: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe. Halecki, O. (1994) Historia Europy – jej granice i podziały. Lublin: Instytut Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej. Hjerm, M. (2003) “National Sentiments in Eastern and Western Europe”, Nationalities Papers, no. 4, pp. 413–429. Hroch, M. (1996) “Nationalism and National Movements: Comparing the Past and the Present of Central and Eastern Europe”, Nations and Nationalism, no. 1, pp. 35–44. Kłoczowski, J. (ed.) (2000) Historia Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej, vol. 1. Lublin: Instytut Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej. Kuzio, T. (2001) “Nationalising States or Nation building? A Critical Review of the Theoretical Literature and Empirical Evidence”, Nations and Nationalism, no. 2, pp. 135–154. Lewandowski, E. (2005) Pejzaż etniczny Europy. Warszawa: Muza. Radzik, R. (1993) “Formowanie się narodów w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej”, Kultura i Społeczeństwo, no. 4, pp. 17–34. Radzik, R. (1999) “Od zbiorowości etnicznej do wspólnoty narodowej: Podstawowe pojęcia układu etniczno-narodowego w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej w XIX i XX wieku”, Studia Socjologiczne, no. 2, pp. 29–63. Rusek, H. (2002) Religia i polskość na Zaolziu. Kraków: NOMOS.Szűcs, J. (1995) Trzy Europy. Lublin: Instytut EuropY Środkowo-Wschodniej. Tismaneanu, V. (2000) Wizje zbawienia: Demokracja, nacjonalizm i mit w postkomunistycznej Europie. Warszawa: Muza. Waldenberg, M. (1999) “Przyczyny szczególnej roli czynnika narodowego w Europie Środkowo- i Południowo-Wschodniej”, Prace Komisji Środkowoeuropejskiej, no. 6, pp. 57–71. Waldenberg, M. (2000) Narody zależne i mniejszości narodowe w Europie ŚrodkowoWschodniej: dzieje konfliktów i idei. Warszawa: PWN.Wandycz, P. (2002) “Mity, stereotypy i kompleksy w dziejach Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej”, in Purchla, J. (ed.) Europa Środkowa – nowy wymiar dziedzictwa. Kraków: MCK, pp. 33–41. Zenderowski, R. (2011) Religia a tożsamość narodowa i nacjonalizm w Europie ŚrodkowoWschodniej. Między etnicyzacją religii a sakralizacją etnosu (narodu). Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego.

17 The normative isomorphism of language, nation and state Tomasz Kamusella

Introduction Language (written and standardized) has crucial ideological importance for, arguably, all nationalisms in Central and Eastern Europe (including the four Visegrad states that form the core of this region). It constitutes the very basis of these nationalisms, which permits to speak of ethnolinguistic nationalism as the prevalent form of nationalism in this part of Europe. Significantly, in no other region in the world, ethnolinguistic nationalism has become the norm of doing politics and also of statehood and peoplehood formation and legitimization. (This does not preclude the fact that a handful of ethnolinguistic nation states, such as Iceland, Japan or Vietnam, are strewn elsewhere across the globe. However, these do not cluster tightly into a group of geographically adjacent politics, as ethnolinguistic nation states do in Central and Eastern Europe.) On the other hand, language plays a role (though not the foundational one) in most other extant nationalisms. Thus, the problem is how to assess what constitutes an example of ethnolinguistic nationalism, which one is a borderline case, and in which one nationalism language does not play a leading role. The concept of the normative isomorphism of language, nation, and the state provide tools for conducting such an assessment, and also for ‘measuring’ the dynamics of a given ethnolinguistic nationalism.

The concept of the normative isomorphism of language, nation, and state This isomorphism is ‘normative,’ because nations and polities seeking legitimacy through their espousal of ethnolinguistic nationalism must meet, or, at least, aspire to meet, the isomorphism’s requirements. The very meeting of these requirements is necessary for the achievement of a tight ideological and spatial overlapping of language, nation, and state that, in the framework of ethnolinguistic nationalism, are construed as separate or discrete (though related, or relatable) entities. First of all, each member of a nation has to speak the same (thus, national) language (usually, a standard enshrined in the state –or national academia-approved grammars and dictionaries). In this manner, each ethnolinguistic nation is defined

Normative isomorphisms  145 and often imagined that it had existed through the agency of its language long before achieving its nation state. Second, the national language cannot be shared with any other nation. Third, this language must be the sole official language of the nation’s nation state. Fourth, it cannot function as an official language in any other polity. Fifth, no autonomous regions with other official languages than the national one can exist on the territory of the nation state in question. And by extension, sixth, no autonomous region with this national language as its official can exist in other polities. Besides these necessary conditions of the normative isomorphism, one can also add further ideal ones, which are not deemed necessary, due to the sheer nearimpossibility of achieving them. First, the members of an ethnolinguistic nation should be monolingual, that is, ought not to be able to speak any other languages than their national one. Second, all of them should permanently reside in their own nation state. And, last but not least, no members of other nations should be allowed to live on a permanent basis in the nation’s nation-state (Kamusella 2009: 29–36).

The states fulfilling the normative isomorphism in Central and Eastern Europe This normative isomorphism was probably impossible to achieve before the rise of the modern centralized state. Only such a state has at its disposal technologies and means of enforcing popular elementary education in the national language and full conscription draft of all males into the army that employs the national language; these have been the two main instruments of creating and maintaining homogenous monolingualism in a polity. The centralized state with an efficient bureaucracy can also impose almost a total control of its borders, with an eye to retaining speakers of the national language in the policy (and attracting them from outside, too), and to keeping speakers of other languages out (or expelling those who already happen to live in the state). Not surprisingly then, no ethnolinguistic nation state fulfilling the isomorphism’s conditions existed in Central and Eastern Europe before World War I. A certain exception to this statement is the earlier founding of the aspiring ethnolinguistic nation states in the Balkans during the 19th century, namely, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia, and Romania. But then, to a degree, Montenegro and Serbia used the same language, which under the name of Serbo-Croatian they also shared with the Croats living in Austria-Hungary. In various territories outside Bulgaria and Greece, Bulgarian and Greek were employed for ecclesiastical, educational and local administration purposes. Likewise, outside Romania the Romanian language was used for the same purposes in Austria-Hungary’s Transylvania (nowadays in Romania) and Russia’s Bessarabia (or today’s Moldova). These leave Albania as the model ethnolinguistic nation state of that time, though shortly after its establishment in 1912–1913, in the course of the First World War, it was divided among foreign occupying forces and different local centers of power with variegated language regimes. But by looking up north to Scandinavia, which admittedly pushes the limits of what one is used to calling

146  Tomasz Kamusella Central and Eastern Europe, one can point to Norway as a genuine ethnolinguistic nation state fulfilling the isomorphism. (Although a specialist may note that there are two distinctive Norwegian languages, construed as equal varieties.) At that time, Sweden shared its official Swedish language with Russia’s autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland, while on the other hand, Denmark was (as it is still today) a miniature empire, including Greenland, the Faroese and Iceland, where local populations have tended to speak and write languages other than Danish. Furthermore, the German Empire, founded in 1871 as an ethnolinguistic German nation state, was frustrated in its ethnopolitical aspirations by the existence, outside its borders, of other polities with German as their official or national language, for instance, Austria-Hungary, and Switzerland. The situation continues to this day, as German is shared as an official and national language of Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland (also by Namibia before 1990). The Italian nation state faces a similar debacle, as, since its inception in 1861, it has shared its national language with San Marino and Switzerland (and later with the Vatican, too, officially recognized as a state by Italy in 1929). Likewise, the Netherlands did not then and still has not met the isomorphism’s requirements, because it has shared Dutch in an official capacity with Belgium. It could be argued, however, that Dutch was not an official language in Belgium before 1898, which means that between 1830 and 1898, the Netherlands was an ethnolinguistic nation state that met the requirements of the isomorphism. Hence, bearing in mind the aforementioned qualifications, one can say that one state, the Netherlands, fulfilled the isomorphism until 1898 (especially, if one chooses to forget about the polity’s seaborne empire), and two, namely Albania and Norway, immediately prior to 1914, while Bulgaria and Romania were very close to achieving this ideal.

Between the two world wars After 1918, Central and Eastern Europe were reorganized on the (ethnolinguistic) national principle in the wake of the carving up of the non-national, multiethnic polities of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. The German and Russian empires (which had a similar multiethnic character) were pushed away from the region, the latter evolving into the Soviet Union, and the former into a de facto republic, despite officially preserving its old imperial name until 1945. In the interwar period, the following ten nation states fulfilled the isomorphism’s requirements: Norway (official language: Norwegian), Estonia (Estonian), Latvia (Latvian), Lithuania (Lithuanian), Czechoslovakia (Czechoslovak), Hungary (Hungarian), Romania (Romanian), the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (since 1929 – Yugoslavia; Serbocroatoslovenian or, unofficially, Yugoslavian), Bulgaria (Bulgarian) and Albania (Albanian). Swedish was instituted as a co-official language alongside Finnish in independent Finland, which excluded this country and Sweden from the exclusive club of polities meeting the criteria of the isomorphism. Poland almost achieved this goal, except for the fact that Polish was co-official in Soviet Belarus, alongside Belarusian, Russian

Normative isomorphisms  147 and Yiddish. Greek continued to be used in an official capacity outside Greece, for example, in Italy’s Dodecanese Islands and Britain’s Cyprus; and Turkish was a coofficial language on the latter island, too (Kamusella 2006: 60–78).

World War II The picture changed dramatically during the course of the Second World War, due to the division of Central and Eastern Europe between the Third Reich (that is, national socialist Germany) and the Soviet Union, shortly followed by a total war between these former allies. Also, Italy had already annexed Albania. First, Bulgaria, Hungary, Norway, and Romania survived as polities fulfilling the isomorphism, despite considerable changes in their territories (with the exception of Norway occupied by German troops). But the co-official use of HungaroRuthenian (that is, Rusyn) in Hungary’s Carpathia (that is, Czechoslovakia’s former Subcarpathian Ruthenia) disqualified the state from this club. Two new states came to be in the wake of the destruction of Czechoslovakia in 1939 and Yugoslavia in 1941, namely, Slovakia and the Independent State of Croatia, with Slovak and Croatian, respectively, as their sole national languages. Thus, five polities fulfilled the isomorphism in wartime, namely, Bulgaria, Croatia, Norway, Romania, and Slovakia.

Cold War Europe (1945–1989) After World War II, Norway, Romania and Bulgaria continued to meet the isomorphism requirements. They were joined by Albania, Hungary, and Poland. Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were recreated as, respectively, bilingual (Czech and Slovak) and multilingual (Albanian, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, and Slovenian) polities that eventually became federations. In 1974, Albania was excluded from the isomorphic group, because Albanian became a co-official language, alongside Serbo-Croatian, in Serbia’s autonomous province of Kosovo. The same fate met Hungary and Romania, as Hungarian and Romanian were made co-official in Serbia’s autonomous province of Vojvodina. Likewise, the 1960 transformation of British Cyprus into an independent nation state with Greek and Turkish as its coofficial languages continued to exclude Greece and Turkey from this group. So, as few as three polities fulfilled the isomorphism in the Cold War years, namely, Bulgaria, Norway, and Poland.

After communism (1989–today) The subsequent break-ups of the Soviet bloc, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia dramatically altered the political division of Central and Eastern Europe. And until 2010, the following thirteen nation states fulfilled the normative isomorphism in Central Europe, namely, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic (Czech), Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia (Slovenian), Montenegro (Montenegrin), Macedonia (Macedonian) and Bulgaria.

148  Tomasz Kamusella Serbia shares its national language of Serbian with Kosovo and Bosnia. In Kosovo also, Albanian is an official language, which disqualifies Albania from the isomorphic club. Croatia with its Croatian language and Bosnia with its Bosnian language could qualify, except that Croatian and Serbian are also co-official in the latter polity. Belarus (Belarusian) met the isomorphism’s requirements between 1991 and 1995, before Russian became a co-official language in the state. Ukraine with Ukrainian as its official language almost managed to join the isomorphic club, but in the nation state’s autonomous Crimea, Ukrainian has to share its official status with Russian and Tatar. (After Russia’s internationally unrecognized annexation of Crimea in 2014, Ukraine became a de facto isomorphic nation state.) Also, Moldova with its Moldovan language was close to achieving this goal, but an attempt at a union with Romania and the (later retracted) renaming of the Moldovan language as Romanian brought about a violent conflict in 1992 that led to the creation of the unrecognized polity of Transnistria (with Moldovan, Russian and Ukrainian as co-official languages) and the autonomous region of Gagauzia (with Gagauz, Moldovan and Russian as co-official languages). Last but not least, in 2010, autonomy was reintroduced in Serbia’s autonomous province of Vojvodina, complete with (at present) its six co-official languages (Croatian, Hungarian, Romanian, Rusyn, Serbian and Slovak). This meant the exclusion of Hungary, Romania and Slovakia from the tally, reducing the number of states currently (2013) fulfilling the isomorphism (Kamusella 2006: 56–60).

States fulfilling the isomorphism elsewhere in the world There are some ethnolinguistic nation states fulfilling the isomorphism’s requirements elsewhere in the world, too; however, all of them are confined exclusively to Eurasia. Iceland with Icelandic in Western Europe, and in Asia, such polities include Bhutan (Dzongkha), Cambodia (Khmer), Indonesia (Indonesian), Japan (Japanese), Laos (Lao), the Maldives (Maldivian), Thailand (Thai), Turkmenistan (Turkmen), and Vietnam (Vietnamese). Malaysia was close to the ideal, but for the recent use of English in its educational system and the fact that it shares its official language with Brunei and Singapore. The two Koreas, if they were reunited, thanks to their common Korean language they would also qualify for the isomorphic club (barring the complication of China’s Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, where Korean is a co-official language). All other extant nation states either share the official language with another polity, have more than one official language, or include an autonomous region with a language other than the state’s national or official one. Out of the total of twenty ethnolinguistic nation states meeting the requirements of the normative isomorphism, currently (2013) ten are located in Central and Eastern Europe, nine are in Asia and one is in Western Europe. These statistics clearly indicate that while isomorphism is the norm of politics, nationhood and statehood in Central and Eastern Europe, and the employment of ethnolinguistic nationalism to this end, is quite unusual elsewhere in the world. Although outside

Normative isomorphisms  149 Central and Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, with its five isomorphic polities, presents itself as the second most important locus of ethnolinguistic nationalism in the world. And the inclusion of Indonesia, with its 238 million inhabitants, in this group, means that actually more people live in polities fulfilling this normative isomorphism in Southeast Asia than in Central and Eastern Europe (Kamusella 2016). Out of the ten isomorphic nation states in Central and Eastern Europe, seven employ Slavic languages in an official capacity, namely, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia. This allows proposing that the ethnolinguistic kind of nationalism is typical of the Slavic nations and their nationalisms (Kamusella 2006: 90–92). Interestingly, in the isomorphic club, the languages of Bulgarian and Macedonian are almost fully mutually intelligible, as Czech and Slovak, and Lao and Thai (of the Tai language family) are as well. By extending the purview to states that aspire, though thus far, have not managed to meet the isomorphism requirements, the mutual intelligibility can be also observed in the cases of Indonesian and Malaysian (Malayan languages), Moldovan and Romanian, and of the (so far) four post-Serbo-Croatian languages (Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian). Hence, in many instances, ethnolinguistic nationalisms are a product of the ‘narcissism of small differences,’ when a hardly perceptible variation is purposefully taken and deepened as the basis of two or more separate linguistic-cum-political projects.

Human costs of achieving ethnolinguistic homogeneity Out of the aforementioned isomorphic polities, in reality, few are ethnolinguistically homogenous, while most are home to considerable percentages of citizens speaking languages different than the national one. The only exceptions are Iceland, Japan, and Poland. The two former polities share the same characteristic of being islands that for long periods of time were effectively sealed off from the outer world. And it is mainly (though not exclusively) this prolonged isolation that accounts for the emergence of ethnolinguistic homogeneity there. (Although in the case of the populous Japan, the ethnolinguistic homogeneity is mainly a result of the centralized national educational system that levelled out any dialectal and linguistic differences during the 20th century [cf. Yeounsuk 2010]) In the case of Poland – the most populous state among the four Visegrad countries – the country’s ethnolinguistic homogeneity was achieved in the wake of the Holocaust (perpetrated by Germany) and of the huge changes in the postwar Polish borders (decided by the wartime Allies). These border changes entailed mass expulsions of Germans, Belarusians, Ukrainians and Jews from post-1945 Poland, and they were paralleled by returns of Poles from Germany and Western Europe and also by mass deportations of Poles from the enlarged Soviet Union to the new Poland. Likewise, the very creation of ethnolinguistic nation states in Central and Eastern Europe after 1918, changes in their territorial shape (including the erasure of some from the political map of Europe, and the emergence of brand new nation states) during World War II, their re-establishment after 1945, and the new wave

150  Tomasz Kamusella of founding such states after 1989, required time and again huge population ‘transfers,’ often accompanied by a staggering number of casualties (Engel 1967: 194–195). For instance, between 1939 and 1948 alone, five million Jews and about half a million Roma were exterminated in the Holocaust, while 47.5 million people were temporarily or permanently resettled and expelled across Central and Eastern Europe (Magocsi 2002: 189–193). Obviously, not all the Second World War killings, expulsions and resettlements were directly connected to achieving the ideal of ethnolinguistic homogeneity, but most, in an indirect or direct fashion, contributed to this end (cf. Snyder 2010). Thus, the unprecedented human cost of achieving genuine ethnolinguistic homogeneity in a nation state, perhaps, deters most politicians from pursuing this goal, even if they stand fast by the ideals of ethnolinguistic nationalism.

References Engel, J. (ed.) (1967) Grosser historischer Weltatlas (Vol 3: Neuzeit). Munich: Bayerischen Schulbuch-Verlag. Kamusella, T. (2006) “The Isomorphism of Language, Nation, and State: The Case of Central Europe”, in Burszta, W., Kamusella, T. and Wojciechowski, S. (eds.) Nationalisms Across the Globe: An Overview of Nationalisms of State-Endowed and Stateless Nations (Vol 2: The World). Poznań, Poland: Wyższa Szkoła Nauk Humanistycznych i Dziennikarstwa, pp. 57–92. Kamusella, T. (2009) The Politics of Language and Nationalism in Modern Central Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Kamusella, T. (2016) “Are Central Europe, and East and Southeast Asia Alike? The Normative Isomorphism of Language, Nation and State”, in Hara, K. and Heinrich, P. (eds.) Standard Norms in Written Languages: Historical and Comparative Studies Between East and West. Tokyo: Joshibi University of Art and Design. Magocsi, R. P. (2002) Historical Atlas of Central Europe (A History of East Central Europe, Vol 1). Seattle: University of Washington Press. Synder, T. (2010) Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. London: The Bodley Head. Yeounsuk, L. (2010) The Ideology of Kokugo: Nationalizing Language in Modern Japan. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i Press.

18 Nation and region in Central Europe Bálint Varga

For long centuries, local and regional identities belonged to the core of the selfunderstanding of European masses, localities and regions often being the most tangible geographic frame of everyday experiences. Since the late 18th century, when the industrial revolution and new ideas of a political community based on liberty, equality, and nationalism started to penetrate in Western Europe, this spatial affiliation has been condemned by advocates of modernity and nationalism. Association with a region was connected to backward particularism, jeopardizing the great moment of modernity melting local societies into the comprehensive framework of the nation. However, under the surface, local and regional affiliations not only survived but an intensive region-building emerged, too, hand in hand with nation building. “Throughout the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the intimate, knowable homeland, dubbed Heimat, petite patrie, tierruca or terruño, was widely celebrated as the very condition that made nationalism liveable. Its champions were not just concerned with preserving local traditions and regional particularisms. Often, they were nationalists and even ultra-nationalists” (Umbach 2008: 237). In the past decades, scholars have increasingly paid attention to this process, arguing that “movements that promoted cultural difference in the regions were not always disputing modernity, be that the cultural homogenisation of a centralised, industrial state, or the [French] Republican form in politics; rather, they often sought to work with the Republic” (Wright and Clark 2008: 277). Scholars have scrutinized the intensive region-building processes throughout Western Europe, ranging from the petite patries of France through diverse Italy to Germany’s Heimats. The core idea of these movements was rather similar: citizens could attach themselves to the rather remote and abstract nation through the more tangible region. Thus, the nation could be imagined as a local metaphor, as a frequently cited book title about South Germany’s Württemberg says (Confino 1997). Beyond the transmission of the nation to the local level, the other national contribution of regions was diversity. Different cultural practices, such as vernaculars, folklore, and cuisine, all enriched the nation. Diversity, however, must have been kept within limits. Once too diverse, regional particularities were indeed perceived as jeopardizing national unity. The cultivation of vernacular literary cultures was thus heavily controlled by Paris and

152  Bálint Varga the use of Flemish, for instance, limited to the private sphere and some cultural practices but not in education or administration (Baycroft 1995). Central Europe indeed experienced this too much diversity. The linguistic and confessional complexity of Central Europe is a well-known fact; indeed, analyzed in regional framework it becomes even more evident. Let us take the example of Vojvodina, which in 1931 was inhabited by 38% Serbs, 23% Hungarians, 20% Germans, 8% Croats, 5% Romanians, 4% Czechs and Slovaks and some other minor groups as well, or in terms of confession by 45% Roman Catholics, 42% Orthodox, 10% Lutherans and 1% Jews. At a same stake, the 1930 population of Bukovina included 45% Romanians, 28% Ukrainians, and the rest were divided among Germans, Jews, Poles, Hungarians. Regarding confession, the 1930 population of Bukovina was comprised of 72% Orthodox, 11% Jews, 12% Roman Catholics, 2% Greek Catholics, and 2% Lutherans (Eberhardt 2003). Several other regions of Central Europe may be cited further. Thus, the linguistic and confessional diversity differentiated these regions from any Western European territory, where either linguistic (Catalonia, Basque Land) or faith-based (Northern Ireland) fragmentation was present. As a consequence of the Central European type of multiculturalism a significant difference to Western Europe rose: the multicultural regions were battlefields of contesting nation building projects. Contesting integrative projects were also frequently found in Western Europe; however, there the conflicts usually arose between a single nationalizing center and the local elites, turning some regionalist movements into minority nationalism (for instance, Scotland). In Central Europe, however, several national projects emerged, more often than not outside of the regions aiming at the very integration of these multicultural territories into the national bodies. So Vojvodina was targeted by Romanian, Hungarian, German and overlapping Serbian-Croatian-Yugoslav national protagonists. Similarly, in Bukovina, there were active Romanian, Ukrainian, German and Jewish nationalists. This meant that while in Western Europe the relationship of particular regionalism and centralizing nationalism only involved two players, in Central Europe, far more complex dynamics consisting of several actors emerged. The contest of nation building in multicultural areas had a wide-ranging impact on the process of region-building. The first remarkable aspect is the discouragement and abandonment of regional particularities. The evolution of learned regional societies may illustrate this aspect well. Regional learned societies in Germany and France were important agents in producing knowledge about their particular homelands and channeling it into the national body of knowledge (Chaline 2012). Similar societies emerged in Central Europe too, but with a definite difference. Regional scholarship in Carniola (today central Slovenia) may illustrate this point well. In 1845, the Historical Association for Inner Austria was founded to promote provincial studies. Its three branches in Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola became independent organizations five years later. Despite the fact that majority of Carniola spoke Slovenian, the society published in German, not for national but for academic reasons (the Slovene language was regarded as a not sophisticated vernacular spoken only by peasants). However, a pure Slovenian

Nation and region in Central Europe  153 learned society, the Slovenska Matica, was founded in 1864 in Ljubljana; soon, it attracted the Slovenian-speaking members of the Historical Association of Carniola. As only the German-speaking members were left in the original association, it ceased to exist within a few years. Thus, a Carniolian history in the provincial framework has been not written, while the Slovenska Matica promoted Slovenian national history, disregarding the provincial borders (Janša-Zorn 1992). A very similar process happened in Transylvania, too. There three learned societies were founded. All of them were “Transylvanian” in their names (Verein für Siebenbürgische Landeskunde, Erdélyi Múzeum Egyesület, and Asociaţia Transilvană pentru Literatura Română şi Cultura Poporului Român) and, at least on paper, all three were open to anyone, regardless of ethnic, national or denominational background. In fact, all three functioned as vehicles of national scholarship (Török 2016). At the same time, contesting nation-builders not only denied regional particularities but used them for their purposes, too. A  telling example here is the Hungarian attempt to create an East Slovak identity in the pre-WWI years. The Hungarian government, fearing Slovak nation-builders in Northern Hungary (approximately Slovakia today), promoted the idea that East Slovaks were an ethnic group on their own, developed under various influences from Hungarian, Polish, and Ruthenian cultures. Through the creation of the people called Slovyaks, a pro-Hungarian minority was to be formed (Ábrahám 2003). Even though this attempt ultimately failed, the very phenomenon of region-building from above, motivated by very national attempts, is remarkable. Nonetheless, regional actors had their voice, too. Regional identities and political movements had to account for the everyday experience of diversity, on the one hand, and to find accommodation with the very centers of the national activity, frequently outside of these multicultural environments. Regional political movements were thus fostered by national and religious minorities to escape the increasing pressure of centralized states governed by nationalist elites representing the majority nations. So did an increasing part of the Slovak political elite throughout the history of Czechoslovakia, and so do current Hungarian minority leaders in Transylvania. In this sense, Central Europe has not been unique at all, as the same process happened in regions populated by minority communities, such as in Catalonia. Far more interesting is the behavior of elite groups that belonged to the majority national camps, though they did not fulfill the expectations of the national centers. Top-level political protagonists demanded their local co-nationals to be agents of nation building in a diverse and multicultural environment, which were, therefore, labeled hostile and dangerous for national goals. However, local actors frequently opted for autonomous arrangements, as the pure fact that they shared the center’s national identity did not necessarily made them give up regional distinctiveness. To mention a few examples: between exclusive Ukrainian and Romanian national attempts, the political elite of Bukovina agreed on an electoral system ensuring all the relevant groups present in the province a more or less equal representation in the provincial assembly in 1909 (Turczynski 1993: 198–200). Transylvanian

154  Bálint Varga Hungarian intellectuals in the interwar period suggested a provincial autonomy fair for both the Romanians and the minority Hungarians and Germans, while the leaders in Budapest perceived the diversity of the province as a danger to national goals (Lengyel 1993). Even Iuliu Maniu, the principal leader of Transylvanian Romanians in the first half of the 20th century and the most influential local advocate of Transylvania’s merge with Romania, opposed Romanian centralization. Maniu understood the improving power of Bucharest as a threat to Transylvanian Romanians, whom he believed had different (and in fact, superior) norms and culture, based on the Habsburg influence. Maniu protested the centralization of Romania so far that he consciously boycotted the solemn coronation of King Ferdinand in the Transylvanian town of Alba Iulia in 1922, as he saw this act as a representation of centralization. Needless to say that Maniu earned the bitter critique of Romanian leaders in Bucharest, being accused of betraying national interests (Bocholier 2005; Egry 2016). The constant improvement of the central state power, the horrors of World War II, the post-war ethnic cleanings and communism finally managed to destroy much of Central Europe’s unique multiculturalism. In 1950, only a few regions resembled the ethnic and confessional diversity that they had only half decade ago; practically only in Romania, Yugoslavia and in Southern Czechoslovakia did multicultural societies survive, though forced national homogenization also decreased diversity significantly there, too. Regionalism almost disappeared from the political arena of post-1945 Central Europe, as the communist ideology did not tolerate entities organized on any principle but communism. The only major exception here is Yugoslavia, which was reorganized on federal principle in 1974, creating an autonomous Vojvodina and Kosovo. Since 1989 and at an accelerating ratio in the past years, however, regionalism has been (re)discovered in Central Europe, and regional identities are flourishing. Local actors have taken practical advantages of regional identities. Local leaders reinvent, sometimes even construct, micro-regions to apply to funds of the European Union promoting local identities. Mayors in the West Hungarian Zala County, for example, successfully used the otherwise rather ambiguous concept of the Göcsej region to win EU resources (Buskó 2009). The case of the Romanian Banat is also telling: to portray the region as fit for European norms, the memory of the almost vanished German minority was constructed, leading to a particular Germanophilia throughout Romania. Today Banat leaders often recall the memory of the good old Habsburg days, where the region and its capital city Timişoara were far more diverse than today, to promote tourism, win the sympathy of foreign investors and apply for EU funds (Korányi 2011). This means that the question of sovereignty is today less discussed in the regionalist discourse as a century ago. With the exception of the few remaining multicultural regions of Central Europe, such as Vojvodina or Transylvania, where regional political autonomy either exists or a significant group strives for it, leaders of mostly homogeneous regions of Central Europe do not aim for political sovereignty, even in a limited form. Regionalism is used by them as a tool of tangible and everyday

Nation and region in Central Europe  155 experienced identity, upon which positive and harmless patterns of loyalty can be built, and used to ensure some economic advantages, too.

References Ábrahám, B. (2003) “Szlovákok és szlovjákok: A nemzet határai”, Limes, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 55–66. Baycroft, T. P. (1995) “Peasants Into Frenchmen? The Case of the Flemish in the North of France 1860–1914”, European Review of History – Revue européenne d’Histoire, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 31–44. Bocholier, F. (2005) “Iuliu Maniu nemzedéke és az impériumváltás”, In Ablonczy, B. and Fedinec, C. (eds.):Folyamatok a változásban: A hatalomváltások társadalmi hatásai Közép-Európában a XX. században. Budapest: Teleki László Alapítvány, pp. 99–117. Buskó, T. L. (2009) Kistérségi identitások a rendszerváltás utáni Magyarországon. Budapest: Atelier Könyvtár. Chaline, J-P. (2012) “In the Provinces: Local and Regional Learned Societies”, In Porciani, I. and Tollebeek, J. (eds.): Setting the Standards: Institutions, Networks and Communities of National Historiography. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 153–164. Confino, A. (1997) The Nation as a Local Metaphor: Württemberg, Imperial Germany, and National Memory, 1871–1918. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Eberhardt, P. (2003) Ethnic Groups and Population Changes in Twentieth-Century CentralEastern Europe: History, Data, and Analysis. Armonk, NY and London: M. E. Sharpe. Egry, G. (2016) “An Obscure Object of Desire: The Myth of Alba Iulia and its Social Functions”, In Dobre, C. F. and Ghiţă, C.-M. (eds.): Quest for a Suitable Past: Myth and Memory in Eastern and Central Europe. New York and Budapest: CEU Press. pp. 11–27. Janša-Zorn, O. (1992) “Der Historische Verein für Krain”, Österreichische Osthefte, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 545–564. Koranyi, J. (2011) “Reinventing the Banat: Cosmopolitanism as a German Cultural Export”, German Politics & Society, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 97–114. Lengyel, Z. K. (1993) Auf der Suche nach dem Kompromiss: Ursprünge und Gestalten des frühen Transsilvanismus 1918–1928. München: Verlag Ungarisches Institut. Török, B. Z. (2016) Exploring Transylvania: Geographies of Knowledge and Entangled Histories in a Multiethnic Province, 1790–1918. Leiden: Brill. Turczynski, E. (1993) Geschichte der Bukowina in der Neuzeit: Zur Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte einer mitteleuropäisch geprägten Landschaft. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Umbach, M. (2008) “Introduction”, European Review of History: Revue Europeenne d’Histoire, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 235–242. Wright, J. and Clark, C. (2008) “Regionalism and the State in France and Prussia”, European Review of History: Revue Europeenne d’Histoire, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 277–293.

19 My hero, your enemy Competing national memory cultures and symbolic politics in Central Europe Bálint Varga Introduction Cults of heroes flourish in contemporary Central Europe (Heller and Amacher 2010). Throughout post-1989 Central Europe, monuments worshipping heroes have been built, and laws have been passed codifying particular heroes of national memories. At the same time, some other memorials depicting the ‘wrong’ heroes have been demolished, as happened in 2007 in the downtown of the Estonian capital Tallinn, where the Bronze Soldier, a monument to the Soviet Red Army, was removed (Brügemann and Kasekamp 2009). In a similar way, the controversial Ukrainian nationalist leader of World War II, Stepan Bandera, was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine (the highest title given by Ukrainian government) in 2010 by that time President Viktor Yushchenko; yet in within less than a year, the new president Viktor Yanukovich withdrew the claim and thus deprived Bandera of his state-sanctioned hero status (Motyl 2010). As with the relocation of the Bronze Soldier, the Bandera case provoked a stormy public debate in Estonia and Ukraine, respectively. Similar cases from various Central European countries could be endlessly cited, as controversies over the ideal past still form an essential part of politics and public discourse. This short essay aims at reflecting on the renaissance of the hero cult in Central Europe after the fall of communism and seeks to explain why hero cult and, in a broader sense, symbolic politics are still such important issues in this region. The reasons for hero cult will be sought in the past, not because hero cult intensively uses the past but rather because a particular set of historical phenomena led to the current cult of the hero in the Central European context. This paper argues that hero cult in Central Europe has some specific features, which make it clearly different from its Western European counterparts. The key difference lies in history, as the Central European experience of nation building, state building, and totalitarian regimes are structurally different from the Western part of the continent. This particular experience is demonstrated, among many other fields, in the hero cult as well. Making heroes and enemies is a universal phenomenon. No human society could and can exist without its heroes and enemies, whether these figures are mythic or real, dead or alive. The modern hero cult originates from Thomas

My hero, your enemy  157 Carlyle’s often-quoted essay On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History, published first in 1841 (Carlyle 1993). In these series of articles, Carlyle formulated the theory of the Great Man, claiming that social change and progress are the results of activities of some genius. In spite of important criticism, this concept still influences the hero cult (just think of the popularity of Hollywoodstyle heroic movies throughout the world). Another phenomenon influencing the contemporary hero cult was the mass production of heroes, first to be observed after World War I. While Carlyle’s heroes were without exception “great men,” like Muhammad, Martin Luther or Napoleon, the massive loss of human lives in World War I inspired the making of “ordinary heroes.” Each soldier fighting in the war became a hero; this new hero type was aptly represented in the vast number of war memorials, which in the rule were dedicated to unknown soldiers, replacing the former monuments commemorating military leaders (Winter 1995). Since then, the cult of great men and mass-produced “ordinary heroes” have lived in a symbiosis. Central European societies are obviously no exception to the universal rules of hero cults. Nevertheless, due to this region’s turbulent history in the past two centuries, they share some distinct characters that have a definite impact on the structure of their heroes and enemies. Two factors will be examined: the legacy of the competing nation buildings, on the one hand, and that of the authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, on the other.

Competing nations The roots of Central European hero cult go back to the dawn of modern political order. Since the early 19th century, the nation increasingly became the primary concept of community and state building. As nationalism emerged in Western Europe, nationalist ideas reached Central Europe as well. By that time Central Europe was ruled by large, multinational empires, and their rule was based on a different set of values: dynastic loyalty and divine legitimation. Due to the imperial framework, nationalism in Central Europe had a profoundly different character than its Western European counterparts, even though the inspiration apparently came from the ‘West’. Unlike in Western Europe, where usually it was the state which initiated the national project, and thus, the population of a particular country was targeted by one set of nationalists only, in Central Europe, several substate national movements emerged. As ethnic boundaries were frequently unclear and unimportant before the age of nationalism, plenty of people witnessed a deliberate fight for their souls and loyalties, led by competing national activists. A good example here is the South Bohemian town České Budějovice/Budweis: its bilingual population was targeted by Czech and German national activists to integrate Budweisers into modern societies based on national principles instead of the former feudal. As a result, Budweisers accidentally ended up in ‘Czech’ and ‘German’ camps (King 2003). Imperial order lasted for centuries but collapsed at the end of World War I, to be replaced by the new system of nation-states. These new states fulfilled some

158  Bálint Varga nationalist dreams (Czech, Polish, Yugoslav, Romanian, Estonian, Latvian, and partly Lithuanian) and ignored some others (German, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, and Turkish); the nationalist rivalry remained an asset of the region’s politics until World War II. The communist take-over was only able to freeze national conflicts but not to eliminate them, as shown in a milder form by Hungarian ethnic parties in Slovakia, Romania and Serbia and by the far more brutal series of wars in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Competing nationalisms also made memory cultures compete. During the last 200 years, all Central European nations have witnessed “golden ages” and eras of “national suffering”, usually at the cost of their immediate neighbors. This led to the contradicting understandings of valuable and to-be-condemned periods: traumas of a particular nation have been seen by another as flourishing eras and vice versa. Thus, the crossroads of nations, states, and ideology-buildings unavoidably led to diverging master narratives, being hard to challenge after their canonization. To illustrate this contest, take for instance the Czech-Slovak relationship: in the Czech understanding, the most flourishing era of contemporary history was the First Czechoslovak Republic, while the Munich Agreement and the failure of the Prague Spring have been seen as the most traumatic experience of the Czech society. However, in the Slovak reading, 1938 opened the way for the first independent Slovak state in modern history and 1968 made communist Czechoslovakia an equal federation of the two nations, replacing the former Czech domination over the Slovaks (Heimann 2009). The competition of the historical pantheons manifests itself in history textbooks, in public discourse, and in politics of memory, including public memorials and ceremonies. From time to time, usually during fundamental political changes, this competition is more evident, as textbooks, monuments and public services might change profoundly: textbooks can be re-written and monuments can be demolished, replaced and sometimes even re-erected. This competition can be aptly demonstrated by the public usage of the ruins of the Devín castle. This castle on the once Austro-Hungarian, now Austro-Slovak border near Bratislava played a significant role in the Middle Ages, but later it lost its relevance. It was rediscovered in the 19th century when the main leader of the Romantic Slovak national movement, L’udovít Štúr, organized national gatherings in the ruined castle. The Slovak nationalists lost the city and its immediate environs at the cost of their rival Magyar national protagonists, who in 1896 built a large monument commemorating the Magyar victory over the Slavs in the early Middle Ages and, furthermore, to recall Hungarian (semi)independence from Austria. As the site became Czechoslovak territory following the break-up of historical Hungary after World War I, the new power immediately removed the monument and used the castle now to symbolize Czech–Slovak unity. This period lasted until 1938; following the Munich Agreement, the castle became part of Third Reich. For Nazi Germany, the castle symbolized the contact zone between Germany proper and the Eastern European German minorities, so German national festivals were organized at the site, featuring representatives from both Germany and East Europe. The castle was immediately reinterpreted in 1945, now as a site of a pan-Slav and pro-Soviet

My hero, your enemy  159 mass celebration, commemorating the victory over Germany and Hungary. From 1968, the castle increasingly became a symbol of Slovak national idea and gradually lost its possible Czechoslovak connotations (the Magyar and German readings of the site were prevented by World War I and II, respectively), and today it belongs to the most popular sites of Slovak national memory (Kiliánová 2002). Competition of small-state nationalisms manifested itself also on a symbolic level. For national leaders, ensuring ‘proper’ national memory seemed an asset of statehood and the very existence of the nation; thus, hero cult became a cornerstone of national societies. As these nations competed at the cost of their immediate neighbors, they often took heroes who were considered enemies on the other side of the border. Thus, the very same person can be interpreted as a national hero on the one side, and as a troublemaker or even traitor on the other; the revolutionist can be labeled rebel; the freedom fighter may earn the term bandit, and this list could be endlessly continued. Jozef Tiso, head of the Slovak State in 1939–1945, is thus a dismantler of interwar Czechoslovakia and a Nazi traitor for Czechs but the founder of the first modern independent Slovak polity (though his proNazi policies prevent him from being officially celebrated in Slovakia, too) (Ward 2013). In a similar way, the Slovak public considers János Esterházy, a Hungarian political leader in Czechoslovakia, a traitor and war criminal for his support of the Munich agreement. At the same time, he is a national hero in Hungary and for the Hungarian minority in Slovakia for defending Hungarian minority interests and helping Jews during the Holocaust (Kusá 2005: 139). This list can be continued without an end. The latest items are probably the military leaders of the Yugoslav wars, venerated in one country but cursed in the other.

The experience of dictatorships Besides national competition, the other historical feature shaping hero cult and collective memory is the brutal, traumatic experience Central Europe saw from the 1930s to the 1950s and to a decreasing extent until 1989. For Western eyes, the level of violence in Central Europe, in the ‘blood lands’ in Timothy Snyder’s apt term, is just unimaginable (Snyder 2010). Too many people and too many times had to see abrupt and violent changes in their lives. The main historical experience of these societies thus lies in instability and brutality, as borders, dominant powers, elites, ideologies, and regimes have changed very frequently. These changes have been often blunt and total, turning social order upside down within the shortest time, shocking both those on the street and the elites. The frequency and depth of these changes are just unimaginable for a Western European observer. Just take the case of what is today Transcarpathian Ukraine: a man born there in 1910 was a citizen of the Kingdom of Hungary and the subject of Francis Joseph; the same person went to school in Czechoslovakia; got married in Hungary; worked in the Soviet Union and died in Ukraine, though he never left the town where he was born. During his lifetime, the same person experienced monarchic, republican, authoritarian, Nazi, communist and hard-to-define post-communist regimes. At many of these changes, his wealth, social position, and frequently his and his family’s life was at serious risk.

160  Bálint Varga These traumas naturally evoked the demand for mourning and memorization. Authoritarian and dictatorial regimes forced people to commemorate heroes legitimizing their rule, which often did not coincide with the expectations of the population. For instance, in communist Hungary, the figure of the Russian officer Captain Gusev was created, who, according to propaganda material, helped Hungarian revolutionaries in 1849 and was therefore executed by Russian authorities. The reason to create the figure of Gusev was to symbolize the ‘eternal friendship of Soviet and Hungarian people,’ a formula seen as the basis for popular acceptance of the communist regime (Vörös 2008). At the same time, the shock the majority of Hungarian society had to face at the Soviet occupation and the following communist take-over in 1945–1949 could not be publicly commemorated. Indeed, any form of organized memory was strictly forbidden. After 1989, all suppressed feelings suddenly rose. Communist heroes, held as fake by the majority of societies, completely lost their attractiveness. Instead, traumas related to communist rule started to rule the ‘market of commemorations.’ The most plausible example is Poland, where the surpassed memory of the Katyn massacre became a cornerstone of memory discourse (Etkind et al. 2012). A similar process happened in the Baltic republics, where 9 May 1945, the day of Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, was condemned as the symbolic date of the Baltic countries’ miseries. Since the victory over Hitler still forms a fundamental political myth in Russia, the interpretation of this day led to serious international controversies between Moscow and the Baltic countries (Onken 2007). At the same time, the right-wing regimes of the interwar period, which were harshly condemned during the communist era, became an appealing object of memory. Thus, the Hungarian admiral and governor Miklós Horthy, the Romanian Iron Guard, or the Croatian Ustaša movement all became objects of admiration in the post-1989 context of their countries (Minkenberg 2010). This revival and competition of ideal parts is a connection with another Central European peculiarity, which is the depth of inner cleavages within societies. Social splits based on the divergence of historical narratives are obviously not the privilege of Central Europe, like different readings of Charles de Gaulle in France or Francisco Franco in Spain show. The reason behind such cleavages is the fact that canons of history are often formed by historians motivated by political goals. However, as in Central Europe, the change of elites, regimes and ideologies have been more frequent and more extensive than in the western part of Europe, the depth of divergences and contest tends to be far higher. A plausible case is Hungary: for most of the 20th century, Hungarian intellectuals concentrated into two different camps, the so-called “urbanists” and the “populists” (Trencsényi 2012). Even communist rule was not strong enough to challenge this cleavage, and in post-1989, left- and right-wing political camps were established on this former split. These two groups produced two incompatible visions of Hungarian history, society and politics, including the heroes symbolizing the ideal past. The result can be aptly seen through symbolic politics and hero cult: the current right-wing government of Hungary, for instance, removed the statue of Mihály Károlyi from the square at the House of Parliament to rebuild the interwar shape of the square.

My hero, your enemy 161 Károlyi, prime minister and the first president of the short-lived Republic of Hungary in 1918–1919, is a cultic icon of the Hungarian left but has been accused of treason and impotence during his presidency by the right.

Conclusion Central European societies have been traumatized at a level unimaginable for Western European observers. They experienced threat from their immediate neighbors and great powers as well; this threat was often indeed existential, jeopardizing the very subsistence of collective entities (nations) and individuals. The losses all Central European societies had to endure, however, could only be partly mourned and commemorated until 1989; indeed, such tragedies as Katyn had to remain taboos. Therefore, it is not surprising that the search for the ideal past, including the ideal great men, rose so suddenly after 1989 and has continued until our very days.

References Brügemann, K. and Kasekamp, A. (2009) “Identity Politics and Contested Histories in Divided Societies: The Case of Estonian War Monuments”, in Berg, E. and Ehin, P. (eds.) Identity and Foreign Policy: Baltic-Russian Relations and European Integration. London: Ashgate, pp. 51–63. Carlyle, T. (1993) On Heroes, Hero-Worship, & the Heroic in History. Berkeley: University of California Press. Etkind, A., Finnin, R., Blacker, U., Fedor, J., Lewis, S., Malksoo, M. and Mroz, M. (2012) Remembering Katyn. Cambridge: Polity Press. Heimann, M. (2009) Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed. New Haven: Yale University Press. Heller, L. and Amacher, K. (2010) “Avant-Propos”, in Heller, L. and Amacher, K. (eds.) Le retour des héros: La reconstruction des mythologies nationales à l’heure de postcommunisme. Genève: Université de Genève, pp. 9–22. Kilánová, G. (2002) “Lieux de mémoire and Collective Identities in Central Europe: The Case of the Devín/Theben/Dévény Castle”, Human Affairs: A Postdisciplinary Journal for Humanities & Social Sciences, vol. 2, no. 12, pp. 153–165. King, J. (2003) Budweisers into Czechs and Germans: A Local History of Bohemian Politics, 1848–1948. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Kusá, D. (2005) “Power and People: Historical Trauma in Ethnic Identity: The Years of Homelessness of the Hungarian Minority in Post-War Slovakia”, in Breuning, E., Lewis, J. and Pritchard, G. (eds.) A Social History of Central European Politics, 1945–56. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 130–149. Minkenberg, M. (ed.) (2010) Historical Legacies and the Radical Right in Post-Cold War Central and Eastern Europe. Stuttgart: Ibidem Verlag. Motyl, A. J. (2010) “Ukraine, Europe, and Bandera”, Cicero Foundation Great Debate Paper, vol. 10, no. 5 (March), [Online] www.cicerofoundation.org/lectures/Alexander_J_ Motyl_UKRAINE_EUROPE_AND_BANDERA.pdf, Available 14 March 2013. Onken, E. C. (2007) “The Baltic States and Moscow’s 9 May Commemoration: Analysing Memory Politics in Europe”, Europe-Asia Studies, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 23–46.

162  Bálint Varga Snyder, T. (2010) Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. New Yok: Basic Books. Trencsényi, B. (2012) The Politics of National Character: A Study in Interwar East European Thought. New York: Routledge. Vörös, B. (2008) “Hiszen Guszev nem is létezett”, Egy kultusz lerombolása az 1950-es évek közepétől az 1990-es évekig”, Századvég, no. 49, pp. 127–143. Ward, J. M. (2013) Priest, Politician, Collaborator: Jozef Tiso and the Making of Fascist Slovakia. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Winter, J. (1995) Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

20 The concept of “nation” in Polish educational books Daniel Ciunajcis

Introduction The topic of the current chapter is the meaning and political influence of the concept of “nation” in Poland. The contemporary significance of this concept dates back to the nineteenth century and consist of two primary elements: biological−evolutionary, which points to the organic harmony, and that originating from Romanticism, which talks about universal religion, spirituality, traditions and language. An adamant influence of this word has been preserved until today by the appropriate teaching system for years. To prove this hypothesis, I will present, in turn, the issues of education and nation within the European culture. I will also outline the evolutionary themes in popular books on Polish history. At the same time, I will mention the creator of modern Polish nationalism: Roman Dmowski, a politician, whose ideology combines very clearly on two guiding themes − biological and romantic. Furthermore, I will describe the presence of nationalism in historical education during the period of communism in Poland. Finally, I will briefly introduce the contemporary reflection of the concept “nation” in Polish politics.

Romaticism as a beginning Radoslaw Sikorski, in an interview for the German weekly magazine Die Zeit, called Angela Merkel “one-quarter Polish” (Bota and Lau 2013). However, that did not refer to the citizenship of the chancellor, nor to her ideological relationship with Polish “solidarity”, but rather the place of origin of one of her ancestors. For Sikorski, one-fourth of Merkel is part of the body called the Polish nation, because of Merkel’s Polish grandfather. Sikorski is Poland’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and maybe he intentionally used such a description to make the appropriate political impact. But no matter how much of the minister’s speech was part of a diplomatic game and how much of it is his personal conviction, it shows how the concept of “nation” functions in Polish culture. The nation is, in part, still a kind of race and a supportive community with a singular political sensitivity. Such an approach to nationality was widely used during the communist era, and this can be partially proved by the lofty names of organizations brought to life by the

164  Daniel Ciunajcis authorities of the People’s Republic of Poland: the National Unity Front (Front Jedności Narodu), the Patriotic Movement of National Revival (Patriotyczny Ruch Odrodzenia Narodowego), and the Military Council for National Salvation (Wojskowa Rada Ocalenia Narodowego). Unquestionably, in tracing back the concept of “nation” in some popular Polish historical textbooks, one needs to associate it with two other concepts, which characterize the sociopolitical language not only of Central Europe but also of the entire old continent. What I mean here is the forming and the upbringing. Very often we hear about “the national upbringing” or “the national education”. In recent high school books, which are deciding factors of the idea of upbringing, the modern concept of “nation” first occurs during Romanticism. This movement is, according to the authors, the antithesis of the so-called Enlightenment, which popularized the ideas of humanity, cosmopolitism and was connected to the common category of reason. In those books, “nation” is a kind of the shelter for the Romanticist, with the community and the congregation providing one with the necessary support, while the individual does not exist beyond its borders. For authors of books on Romanticism, the scheme of the history of modern Polish concept of “nation” is relatively straightforward. First, authors talk about a few German folk defenders; names such as Herder, Hamman and Fitch are predominantly introduced at this stage. Afterward, one mentions Goethe (Makowski 1995: 58–71), who is followed by Polish Romanticism and the founders of the contemporary nation, most often pictured by Polish writers as “the Christ of nations” or “Winkelried of nations”. The books also speak about the historically shaped conviction of the existence of the “national spirit”, which is different for the various groups. What is important here is that “nation” was to become the one and the only shelter for the individual, the carrier of the tradition, the factor unifying the state, and, more significantly, it was also an “axis of the history” and represents the entire history. Thus, the concept analyzed here is not entirely anticosmopolitan; history of the nation is understood as a process referring to whole mankind, not only to one ethnic group or race. Before I continue elaborating on the issue of “nation” in the context of history in some Polish textbooks, I will mention that there was and still is another understanding of the concept of “nationality” (frequently explained in older textbooks). This understanding emerged in the European thought short after the Romanticist one. Here, along with the development of natural sciences, especially the domination of the evolution theory, the concept of “nation” is nearly identical with that of “race”. That is why nowadays it is widely believed that one of the foundations of contemporary nationalism is the ethnical factor. It is the “common blood” that unifies and ensures the national identity (Glowinski 2003).

German input I assume that the narrations about nations built on the conviction of their spiritual and racial origin were presented as the predominant ones in history textbooks, and up to this moment, they are reinforcing the conviction of the distinction and

“Nation” in Polish educational books  165 uniqueness of the members of a particular ethnical or language group. Similar to the authors of the books, I also assume that in the epoch of Classicism, and especially in the period of Romanticism (referring to the issue of the “nation,” as well as upbringing, training, education), Central Europe was under the great influence of the German culture. For Hegel, a representative of the latter culture, forming education has little to do with the national uniqueness (however, it probably refers to the so-called Christian–German world). For German philosophers, the most important aspect is that history is understood as the rational action of the people. Moreover, freedom is a fruit of this common work and its framework – reasonable “forming” defined according to the German word Bildung. Thanks to the “forming”, the outer world of the “heavy matter” is formed as a human world, as a civilized reality. In this sense, Bildung is the penetration of the moral order throughout the entire history. Furthermore, Bildung is also performing the role of the reason. Shaping the world is at the same time the self-education of a man and his becoming a conscious and reasonable subjectivity. Education as a synonym of the “forming” has probably more to do with the universal, general human history than with the interest of any particular nation (Gadamer 2000). Lessing, Hegel’s contemporary, explains the process of the rational education in a more concrete way. He believes in the firm division of the people into nations that are often hostile towards each other and uses the word “upbringing” (German: Erziehung). As early as the 1820s, in his paper Masonic Dialogues. Ernst and Falk (Lessing 1927), he raises the issue of national divisions and looks for lightening means, not for elimination means. The two Freemasons Ernst and Falk wonder if, after founding the best political system, all the people would form one single nation and one state. Managing such a massive state seems to them impossible, as people will invariably divide into Germans, Dutch, Spaniards, Russians and Swedes. Each of these nations would have its national interests, which would collide with the interests of other nations. These debating Freemasons believe that is the reason we have situations such as “Nowadays a German meets a French man, a French an Englishman or the other way around, it is not only a man-toman meeting, who are drowning closer by a common nature; but one man meets another man . . . and these people are cold toward each other, reserved and full of suspicion, before they even get closer together and interact in any way” (Lessing). Nevertheless, this firm division leads in the course of history towards unification. According to the Freemasons, history is a field of the spiritual exercises of the reason, which looks for the solution to the problem of the divisions between people and their consequences. In Masonic Dialogues. Ernst and Falk, Lessing talks about legislation acts which reach beyond the borders of certain countries and nations, and their task is opus supererogation (acting beyond the obligation), which refers to the best and wisest in each country. These best and wisest are the people who can go beyond the prejudices of their own nations “who realize when patriotism ceases to be the virtue”. They do not give in to religious superstitions and do not believe that whatever is noble and true for them must be so in reality. Such people live everywhere, in each country and they will not allow humanity to

166  Daniel Ciunajcis get stuck in their ongoing senseless conflicts. And, of course, Freemasons are such people for Lessing. Their primary goal is to efface the differences that “separate people furthermore”. Lessing carries on his contemplation in his later treatises. He talks there about the national history (particularly about the Israel nation) as the process which enables each man to move from the phase of barbarism into the civilization. One can associate this message of the self-awareness, civilization and elimination of the differences with the philosophical idealism. Following Leszek Kolakowski, I assume that the historical materialism (Marxism, the official ideology of the Polish state from 1945 to 1989) is just another type of idealism (Kołakowski 1978). Thus, in Polish post-war history textbooks we have to do with a particular cosmopolitan vision which unifies humanity. And that is, of course, done in the name of the yet to come communism. The authors of the unification are not the Freemason elite, but the working class, or they are speaking on behalf of the party staff. Are those really the assumptions of the textbook authors in communist Poland?

Roman Dmowski and his impact Before I  carry on with this issue, it is worth mentioning the fact that the postRomantic idealism quickly encountered its greatest enemy, which over time became its ally. And here I  am talking about the above-mentioned evolutionism. Those who supported evolutionism believed that they were at odds with the made-up ideal systems. Still, they overburdened us with the biological facts. Their main assumptions quickly entered the politics. Roman Dmowski, the creator of the modern Polish nationalism and extremely important pre-war statesman was a biologist. His extremely influential book Myśli nowoczesnego Polaka (Thoughts of a Modern Pole, first published in 1903) is a perfect example not only of nationalism but also of a sociological evolution (Wapinski 1988). In 1925, in Poznan, Kazimierz Rudnicki issued his textbook Zarys dziejow ojczystych i wojskowosci polskiej (The draft of the national history and Polish military system) (Rudnicki 1925). At the first glimpse, it is just another historical book which propagates the spirit of patriotism in the young Polish state. However, at the beginning of one of its chapters, we can find a short philosophical and ideological declaration. Rudnicki writes: “Observing the nature, we need to state that from the smallest to the biggest organisms there is a tendency to fight with each other. A man, the most sophisticated creature of the nature, is not at all different from the rest of the organisms . . . thus the nations consisting of the particular people, unified by the common origin, speech, customs, beliefs, etc. will always use the ultimate means to solve their problems – and this war, is and shall be the war – which is in an armed way.” (Rudnicki 1925: 11) Thus, one can have the feeling that the aim of existence of each nation is the constant struggle, the survival fight. Because of such a bloody interaction with other nations, all the nations enter what Rudnicki calls “the historical auditorium”, and thanks to perpetual wars, they continue staying in it. However, one does not know when

“Nation” in Polish educational books 167 the Polish nation entered the “auditorium”. One has the feeling it has always been there. In the first part of his book, Rudnicki describes the Middle Age Poland without even using concept of “nation”. He writes about “race”, “tribes” and “the Polish element” which is contradictory to the German one and the foreign element – the Jews. “Nation” appears for the first time on page 25, as an adjective. Rudnicki talks about “the national character” in the context of the fight against the Czechs: “at the point when Poland is divided into districts, a strong Slavic state grows up in the West – the Czech under the dependence of Germany. The last one, however, Przemislidzi managed to shake off this dominancy for a while, and one of them Waclaw II added to his Crown Major and Minor Poland . . . Poland as the state was pretty weak at that time so that Czechs could quickly absorb it and it was only thanks to the efforts of Lokietek that Poland did not lose its national character.” (Rudnicki 1925: 24–30) Furthermore, we can permanently read about the Polish nation. Still, no genesis is mentioned. Only by the way of the Moscow wars does the author talk about “our entering the historical auditorium”, and at the same time he talks about killing 25,000 Moskowers. What is interesting here is that the nation is identified with the state. While mentioning the issue of the socalled Lubelska Union, the author claims that the Republic of Poland “is divided into two states – nations, which are Poland and Lithuania.” (Rudnicki 1925: 50). Talking about Lithuanians, there is nothing like a tribe or national character. They entered the historical realm almost immediately and still by means of the birth of their own enemy. The author of the textbook writes: “The increase of the power of the Teutonic Order awaken and help the Lithuanian nation to enter the historical scene” (Rudnicki 1925: 53). Shortly afterwards, he speaks about the common enemy of Poles and Lithuanians, about the ancient, close to Sanskrit, language of the latter ones, about their long stay in Europe and their ethnical kinship with the Poles. In short, he speaks about all the things that predestine them to the Union with the Republic of Poland. Those with whom there were problems in Rudnicki’s era are not even called a nation. They are, I suppose, the unknown, unrecognizable race which still does not have its origin and for which there is still no place on the historical stage. Let us take the example of the Ukrainians. While talking about the wars with the Cossacks, Rudnicki writes that they live against the nature as they consist of “no wife’s associations of the unknown origin”. Only a small number of Ukrainian settlers were Polish or Hungarian peasants. In the textbooks, the Ukrainians are a “society”, not a “nation”, and their country is a “state creature”. The necessity of fighting, as well as the survival of the state and of the nation, explains all political crises. For Rudnicki, the Constitution of May 3, 1791, is not a fruit of Polish parliamentarian or the effect of a new, Enlightenment political philosophy. Proclaiming the Constitution is the “second last flash of the healthy public thought”, which was to protect the Poles from partitions. In a similar way, the French Revolution was analyzed from the perspective of regaining independence. “French Revolution made an impact on the whole Europe, and particularly in Poland, which under the banner of the French units will take part in the heavy battles, hoping for the restoration of Poland” (Rudnicki 1925: 71).

168  Daniel Ciunajcis There is not much left from the idealistic Enlightenment and Romanticist philosophy in Rundnicki’s books. It is quite understandable when taking into consideration the fact that his book was written only seven years after gaining independence and five years after the Polish–Russian war. Although Rudnicki’s thought may be surprising considering the fact that the independence was also a fruit of the actions of international diplomacy, including those who co-founded the League of Nations. However, the final answer to our question considering the propagation of this “war like philosophy of the history” might be the evolutional influences. In Poland, after World War II, historical materialism that was the official ideology. Marxism, at least in Poland, does not push aside the nationalism in historiographical narration, but the national histories are not believed to be the most essential. They are important, yet not the most important element of the historical process leading towards communism. Thus, it can be supposed that the authorities in the People’s Republic of Poland cooled down the patriotic-nationalistic enthusiasm and made the classical education similar to Lessing’s upbringing of the human kind. To make a short analysis of this issue, I have chosen a set of papers titled Historia I wychowanie (“History and upbringing”) published in the winter of 1983 in Warsaw, that is, at the time of the martial law (Misztal 1983). The authors of the conference papers are the academics, teachers (at different levels), museum directors and directors of the Chambers of the National Memory. The post-conference publication compacts nearly all the goals and problems of teaching history in Poland between the years 1945–1989. The longest and, at the same time, the most engaging paper was written by Professor Maciszewski. Most of his speech sounds as if it is coming from the mouth of a communist who agrees with the political party line of those days. This, however, does not mean that he does not use the concept of “nation” and its derivatives. For example, as an active phenomenon, he considers introducing into a “pantheon of the national heroes” in the years 1945– 1956 “many distinguished plebeians and working class activists, revolutionaries, emphasizing – reasonably accurately – the progressing though of Polish Renaissance and Enlightenment” (Misztal 1983: 55). Furthermore, Maciszewski claims that “it is a process propelled by the issuing of textbooks and proper historical upbringing; it is also substantially broad and ideologically fertile . . . it introduced essential changes in the historical thinking of Poles” (Misztal 1983: 57–58). As we can see, the author uses such names for the national heroes, because there are, in the first place, plebeian, working class and revolutionary heroes. Maciszewski’s communist internationalism is relatively apparent. However, he becomes vague when he praises the reform of the textbooks in the 60s and 70s, claiming that these books “released the teaching material from pessimism and cosmopolitism.” (Misztal 1983: 60) It is interesting how Maciszewski describes the ability to present the condition of “the own nation”. The historian claims that for a properly educated man, a nation must be, first of all, perceived as a part of an overbuilding of the historical process of mankind. When judging its condition, we do not compare it with other

“Nation” in Polish educational books  169 nations but with its previous stages. In Maciszewski’s text, this comparison is done basically at the angle of the living conditions, and of course in configuration with the capitalistic pre-war Poland, favoring the People’s Republic of Poland. Thus, it means that both the state and the nation are on the right path of history. Poland is thus better than its Western neighboring countries, not thanks to its economy, citizens’ rights and so on, but because it is socialist (and will probably become communist) and going in the right direction. Reminding one about this direction represents for Maciszewski one of the goals of historical upbringing. That way, Maciszewski remarkably elevates (using the proper historical philosophy) the role of the Polish nation in the historical process. Finally, it seems as if this also refers to the other nations of the Central and Eastern Europe of those days. Also, it is worth mentioning that the more recent history textbooks, at least, the most popular, are very careful when using the concept of “nation.” Here, I mean the books by Krystyna Szelągowska (Szelągowska 1994) or Jerzy Eisler (Eisler 1992). In Eisler’s paper on the political history of Poland during the years 1945– 1989, the concept of “nation” is mentioned only when quoting key people in the Polish history. When, for example, he describes the conflict between the communist authorities and the Roman Church (in the 70s of the previous century), he quotes the words of the Cardinal Wyszynski, who said: “parties change but the nation lasts” (Eisler 1992: 129). Every concept historian has to ask who uses certain concepts and who that person might be addressing. In this statement, chosen by Eisler, one deals with top church dignitaries talking to a crowd of believers. Note that Wyszynski, by referring to his ecclesiastical and political authority “pulls the nation out” of the world of history and the realm of politics, giving it exceptional, almost sacral character. Such a conceptual meaning had an effect both in the times of the real socialism in Poland (when Wyszynski was very active), and nowadays, influencing the reader using these textbooks.

“Nation” today The basic concepts of the sociopolitical world generate all the old meanings, and after a very long time, they develop new meanings. The central ideas, which in Poland imply the concept of “nation”, indicate the special, familiar, resistant to change and often prone to self-defense feelings against foreign groups of people. These fundamental features were not radically changed during the communist period or after the turning point of the year 1989. Another example is the concept of “national heritage/estate”. At the time of the common nationalization, followers of official Marxism ideologies considered factories, shipyards and homesteads, which belonged to the working people. Those workplaces were nationalized more in the sense of the English peoples or Polish ludowy. It was in the hand of the working class and not in the hand of the nation. According to the communist property legislation, for example, the Narodowy Bank Polski (National Bank of Poland) had nothing to do with the pre-war Narodowy Bank Polski (National Bank of Poland). “National” and “people’s” overlapped the old semantic domain

170  Daniel Ciunajcis with the new meanings of the concept represented by the communist ideology and led to the situation that nowadays we can boldly speak about the national property and its stealing away. At the same time, it is hard to find any counterarguments for the non-existence of such stealing. One can only assume that the national property (having no legal definition) is confused with the ownership of the state treasury, which has a few legal definitions. Moreover, it is worth mentioning some examples of influential contemporary political movements, which contain in their name the term “national” or “Polish”: for example, The Christian National Union (since 2010) (Zjednoczenie Chrzescijańsko Narodowe), All-Polish Youth (Mlodziez Wszechpolska), National Party (Partia Narodowa), or League of Polish Families (Liga Rodzin Polskich). All these movements are very conservative organizations. Others are completely neutral, such as the National Bank of Poland (Narodowy Bank Polski), National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia), and in the same vein, one often speaks of the national football team, for instance. At first glance, there seems to be nothing peculiar about this trend. In Western Europe (with the exception of Germany, where the concept of “nation” after World War II practically does not function in the public sphere) and the United States, the word “national” is often used to refer to various associations and parties. However, one shall remember that the term “national” means as much social or civic. For example, to become a member of the United States, it is enough to have US citizenship, or in order to be subjected to the Queen of England’s rule, it is sufficient to have a British passport. It is quite similar to the case of those who make up the nation of the French Republic. However, in Poland and in the countries of the former Soviet Union or the former Yugoslavia, there is a clear distinction between nationality and citizenship, which officially existed and still operates in the collective consciousness. One could be a citizen of the Soviet Union and, at the same time be a person of Lithuanian or Kazakh nationality. Similarly, the citizens of Yugoslavia were of Serbian or Macedonian nationality (Davis 2010: 511–579). This phenomenon also existed in Poland and has created a distinction which has allowed the provocation of anti-Semitic riots in the late 60s of the twentieth century in communist Poland. Then, the people of Jewish origin, who for years had Polish citizenship, were considered “non-full members” of the Polish nation. Finally, not having the so-called adequate nationality was the basis for the sudden deprivation of citizenship and identified them as Zionist. How permanent is outlined the importance of the “nation” provides enduring popularity of the party “Law and Justice”. Its political program in 2005, entitled “Solidarity State” is a project of the fight against corruption and fraud, not in the spirit of the rule of law, but on behalf of the characteristic of the nineteenth century nation state.

References Bota, A. and Lau, J. (2013) “Wir wollen keine Wiederkehr des Kalten Kriegs: Gespräch mit Radek Sikorski”, Die Zeit, 27 October.

“Nation” in Polish educational books 171 Davis, N. (2010) Boże Igrzysko. Historia Polski. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Znak. Eisler, J. (1992) Zarys dziejów politycznych Polski 1944–1999. Warszawa: Polska Oficyna Wydawnicza BGW. Gadamer, H. G. (2000) “ Hegel i duch dziejowy” (trans Łukasiewicz, M), in Gadamer, H. G. (ed.) Rozum, słowo, dzieje. Warszawa: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy. Głowiński, M. (2003) “ Kryzys dyskursu patriotycznego”, Przegląd polityczny, no. 60. Kolakowski, L. (1978) Main Currents of Marxism: The Golden Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lessing, G. E. (1927) Masonic Dialogues: Ernst and Falk. London: Baskerville Press. Makowski, S. (1995) Romantyzm: Podręcznik literatury dla klasy drugiej szkol średnich. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Szkolne i Pedagogiczne. Misztal, Z. (ed.) (1983) Historia i wychowanie. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej. Rudnicki, K. (1925) Zarys dziejów ojczystych i wojskowości polskiej. Poznań: Wielkopolska Księgarnia Nakładowa Karola Rzepeckiego. Szelągowska, K. (1994) Wykłady z historii powszechnej dla szkol średnich. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Szkolne i Pedagogiczne. Wapiński, R. (1988) Roman Dmowski. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Lubelskie.

21 Narratives of trauma and suffering in Slovak–Hungarian relations Dagmar Kusá1

Introduction The Central European political discourse is soaked in the narratives of trauma, suffering, and injustice. These narratives are rooted more in the present than in the past – reacting to current events and to other historical narratives of neighboring ethnic communities. They are polarizing in their foundation – resting upon the “us vs. them” dichotomy, inward-looking, highlighting the uniqueness of the traumatic event and its impact on “us”, building up sense of victimhood and suffering associated with it. Trauma narratives impact political discourse and policymaking through the emotional charge they carry, allowing for easy securitization of traditional and new minorities and interethnic relations and for political mobilization in the form of support for policies advocated in response. This chapter focuses on the events perceived as traumatic or significantly harmful in the national master narratives, particularly in relevance to the Slovak–Hungarian relations from the Slovak perspective. Emphasis is placed on the cultural traumas resonating most in the Slovak political realm and we consider why some are more potent in influencing policymaking than others. The emerging migration “crisis” since 2015 may seemingly serve as a point for securitization of an external, new minority around which political representations can rally; however, at the same time, it is introducing new cultural divides within, as the populations cope with the novel situation.

Cultural trauma as a historical narrative Narratives of cultural trauma are among the most important tools of ethnic identity formation. Traumatic events are escalated in the national imagination and intertwined with emotions of fear, hatred, resentment or anger. They are oriented against the “other”, a meaning-making framework in which victimhood and suffering are central. This focus also highlights the political use of language. Labels that are used to describe situations carry with them evaluation or a diagnosis (“tragedy”, “disaster”, “injustice”) that warrant specific reactions. An increasing amount of literature has been developed within the social constructivist approaches, especially within the past decade, that conceptualizes

Narratives of trauma and suffering  173 cultural trauma as a social phenomenon. In lay use, trauma denotes incidents of national suffering, injustice and tragedy, where a nation or ethnic community are anthropomorphized and ascribed feelings, motivations and actions, following a tragic event perceived in itself as traumatic. However, cultural trauma is a process taking place after (sometimes long after) a traumatogenetic event (event with a potential to cause cultural trauma). It is the process of interpretation of an event, where concrete social actors “make claims about the shape of social reality, its causes, and the responsibilities for action such causes imply” (Alexander 2004:11). Narrative of a trauma builds on such claims and is spread by the elites, institutions, individual leaders. It is likened to a speech act, for it has the element of a speaker, audience, and situation within which it occurs (Alexander 2004:11,12). The audience has to be persuaded by the speech act and accept it as authentic representation of social reality. Acceptance usually happens if the victims “are represented in terms of valued qualities shared by the larger collective identity” (Alexander 2004:14), which allows the wider audience to participate in the trauma and to empathize with the story of suffering (or else reject it). Cultural trauma falls into the domain of communicative memory – that is the ‘living memory’ of a community that is transmitted through the channels of dayto-day communication and has a time span encompassing living generations  – usually not more than around 90  years (Assman 2008). Narratives of trauma are usually mostly contained within this time span, as transmission of personal stories of loss and suffering play an important role in its construction. They are institutionalized, routinized within the long-term repository of cultural memory, and preserved in the archives, textbooks, museums. However, this does not mean these events necessarily gradually lose their grip on identity imagination. Sometimes, quite contrary, their emotional and symbolic power can survive intact and even grow in the younger generations, emerging quite suddenly decades after the traumatogenetic event, within the communicative memory, claimed and interpreted by contemporary social actors. Some events become cultural codes – systems of meaning that pack interpretation of historical events together with their later political significance in concrete situations and also with strong negative emotions of defeat, betrayal, wrongdoing and humiliation into a symbolic shortcut that is able to deliver the emotional impulse within a new political context decades or centuries later. A narrative that “earns” a label of a cultural trauma thus has a significant practical consequence in political discourse. An event deemed traumatic is exaggerated and glorified, rendering such an event ‘untouchable’ or difficult to approach constructively. Differing interpretations may be viewed as acts of treason or of aggression against the nation in question. This mechanism very much allows for securitization of issues related to ethnic identity and conflicts – portraying national minorities and other ethnic groups, migrants and refugees as an existential threat. Such framing then justifies policies that are presented as a protection from such threats. There are several coping responses to a trauma narrative, depending on the context and sector of society affected. Piotr Sztompka (2004) adapts Merton’s scheme of coping with anomie to the broader context of coping with cultural

174  Dagmar Kusá trauma: “innovation, rebellion, ritualization, and retreatism” (p. 167). We can see all of these at play when it comes to the post-1989 context of addressing the past.

Trauma narrative as a divider in Central Europe Historical narratives are the fiber from which ethnic identities are woven. Narratives serve to tell the story of “us”: our mission, destiny and challenges (usually represented by “them”), built against the narratives of surrounding nations and ethnic communities. These stories are told not only at the level of nationhood, but also of statehood, and the two tend to combine in Central Europe. Czechoslovak statehood (just as Hungarian or Austrian before that) saw a number of attempts at deliberate construction of who belongs to forge a sense of one imagined community. The founding fathers of the first Czechoslovak Republic, which followed the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, felt the need of existence of a state-forming nation, which would hold a clear majority in the new state – a Czechoslovak nation. Such social engineering attempts (e.g., narratives of shared historical struggles against Austrian and Hungarian oppressors, Slavic identity, or introducing a Czechoslovak nationality in census) never amounted to a shared identity. They failed in the second half of the century as well. Igor Lukes claims that the “failure to find a decent common past” was the reason for the Czechoslovak Velvet Divorce: ultimately the country did not survive because the Czechs and Slovaks, the two peoples united in the birth of Czechoslovakia, had failed to accumulate a body of shared positive historical experience. Indeed, the darkest years for the Czechs (1938–45 and post-1968) were the two occasions during which the Slovaks underwent periods of rapid nation building and experienced moments of national optimism. This conflicting experience made the relationship between Czechs and Slovaks, and, therefore, the whole Czechoslovak state, fatally vulnerable to the centrifugal forces unleashed after the break-up of the Soviet zone in Eastern Europe. (Lukes 1995: 19) After the Slovak Republic became independent in 1993, the quest for historical narratives legitimizing its singular place in Europe has gained importance. A trauma for whom? The narratives of trauma and suffering are closely tied to the imagination of the existence of a community as a homogeneous group, sharing common history and culture. However, they do not usually encompass all members of the community – they may be accepted, tolerated, or contested by alternative narratives. Trauma is also not equally salient in all narratives – some communities tell their story with less reliance on great tragedies than others. Trauma narrative is, however, contagious. When identity of ethnic community is strongly built on a trauma narrative,

Narratives of trauma and suffering  175 and particularly if other ethnic communities are implicated as perpetrators, these will react with competing narratives. This may help explain why the Slovak– Hungarian relations are marked with tension and have the potential to escalate into conflict, while the Slovak–Czech relations carry significantly less negative emotional charge. The concept of cultural trauma may be relevant in one context and not in another. While the Trianon Treaty, which marked the dissolution of the Hungary after the First World War and the significant shrinking of its size and population, is frequently referred to as an event of historical trauma in Hungary, trauma as a label for historical events is used far less frequently within the Slovak historical context and then with lesser success. “Parallels [to Trianon trauma], which can be found with less frequency in Slovakia, are not perceived as authentic by a majority of the population, or there exist at least two socially relevant versions of the stories (e.g. Catholic vs. Protestant, or autonomist vs. Czechoslovakist)” (Kusá and Michela 2011). However, the stories of victimhood and suffering, sometimes popularly placed within the frame of the myth of one thousand years long oppression of the Slovaks, play a prime role in the Slovak master narrative as well. Slovak historical narratives often tend to discard the heritage of the history of the Hungarian state that Slovaks were a part of for a millennium. “In the effort to delineate self from Hungary, to ‘de-Hungarianize’ Slovak history, [Slovak historiography] neglected the history of the state, political system, and its components and focused, especially in the more recent past, on ‘anti-Hungarian dissidents’ ” (Lipták 2007: 15). This is sometimes connected with a popularly claimed legacy introduced by V. Mináč of a “plebeian nation” romanticizing the centuries of oppression, suffering, and unhappiness (Sýkora 1992: 85). Power status also plays a role in the way historical narratives are constructed. An ethnic community that is in a position of a national minority (as Slovaks were within Hungary) will have a tendency to build its narratives in opposition to the narrative of a dominant nation, which lingers in current interethnic relations and political realm. The Trianon narrative represents an extraordinarily rich and potent trauma narrative within the Hungarian collective memory, which extends its power over the stories told in the surrounding countries with sizeable ethnic Hungarian diaspora. The instinctive reaction from the side of competing ethnic communities is to consciously create an equally compelling narrative  – motivated by “trauma envy”. These attempts may be more or less successful, broadly accepted or rejected as inauthentic. The yoke of Hungarian oppression, the rise against and liberation from it in fact form the spine of the Slovak mainstream narrative – without Hungary, there would be no Slovak nation. The era of forced Magyarization in the late 19th and early 20th century is perhaps most commonly portrayed as the era of greatest suffering and oppression by the dominant historical narrative and especially so by historians centered around the Slovak Cultural Heritage Foundation (Matica slovenská). The First World War tested the limits of the multiethnic empire by international and domestic strains between Austria and Hungary and the multiple ethnic minorities. The strain proved to be too much to bear. The Trianon Treaty came to

176  Dagmar Kusá symbolize the new delineation of borders and power in Central Europe (Kusá and Michela 2011). It has virtually the opposite meaning in the Hungarian and Slovak master narratives. It is a symbol of defeat and crippling of the Hungarian nation. The Slovak master narrative interprets it as a logical consequence of the national liberation movement of the oppressed nations of the monarchy, a logical conclusion of the military defeat of the German aide-de-camp, and, in the eastern part of the monarchy, a consequence of the semi-feudal conditions as well. The Slovaks, with the help of the foreign insurgence, freely and on the basis of the right to self-determination, departed the framing structure of the Hungarian state. Andrej Hlinka, one of the prominent Slovak politicians, declared in the spring of 1918 ‘The millennial marriage with the Magyars failed to succeed, we have to divorce’. (Deák 1995: 47) Trianon, in Slovakia, is viewed as a guarantee of the status quo within the Central European geographic area. Since the inception of the First Czechoslovak Republic, many Slovaks eye the ethnic Hungarians living in Slovakia with the suspicion that they may wish to push for pre-Trianon borders. The narrative frame of a thousand years long suffering, struggle against oppression, and selfdetermination (of which Trianon is a part) contributes further to the understanding of a nation. As Vašečka points out, this frame is applied to the constitution of the new Slovak state. The Preamble defines the state-forming Slovak nation in an ethnolinguistic sense and places it in a position of a core group, relegating national minorities to a lesser symbolic position within the state (Vašečka 2010). This storyline of an inevitable linear progress has been described and continued after the creation of the First Czechoslovak Republic, particularly within the autonomist movement. It is still largely interpreted this way today. The Hungarian community living in Slovakia is marked by another narrative of cultural trauma, though it is interestingly far less widespread or claimed by this community. Among the most heated in the Slovak–Hungarian relations is the issue of the presidential decrees issued immediately following the end of the Second World War in Czechoslovakia by President Beneš and their consequences for the fate of the German and Hungarian minorities. The three years that followed the war, in which ethnic Hungarians and Germans were stripped of civil and political rights within Czechoslovakia and subject to transfers and population exchanges, were dubbed the “homeless years” by the representatives of the Hungarian minorities in Slovakia (Janics 1982: 3). The language used in reference to population transfers is also significant. While the Czechs and Slovaks called the population transfers of the Sudeten Germans from the Czech lands “removal”, the Germans refer to it as “expulsion”. The transfers of Hungarians and Slovaks were described as a “voluntary exchange of population”, and the repopulation of lands vacated by Germans by the remaining Hungarians as “voluntary agricultural help”. These labels are still used today to “justify the necessary evil”, on the one hand, or to accuse the “perpetrators of injustice”, on the other.

Narratives of trauma and suffering 177 This part of Czech and Slovak history has been a taboo for many years. No scholarship, with the exception of the few years of détente in the 1960s, was permissible on the topic of population transfers and exchanges or the Beneš Decrees. Documentation was locked up in the state archives and the only works written were from among the handful of dissidents (in Slovakia, notably, Jan Mlynárik under the pen name Danubius, which has stirred a heated controversy in 1980s). Among the authors who have written on the population exchange between Slovakia and Hungary, the first to stand out was Zoltán Fábry: The Accused Will Speak Out, which he was writing in 1946 (Fábry, Peéry, and Szalatnai, 1994). Kálmán Janics, a historian who was able to gain access to the state archives in 1960s, wrote the first extensive text in exile in Canada (1982). In Slovakia, both were published only after the fall of the socialist regime in 1990s. The transfers of ethnic Germans were agreed to by the Allied Powers at the Potsdam and the Paris Peace Conferences with the aim to expel 200,000 Hungarians out of Czechoslovakia. By then, the support of the Allies for transfer waned and the principle of minority protection, as enshrined in the League of Nations, was upheld instead (Šutaj 2011: 623). The Czechoslovak representation did succeed in the annulment of the Vienna Arbitral Award and the ban on propagation of border revision. The alternative solution found by the Beneš government was a “voluntary exchange of populations” between Czechoslovakia and Hungary. This plan resulted in the removal of 89,660 ethnic Hungarians into Hungary in return for receiving 73,273 ethnic Slovaks (Vadkerty 2002: 32). To speed things up and to ensure dispersion of the concentrated Hungarian minority, Hungarians were slated for repopulation of the Sudetenland, emptied of the ethnic Germans. A  wave of transfers, labelled by the Czech historian Karel Kaplan an “internal colonization”, was based on the Presidential Decree No. 88/1945 on universal labor service. Ethnic Hungarians were recruited for “voluntary agricultural work” into the deserted lands. Property left behind was often confiscated (in direct violation of the decree) (Kusá 2005). These policies were accompanied by a program of re-Slovakization, passed by the Slovak National Council in June 1946. This policy gave ethnic Hungarians an opportunity to “re-claim” Slovak citizenship (based on the premise of previous coercive Magyarization of Slovaks) within the time span of one year. Hungarians could apply for Slovakization in order to be granted citizenship and avoid expulsion. “Out of 135,317 applications affecting the lives of 410,820 persons . . . persons subject to Slovakization would amount to 45,208” (Šutaj 2011: 621). Decrees No. 16 and 17/1945 in the Czech parts and No. 33/1945 Coll. in Slovakia covered punishment of fascist criminals, occupants, collaborants and established special People’s Courts. The transfers and retribution were clearly linked (Ther and Siljak 2001: 222), as they were justified on the same grounds. The courts sentenced over 22,000 ethnic Germans and others with varying lengths of sentences and 467 with a death sentence (p. 223). The Beneš Decrees also opened the door for the ascension of socialism in Czechoslovakia. On the anniversary of the creation of the First Czechoslovak Republic, Beneš signed the Decree of the Confiscation of Enemy Property on 25th October 1945.

178  Dagmar Kusá As the transfers and population exchanges were taking place all over Europe, the Cold War was descending upon the world. Germany was partitioned into West and East, with the majority of the transferred Germans from Central Europe moved to East Germany under the Soviet sphere of influence. As the communist governments assumed power in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, it was becoming increasingly unlikely that the removed populations could ever be restored to their homes. The following four decades cemented the new distribution of populations in place and, as many other things, the topic of post-war resettlements were taboo. Citizenship was eventually restored to the Germans and Hungarians remaining in Czechoslovakia in 1948 by the newly established communist government; most Hungarians who had been transferred to Sudetenland have returned. Many, however, never recovered lost properties. Cultural traumas in current policymaking The Beneš Decrees and the transfers, along with Trianon, color the Slovak–Hungarian relations and policies where national minorities are concerned. Within the Slovak discourse, it is the Trianon trauma that causes anxiety. In Hungary, Beneš Decrees are resurrected when the status of Hungarian minority in Slovakia is threatened in any way. The scepter of Trianon reverberated through the Slovak political discourse since 1989. As policies defining the new statehood and status of national minorities and their rights were drafted, anxiety connected to the possible secession ambitions of the Hungarian community mounted. Shortly after 1989, Slovak Hungarians presented two scenarios for a possible territorial administrative reform and subsequent territorial autonomy of regions inhabited by majority of ethnic Hungarians (in 1991 and 1994). Both were met with a hysterical rejection by the Slovak leadership and public (Kocsis 2014:108). As Kocsis explains, “among the Slovaks . . . who have been fighting for their autonomy and independence under the Hungarian and the Czech supremacy for more than a century, the word ‘autonomy’ meaning the endeavor to achieve an internal territorial self-governance, equals with the first milestone on the way to independence, an overt civic disloyalty and secessionism” (Kocsis 2014: 108). The proposal was dropped and the Hungarian political representation pledged not to raise the issue of autonomy again. Furthermore, driven by the same fears, the territorial administration of 1996 partitioned the regions in Southern Slovakia in such a way that the proportion of ethnic Hungarians in the new administrative regions declined significantly. Policies of reconciliation? Beneš Decrees were opened very soon after the November Revolution of 1989. Their re-emergence has stirred raw emotions among Czechs, Slovaks, Germans, and Hungarians alike. For the Czech government, it was unimaginable to open the decrees to legal scrutiny and to nullify them by way of acknowledgment or

Narratives of trauma and suffering  179 apology. There was a strong fear of this act leading to the opening of the question of property taken away from the Sudeten Germans and of restitutions. The Slovak Government, even if it wanted to nullify them independently (which it never showed a will to do), could not really do so for several reasons: the Beneš Decrees were a Czech legal norm which entered into validity in Slovakia by being passed through the Slovak National Council. Those legal acts have been replaced by new legislation. They would not do so also out of solidarity towards the Czech Government, which would face a great pressure to do the same. But while not legally valid, the failure of their nullification or denunciation is seen by many ethnic Hungarians as their upholding. The attempts at reconciliation represent an innovative adaptation to the trauma narrative. They were led by the political leaders and former dissidents after 1989 in the Czech Republic but were met with hostility and refusal. As early as in 1990, President Václav Havel asked for forgiveness at the meeting with the West German President Richard von Weiszäcker. Jiří Dienstbier, who served as the foreign minister, labeled the transfers as ethnic cleansing and pushed for an agreement that would amount to formal apology. The Czech–German Agreement was passed after heated debates in 1997, but the vast majority was against such sentiment. More successful was the German–Czech historical commission that reexamined the mutual past since the end of the 18th century up to and including the transfers after the Second World War (Ther and Siljak 2001: 23, 24). In Slovakia, representatives found it easier to apologize to the Carpathian Germans than to the Hungarians. In February of 1991, the Slovak National Council issued a Declaration on the Removal of the Germans (Vyhlásenie Slovenskej národnej rady. . . , 12.2.1991). This document expressed regret at the trespassing against the German community: We, the representative of a free and democratic Slovakia, want to enter into the society of nations with settled bills. We denounce the principle of collective guilt, justified on whatever grounds. We realize that by evacuation and further expulsion of our German co-citizens, Slovakia has lost an ethnic group that for centuries was a part of the joint civilizational effort and which significantly contributed to the diversity of our country. Today, we offer the survivors, expellees and their kin, an extended hand in a friendly gesture. Let us try to forget the conflicts and injustices. Let us work together on developing together our ancient homeland. May the bridge of understanding forever arch above the drying river of the war hatred. (Vyhlásenie Slovenskej národnej rady . . ., 12.2.1991) A similar expression of regret has, however, never been extended to the ethnic Hungarians. An attempt at such an initiative, led by a member of Parliament for the Christian Democratic Movement, František Mikloško, found no support in the parliament. The most frequent sentiment of the Slovak political leaders is to draw a thick line behind the past.

180  Dagmar Kusá In pre-election campaigns in 2002 in Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, amidst the accession talks with the EU, Beneš Decrees served as a key political tool to attract votes. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán strictly denounced the decrees in Brussels: “Beneš Decrees are not in harmony with the legal principles of the European Union . . . from the entry into the European Union we expect that they will automatically be crossed out from the legal system of Slovakia as well as of the Czech Republic”. A joint meeting of Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and the EU leaders had to be canceled after the Czech and Slovak leaders refused to attend due to the remarks. Similarly, after Czech Prime Minister Miloš Zeman referred to Sudeten Germans as “Hitler’s fifth column”, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder canceled his official visit to the Czech Republic (The Beneš Decrees . . . 2002). They have also been raised in the presidential elections debates. In the Czech presidential debates in 2013, Count Schwarzenberg said in the debate with successful presidential hopeful Miloš Zeman: “Beneš Decrees have long lost their validity and the steps taken by Beneš would get former politicians or generals in front of an international criminal tribunal today” (Fico: slová Schwarzenberga 2013). The statement earned fiery responses. Prime Minister Fico stated, “We perceive it as an element of destabilization . . . it is a topic deeply transgressing into the national state interests of Slovakia” (Ibid.). In 2014, asked whether the candidates would act to nullify the decrees and apologize for the wrongdoings that followed the war to the Hungarians, Slovak presidential candidates responded without hesitation that they consider the matter closed and that there is nothing to apologize for. “To change the Beneš Decrees would require change of the results of the Second World War” – stated Prime Minister Robert Fico, (an unsuccessful) presidential hopeful. Slovak political leaders, without much difference in their political leaning, have held a similar view for the last two and a half decades (with the exception of ethnic Hungarian politicians, who mostly avoid the topic altogether). Rare and feeble attempts at reconciliation followed a heated period of bilateral tensions that followed the passing of the Hungarian Status Law by the Hungarian government, which gave tangible benefits to Hungarians living abroad (travel discounts, cultural benefits, and support in education). The Slovak government perceived the law as a breach of territorial integrity of Slovakia (since its implementation reached into territories outside of Hungary) and long and heated negotiations, which pinned the Hungarian minority in Slovakia between the Slovak and Hungarian governments as between two grinding stones, ensued. Everyone was relieved when a compromise was found in 2003, and the law was amended. In January of 2003, Pavol Hrušovský, the speaker of the Parliament, gave a speech on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the independence of the Slovak Republic. In this highly self-reflective speech, he urges his fellow citizens to reflect on and accept the scars in the Slovak history, including the tragedies that followed the Second World War: “The first was the deportation of tens of thousands of our citizens to Stalinist gulags. The second was the displacement of the Carpathian Germans and repression of ethnic Hungarians together with numerous human misfortunes in the name of collective guilt” (Hrušovský 2003: 31). He urged towards

Narratives of trauma and suffering 181 a culture of reconciliation and tolerance. His speech resonated with ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia [praised, i.e., by the Hungarian political leader Béla Bugár (2004) and the Hungarian writer living in London George Schopflin (2010)]. However, others have not followed suit, and the bilateral relations took turn for the worse again with the disputes around the introduction of dual citizenship for ethnic Hungarians in neighboring countries by Hungary (the law eventually passed in 2010) to which Slovakia reacted by amending its citizenship law, taking away the possibility to hold dual citizenship for those who voluntarily acquire citizenship of another country.2 More success can been found at a communal level. A commission of historians meets regularly to discuss the common past  – although it has not resulted in a shared publication of the Czech–German extent. In 2011, a roundtable of Hungarians living in Slovakia formulated the principles of an Act on legal status and self-government of national minorities (Petöcz 2016). Interestingly, this proposal was only published in Hungarian and was not advertised, even during the preparation of the National Strategy for the Promotion of Human Rights in the Slovak Republic (Ibid.), from which an action plan in the area of national minorities is absent. Policies of self-government still seem to represent a topic too sensitive for Hungarian political representation to raise with their Slovak counterparts. There are several reasons why the transfers of Hungarians after the Second World War in Slovakia do not amount to a trauma narrative of equal salience as the Trianon narrative in Hungary. Coping mostly means a self-imposed “humiliated silence”, as it would be likely classified by Connerton’s typology of seven types of forgetting (2008). “[I]n the collusive silence brought on by a particular kind of collective shame there is detectable both a desire to forget and sometimes the actual effect of forgetting” (Connerton 2008: 67), as the memory is stopped from reproduction. Beneš Decrees, transfers of populations, and retributive policies following the war successfully operated on the assumption of collective guilt of collaboration with the fascist Hungarian regime, potentially serving as a source of shame. Victims are not “likeable”, thus the majority fails to empathize. Furthermore, most of them were removed to and remained in Hungary. The Slovaks that were transferred to Slovakia under the same policy do not fall within the same category. The essential social group carrying the victimhood of the trauma (needed for such narrative to be successfully claimed) is significantly weakened. This prevents the successful transmission of this narrative to younger generations. In fact, as ethnographic research of generational transmission of cultural trauma in this context suggests, most young ethnic Hungarians today know little to nothing about the transfers, even in cases when they affected their own families. Members of the older generation do not feel the urge to tell their experiences and often keep them suppressed from their children and grandchildren (Flaškárová 2016). Ritualization through public space Among the adaptive responses to cultural trauma is ritualization, mostly visible in the theatre of the public space – claiming the territory by symbolic markers

182  Dagmar Kusá which emphasize traditions and heroes of ethnic community. It revolves around what Verdery has called politics of “dead bodies”  – whether literally (by way of reburials of former political leaders and cultural personalities) or by way of erecting and removing statues, plaques, street names from the eye of the public. After 1993, Slovaks searched for personalities to be elevated to national hero status. The reburial of interwar leader of democratic Czechoslovakia and internationally acclaimed statesman Milan Hodža was chosen to signal the democratic traditions and Slovakia’s return to Europe, selected for this purpose by the cabinet of Mikuláš Dzurinda, who led the process of Slovakia’s entry into the European Union and NATO. However, this has not met with broad public response. On the contrary, Andrej Hlinka, the autonomist leader of the interwar period, has met with significantly more popular success. In 2007, the Slovak Parliament passed a law on extraordinary contributions of Andrej Hlinka toward the state-forming Slovak nation and Slovak Republic (Buzalka 2015). In places where territory is symbolically contested – particularly in ethnically mixed regions along the Slovak–Hungarian borders, the politics of “dead bodies” at times escalates into an open contest among the representatives of Slovak and Hungarian communities. Komárno is the best illustration, sporting the greatest number of statues per square meter in Slovakia and a theatrical stage for many symbolic battles. Considering just the narratives of cultural traumas relevant in this paper, Komárno has memorials to represent and contest them in public space. The transfer of the Hungarians after the Second World War is impersonated in a monument of people carrying a burden, which is contested a few hundred feet away by a plaque raised by the Slovak Heritage Foundation praising the martyrdom of those who laid down their lives during the occupation of Slovakia by fascist Hungary during the Second World War. Trianon is contested thrice in this small area. The latest memorial was erected on the Slovak–Hungarian border by the Slovak National Party in 2010, at the 90th anniversary of its signing, with an engraved message about its positive role for the constitution of the Czechoslovak Republic. This memorial joined two Trianon memorials already standing in the border towns of Komárno and Komárom on the opposite banks of the Danube, one raised by the Hungarian community living in Slovakia, the other by the Hungarians living in Hungary, used as pilgrimage spots. Together, they represent the three narratives of distinct ethnic communities that symbolically assert the control over this territory in reaction to one another.

A generational divide Cultural trauma is not only linked to a concrete sudden historical event or era. It may also be brought on by slower social change affecting the quality of life or from intensifying intercultural contact threatening the ontological security of identity communities. Trauma processes play out differently within distinct generations. Generation is understood as a community that shares, due to proximity in age, a socializing experience, which is particularly strongly imprinted in the age of entering

Narratives of trauma and suffering  183 adulthood. This experience is shaped by significant historical events that represent a core referential framework through which later events are interpreted (Mannheim 2007). Radim Marada describes the element of a traumatizing historical experience which serves as one of the sources of emergence of a generational consciousness (Marada 2007: 80). Such experience creates the emotional bond necessary for the creation of a conscious community, distinguishing itself from other generations. This approach highlights the fact that cultural trauma is perceived differently not only by different groups and subgroups of ethnic communities – across space – but also within the communities – across the varying generational experience in the same time. Increasing amount of attention is given to the experience with socialism interpreted as acultural trauma (Sztompka 2004; Svašek 2008; Marada 2007). This era seems to be more divisive across social groups than across ethnic or state boundaries of Central Europe. Sztompka describes the rapid social change which touched the lives of all within the post-socialist societies as a cultural clash between old “block culture” and an emerging capitalist one, joined by economic insecurities impacting living standards, old problems of corruption, inefficiency, ecology, and challenges of restoration of property (Sztompka 2004: 175; Svašek 2006). The narrative depends on the new social divisions and career paths, how much ontological anxiety the period of transition brought for the storyteller. There is a clear demarcation between attitudinal orientations of representatives of distinct generations towards the socialist past and transition; for example, those who experience sliding into poverty are more likely to feel nostalgic about the socialist past (Örkény, Mason and Sidorenko-Stephenson 1997). Within the population that has lived through the end of socialism and subsequent change, we may therefore find not one, but multiple generations. This may also be said about other taumatogenetic events. Cultural trauma as a connector? As social realities change, narratives are reshaped to justify and give meaning to new policies or new alliances reacting to them. Just as they serve to divide, they are also crafted to connect and to bridge. In post-war Europe, emerging trauma narratives served to forge new relations among nations and within them. “Transnational emotional politics” (Svašek 2006: 22), particularly the enlargement of the EU membership, has created a new discursive frame that serves to unite the political proponents of such processes (as well as cause new divides within individual societies) and enable a space for envisioning new transnational identities. With the recent migration “crisis” (the label itself is a speech act of securitization which justifies specific reactions to the labeled situation) emerging in 2015, bringing an influx of refugees from the war-torn regions of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries, it may seem that the autochthonous ethnic communities may have found a common “enemy” against which they can rally and overcome the antagonisms toward each other. However, despite the relatively united front of

184  Dagmar Kusá the political leadership in the Visegrad Four countries against the EU proposals for migrant intake quota, the approaches within each country are deeply divided. Michael Ignatieff places it into a broader emerging global divide, a split between the cosmopolitan elite  – the winners of the globalization process and anti-globalizationists – who are primarily linked to their locality, do not have a need for multiculturalism, interdependence and cooperation and rather perceive them as existential threats (Taub 2016). The fear of the foreign is further underscored by the ethnolinguistic conceptualization of nationhood and statehood in this area. The answer to the question which Ignatieff maintains will define the 21st century – who belongs? is answered through these frames. Coming not long after the economic crisis in the EU, securitization of refugees is a highly successful political strategy, winning points for political parties in the region no matter what their ideological leaning. The combination of the felt crises and anti-refugee rhetoric results, if not in full-blown cultural trauma, in kind of an ontological anxiety. As Zygmunt Bauman already summarized at the onset of the migrant “crisis”, “For the time being, the ‘public discussion’ is dominated by the resentment of ‘foreigners’, ‘the usual suspects’ in times of acute uncertainty and fears of a social earthquake approaching. [F]oreigners are nowadays suspected (even if by association) of the havoc played on our lives by no longer controlled global forces” (Bauman 2015). Coping with the new situation reflects the divides. Rebellion is manifested in anti-immigrant and anti-EU protests, retreatism that seeks to place the blame on external actors and avoid responsibility and hence obligation to offer any assistance to migrants and refugees. Ritualization provides an escape towards an image of how things should be – in the context of this debate, it is the answer to the question of who belongs. Emphasis is on irreconcilable cultural differences, legal framework of citizenship rights envisioned as an entitlement (rather than emphasis on universal human rights and empathy with the plight of those fleeing from war and violence). If Bauman and Ignatieff are correct, these fears and divides will remain to define the years to come, signifying a cultural crisis that will require innovative adaptation – reinvestigation of our own identities.

Notes 1 This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract No. APVV-15–0682. 2 Paradoxically, as the news portal topky.sk informed, of the 1400 people who lost Slovak citizenship in the past six years as a consequence of this amendment, only 69 of them took Hungarian citizenship. Most of the former Slovaks took Czech (406), German (323), Austrian (188), British (127), and other citizenship (published on May 7, 2016).

References Alexander, J. (2004) “Toward a Theory of Cultural Trauma”, in Jeffrey, C. A., Eyerman, R., Giesen, B., Smelser, N. J. and Sztompka, P. (eds.) Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press.

Narratives of trauma and suffering  185 Assman, J. (2008) “Communicative and Cultural Memory”, in Erll, A. and Nunning, A. (eds.) Media and Cultural Memory. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter. Bauman, Z. (2015) Bauman: Walls Against Migrants Are a Victory of Terrorism. (Alessandro Lanni, Interviewer), 27 December. Retrieved From Open Migration at http:// openmigration.org/en/op-ed/bauman-walls-against-migrants-are-a-victory-of-terrorism/ “Beneš Decrees: Implications for Enlargement”. (2002) EurActiv, 29 January, www.euractiv. com/section/enlargement/opinion/the-benes-decrees-implications-for-eu-enlargement/ Bugár, B. (2004) Žijem v takej krajine. Bratislava: Kalligram. Buzalka, J. (2015) “The Political Lives of Dead Populists”, in Kopeček, M. and Wciślik, P. (eds.) Thinking Through Transition: Liberal Democracy, Authoritarian Pasts, and Intellectual History in East Central Europe After 1989. Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, pp. 313–331. Connerton, P. (2008) “Seven Types of Forgetting”, Memory Studies. vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 59–71. Deák, L. (1995) “Slovaks in Hungarian Politics Form 1918–1939”, in Števček, P. (ed.) Slovaks and Magyars: Slovak-Magyar Relations in Central Europe. Bratislava: Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, pp. 47–62. Fábry, Z., Peéry, R. and Szalatnai, R. (1994) Obžalovaný prehovorí [The Accused will Speak Out]. Bratislava: Domino. “Fico: slová Schwarzenberga nás zaskočili”. (2013) SME, http://domov.sme.sk/c/6678317/ fico-slova-schwarzenberga-o-benesovych-dekretoch-nas-zaskocili.html Flaškárová, V. (2016) Knowing One’s Roots: What My Family Kept Quiet About. Bachelor Thesis. Bratislava: Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts. Hrušovský, P. (2003) Tvár krajiny. Bratislava: Vydavateľstvo Michala Vaška. Janics, K. (1982) Czechoslovak Policy and the Hungarian Minority, 1945–1948. New York: Columbia University Press. Kocsis, K. (2014) “Historical Predecessors and Current Geographical Possibilities of Ethnic Based Territorial Autonomies in the Carpathian Basin”, in Kántor, Z. (ed.) Autonomies in Europe: Solutions and Challenges. NPKI: REsearch Institute for Hungarian Communities Abroad, Budapest: L’Harmattan. pp. 83–121. Kusá, D. (2005) “Historical Trauma in Ethnic Identity: The Years of Homelessness of the Hungarian Minority in Post-War Slovakia”, in Breuning, E., Lewis, J. and Pritchard, G. (eds.) Power and the People: A Social History of Central European Politics, 1945–56. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 130–149. Kusá, D. and Michela, M. (2011) “A kulturális trauma diskurzusa: Trianon és a szlovákmagyar kapcsolatok reprezentációi” [Cultural Trauma Discourse in the Slovak-Hungarian Relations], in LIMES: tudományos szemle. no. 1, pp. 53–70. ISSN:0238–9266. Lipták, Ľ. (2007) “Aké dejiny potrebujeme?” (What Kind of History Do We Need?) in Szigeti, L. (ed.) Slovenská otázka dnes (The Slovak Question Today). Bratislava: Kalligram, pp. 11–16. Lukes, I. (1995) “Czechs and Slovaks: Failure to Find a Decent Past”, Cultural Survival Quarterly vol. 19, no. 2, (Summer), pp. 19–24. Mannheim, K. (2007) “Problém generací [The Problem of Generation]. Translated From Karl Mannheim: Das Problem Der Generationen”, in Wissenssoziologie: Auswahl aus dem Werk. Luchterhand, Berlin 1964, pp. 509–565. Sociální studia. Fakulta sociálních studií Masarykovy univerzity, no. 1–2, pp. 11–44. ISSN 1214–813X Marada, R. (2007) “Paměť, trauma, generace [Memory, Trauma, Generation] Sociální studia”, Fakulta sociálních studií Masarykovy univerzity, no. 1–2, pp.  79–95. ISSN 1214–813X.

186  Dagmar Kusá Örkény, A., Mason, D. and Sidorenko-Stephenson, S. (1997) “The MIDDLE CLASS: Increasingly Fond Memories of a Grim Past”, Transition, vol. 3, no. 2. (21 March), pp. 15–19. Petöcz, K. (2016) Národnostné menšiny a právo na participáciu [National Minorities and the Right to Participation]. Dissertation thesis. Bratislava: Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences. Šutaj, Š. (2011) “Slovakia and the Hungarians in Slovakia in the Aftermath of World War II”, in Suppan, A. (ed.) Auflosung historischer Konflikte im Donauraum. Budapest: Akedémiai Kiadó, pp. 619–631. Svašek, M. (ed.) (2006) Postsocialism: Politics and Emotions in Central and Eastern Europe. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books. Sýkora, P. (1992) Boj s drakom (Battling the dragon). Bratislava: Fragment. Sztompka, P. (2004) “The Trauma of Social Change: A Case of Postcommunist Societies”, in Jeffrey, C. A., Eyerman, R., Giesen, B., Smelser, N. J. and Sztompka, P. (eds.) Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press. Taub, A. (2016) “A  Central Conflict of 21st-Century Politics: Who Belongs?” The New York Times, 8 July, www.nytimes.com/2016/07/09/world/europe/a-central-conflictof-21st-century-politics-who-belongs.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur&_r=0 Ther, P. and Siljak, A. (2001) Redrawing Nations: Ethnic Cleansing in East-Central Europe. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield. Vadkerty, K. (2002). Maďarská otázka v Československu, 1945-48: Dekréty prezidenta Beneša a ich dôsledky na deportácie a reslovakizáciu. [Hungarian question in Czechoslovakia, 1948 – 1948: President Beneš Decrees and their impact on deportations and reslovakization]. Bratislava: Kalligram. Vašečka, M. (2010) “O vzťahoch k iným a k sebe: diverzita pod Tatrami” [On Relations to Others and Self: Diversity Under the Tatras], in Bútora, M., Kollár, M., Mesežnikov, G. and Bútorová, Z. (eds.) Kde sme? Mentálne mapy Slovenska [Where Are We? Mental Maps of Slovakia]. Bratislava: Kalligram, pp. 241–260. Vyhlásenie Slovenskej národnej rady k odsunu Nemcov. (1991) Bratislava: Slovenská národná rada.

22 Nationalism in historical constructs of the nation in Hungary Gábor Egry

Nationalism, hence the concept of the nation, was the main driving force of the realignment of polities in Central Europe. The emerging national communities made claims upon territories and the right to administer themselves; later these movements strived almost universally for sovereignty. WWI brought about the realization of these programs with the dissolution of the empires (Russia, AustriaHungary, partly Germany), and after WWII, the change of regime led to further fragmentation along supposedly national lines. Already in the initial phase history was an important means of nationalist mobilization. National histories served as crystallization points of identities, and the growing education system and cultural institutions disseminated its ideas. As it was interwoven with the idea of the nation they became inseparable, history legitimizing political claims and enabling mass mobilization through the emotion of attachment to the national group. But these histories were often conflicting, and even if they were entangled in the nations they sought to represent, locate and project back in time, they were usually in conflict with competing national aims and their historical underpinning. In this clash of nations, historians gained importance, and history became even more necessary for the nations. Historians and their records are usually prime suspects of nation building activity. Theories and analyses of the emergence of national movements and nationalism used to emphasize the importance of intellectuals (Hroch 1985) in developing and disseminating the ideological content of nationalism, among them diverse constructs of the history of their nations. Furthermore, history is sometimes not only seen as constituent part of national identity (an answer to the question “Who we are?”), and identical with politics of identity (Trencsényi 2011) but the nation itself. “Nation is narration” (Berger 2008: 1), and as such, history is a way to express and frame this community. A similar perspective is offered by Chris Lorenz. According to him, the nation itself is a myth (Lorenz 2008) and, therefore, writing its history  – which is a form of myth-making  – is the creation of the nation. There is no reason to deny the importance of the national histories in the toolkit of conscious or unconscious nation-builders (for a telling example see Csaplár-Degovics 2009); however, taking every nation-based narrative as nationalism (either ideological or methodological, see for example Kopeček 2008) is likely exaggerated.

188  Gábor Egry Nevertheless, history surely can be the carrier of nationalist contents and a reflection of nationalist ideologies. As constructed, and to a certain extent flexible, historical narratives offer exactly what competing ideologues need: a standard set of references that can be adapted to their needs. Although nationalism – a movement claiming a place for every nation under the sun in the form of their nation state or at least with separate national institutions – is seemingly homogeneous; different concepts of the nation nationalists aim to elevate could result in diverging histories of the same nations, underpinning their respective claims. For the objective of this chapter, one shall distinguish three main aspects of nationalist ideologies, all of which influence historical narratives: territorial, internal and relational. The “place under the sun” is usually conceived of as (I) a geographical reality, where one specific community exists. This community – the nation – has (II) distinctive characteristics and as a result could have its own, specific internal structure. Furthermore, the community is (III) related to the surrounding communities and the world of nations, defined as the others who are delimiting it. It is true that not necessarily historians are the main or only culprits of the political use of national histories. Nationalism as a political movement does not restrict history to the professional sphere; it is rather intricately interwoven with politics, both as a set of references applied in political discourse and as a means to define the community itself, one of the chief aims of politics. The most significant form of Hungarian national history, originating from the nineteenth century was strong historicism; that emphasized the state-building capacity of the Hungarians, proved by the “thousand years long” existence of their “nation-state” (Gyurgyák 2007; Romsics 2010; Trencsényi 2011). Thus, these constructs identified Hungarians with the state that implied the latter being their rightful property, subordinated the other nationalities to them and highlighted the Hungarian national character, formed by this thousand years, as consisting of particular state-building capacities. Henceforth, Hungarians were assigned an important role in Europe, not only as the well-known defenders of Christianity but as guarantors of stability in the region. Some even went as far as predicting that the country will replace Austria as the foundation of Austria-Hungary and the main ally of Germany (Bánffy 1902). Others simply demanded independence from Austria-Hungary. Anyway, it was a standard, unilinear version of national history, historically legitimating the present. However, in the Hungarian case during the 20th century, all three aspects of nationalist ideologies were radically reconfigured many times. At the end of WWI, with the Peace Treaty of Trianon, the country lost 2/3 of its territory, the former nationalities became titular nations of successor states, and it was obvious that the state-building capacities of the nation failed. At the end of WWII, a similar disaster struck, with the loss of all regained territories, accompanied by the lengthy occupation and subsequent Sovietization process of Hungary, and the end of the socialist regime was not without consequences for the concepts of national history. (For a Central European context see Kopeček 2008). Beyond the obvious problems – how to adapt the constructs of history to the new circumstances – each period had to deal with the preceding one, assign a particular place to it in the accumulating process of national history as well.

Nationalism in historical constructs  189 After 1918, the main tune was set by Gyula Szekfű, who in his Three Generations tried to reconcile the historicist notion of the nation formed by its state and the state’s history with the new situation. However, Szekfű replaced the traditional teleology pointing towards the glorious present or future with a story of decline afflicted by the failure of Hungarian liberalism in recognizing the nation’s needs. In his narrative, liberalism brought about a gradual weakening of the national society with its enthusiasm to accept superficial assimilation that logically pointed to the catastrophe of the WWI. Nevertheless, Szekfű initially remained faithful to the idea of the national identity based on the state and hoped for a reconstruction of a larger Hungary, but in the thirties, he infused his concept with ethnic essentialist notions, borrowed from his main challengers, the populists. (Trencsényi 2011; Romsics 2010) Among professional historians, the latter was best represented by Elemér Mályusz, who aimed at the renewal of historiography in line with the German Volksgeschichte. (Romsics 2010; Hettling 2003) Although he was not simply an imitator of German scholars, he postulated the Hungarian nation’s almost unchanged existence since its arrival to Central Europe and the necessity to study the history of the people because it can reveal the substance of the nation. This approach altered the temporality of the history as well, replacing the historicist teleology of state formation and existence with an eternal presence of the nation with its essence represented by the people, a kind of atemporal vision. However, just as Szekfű slowly moved towards accepting elements of the völkisch concepts, Mályusz could never have freed himself from the strong tradition of historicism and formulated a hybrid narrative, emphasizing the importance of the state as well. (Romsics 2010; Erős 2002) The type of non-professional public intellectual engaging in historical debates was best represented by Dezső Szabó and László Németh, both writers from different generations and adherents of populist ideas, who opposed not only historicism but its logical consequence, the elevation of the state to the role of a constitutive element of the nation. They argued instead for the creation of ethnically homogeneous nation states derived from the substantial characteristics of the nation. However, the most prominent figure of these discourses in the interwar period representing the intersection of politics, scientific activity and the role of public intellectual was certainly Pál Teleki, a university professor, geographer, organizer of the scout movement and politician (minister in several governments and prime minister twice), who also represented how much these different roles were interwoven through the use of history. Teleki developed an integral and organic concept of the nation from geography, Raetzelian geopolitics, national character and a historicist understanding of Hungarian history. While he argued that Hungarians, a basically chivalrous and generous nation, has a mission in the Carpathian basin, a geographic region that affected the Hungarian national character too, he proposed a new constitutional system, merging corporatist and parliamentarian elements, that he perceived as the embodiment of the true nature of the nation according to the spirit of the age. (Ablonczy 2004; Ablonczy 2005) The year 1945 brought a rupture with the constructs of the earlier period, especially concerning the territorial aspect. However, parallel with the advancement of

190  Gábor Egry a new, Marxist history (that borrowed heavily from the historicism and the populist pantheon, Mevius 2005; Romsics 2010), István Bibó made an attempt to set up a new narrative, challenging Szekfű’s anti-liberalism, the völkisch essentialism and simultaneously offering a progressivist interpretation of history. Bibó based his narrative on a constructivist understanding of the nation, while he proposed a strictly ethnic delimitation of the states in Central Europe. Curiously, the basic structure of his narrative was similar to Szekfű’s, a story of decline – this time ending in 1944 – due to the failure of political realism to accept the realities. In his view, liberalism was not excessive and thus corrosive to the national community, quite the contrary, due to its inability to face the real Hungary and its problems and its tendency to accept external limits as unavertable, it was unable to eliminate remnants of the feudal society and at the end, it doomed the modernization attempt. (Trencsényi 2011) Marxist histories never entirely set aside the framework of the nation (Kopeček 2008), but the Kádár era put forward a national history that was always limited to the actual nation state, and, especially in times of debates over the nationalism, Hungary’s integration into supranational structures was emphasized. Even with this cautious approach, a clash over history with the neighbors, especially with Romania was inevitable. Official history framed it as a fight against Romanian nationalism in the name of true, internationalist Marxism and Leninism. (Pach 1983) The year 1989 brought about the return of a history with marked national accents, while it infused the political discourse as much as in the interwar period, not only as a set of references but as a means of gaining legitimacy over political opponents or delegitimizing them. However, the main distinctive characteristic of the period was a series of debates over the place of the twentieth century in the national history and the emergence of two opposite concepts of the history, tightly bound to two different concepts of the community, the “Republic” and the “Nation”. Before turning our attention to these concepts, it is worth summarizing the most important elements of the earlier constructs, with regard to the three main aspects of nationalist ideologies. All of them assigned a specific geographical space for the nation but far from identical ones. The historicist and the historicist and völkisch versions conceived the Carpathian basin as the natural space of the nation, very well supporting official revisionist politics. However, other völkisch concepts, just as Bibó, were less ambitious and mainly identified the nation’s territory with the zones inhabited by Hungarians. Still, in the light of the extended zones of ethnically mixed population, it was far from being a clear definition. Some inventive solutions – offered, for example, by Sándor Makkai – postulated that as every nation has its naturally assigned space, these cannot interfere; therefore, nations can exist separately, turned inwards while sharing physical space. But the mainstream attitude – exemplified by the case of Transylvania – was to use the history as a proof of natural rights for the territory. Not only in the interwar era, when even specialist institutions were established (Erdélyi Tudományos Intézet) to scientifically prove the Hungarian case, but in a sense even in the eighties, with the History of Transylvania. (Mevius 2010)

Nationalism in historical constructs  191 Regarding the internal structure of the community as portrayed in or deducted from history, it is hard to make a succinct summary given the difference in the assumptions concerning the national character. But there were important attempts to derive an authentic political system from the nature of the nation as reflected in its history. In a sense, the populists’ demand for social reform and elevation of the lower strata belonged to such attempts and Teleki’s above-mentioned plans. And such concepts characterize Hungarian politics since 2010. The relational aspect of the nationalism underwent thorough modifications but retained important notions too. Szekfű asserted that Saint Stephen always intended to provide immigrants with national autonomy, while Mályusz argued that the king’s aim was to assimilate them. Other populists saw the essence of Hungarians irreconcilable with that of aliens, especially Germans or Jews. Although historicism’s implicit subordination of every nationality to Hungarians because of their cultural inferiority (used as an argument by Albert Apponyi in Paris, 1920) later slowly receded, the historical narratives remained Hungarian-centered. Furthermore, the historicist idea of phased development of nations that every community should follow allowed for remarks, stating that some neighboring nations, for example, Slovaks, are in an earlier stage of this development, and that is the reason behind their “immature” behavior against Hungarians. The concepts emerging after 1989 are striking examples of the complexity of history and nationalism. While the “Republic” is a textbook example of a constructivist (civic) nation with a reflexive, self-consciously constructed history, in this sense the embodiment of liberal nationalism, the “Nation” is also the ideal result of integral and organic nationalism. Not only are their perceived communities diametrically opposed ones, a deliberative democracy and a political system based on the guidance of a few visionaries, but their respective histories that legitimize them as well too. The “Republic” is seen as the heir of progressivist traditions – and this way a continuation of historicism. The predecessors of this “Republic” are revolutions, 1918, 1945 and 1956, all of which brought social changes. It refuses to accept both the Horthy and Kádár eras as examples to follow. Members of the community and its history in the twentieth century are the citizens, and its embodiment is the Hungarian state. Meanwhile, the “Nation” is perceived as a community of atemporal existence, the history of which was detoured in 1944 by external forces. (For other Central European examples see Kopeček 2008.) The revolutions – except 1956 – are taken suspiciously, social change being the result of alien ideas. In this concept, 1956 is not the complex event of social and national aspirations (Rév 2005; Laczó 2008; Mink 2008), but the effort of the nation to free itself from the bounds of history. As a consequence, the nation regained its freedom in 1989 and would end its detour in history as soon as it could return to the natural track of history, to the fulfillment of its mission. (Since 2012 this concept is included in the preamble of the Hungarian Basic Law.) While in the interwar period the strength of historiographical traditions and political developments outside their sphere of influence (the necessity to resist Germany accepted by both Szekfű and many of the populists public intellectuals)

192  Gábor Egry led to a merger of the competing concepts of history and nation, after 1989 both of them diverged. As a result, the once contested, but unitary Hungarian nation was split almost unnoticed into a full-fledged constructivist, liberal nationalist, and a full-fledged, organicist, ethnic one. Both of these had their history used boldly by their political representatives. Although they are entangled by their identical nation-state, they could not offer a place to the other in time and space. To a certain extent this type of dichotomous past is present in every CE country. Hungary is a special case in the sense that it pervades the interpretation of the whole twentieth century, not only the communist period. This deep division is prevalent in broad segments of cultural and scientific life too, and it is also institutionalized. Furthermore, the historical concepts underpin and support notions of the nation and are simply borrowed for rhetoric purposes, but they embody them in a peculiar fashion. They not only present a national history tailored to the vision of the nation, but also through the concept of history, thus generating a kind of meta-nationalism, in which history’s structure itself should be aligned to the story this very history tells about the nation’s past, thus equating the vision of history with the vision of the nation.

References Ablonczy, B. (2004) “Teleki Pál nemzetről és társadalomról – a visszacsatolások előtt és után”, in Csilla, F. (ed.) Nemzet a társadalomban. Budapest: TLA.. Ablonczy, B. (2005) Teleki Pál. Budapest: Osiris. Bánffy, D. (1902) Magyar nemzetiségi politika. Budapest: Magyar Közélet Berger, S. (2008) “Narrating the Nation: Historiography and Other Genres”, in Berger, S., Eriksonas, L. and Mycock, A. (eds.) Narrating the Nation. Oxford and New York: Berghan Books, pp. 1–16. Csaplár-Degovics, K. (2009) “Lajos Thallóczy und die Historiographie Albaniens”, Südost-Forschungen, vol. 68, pp. 205–246. Erős, V. (2002) A Szekfű-Mályusz vita. Budapest: Csokonai. Gyurgyák, J. (2007) Ezzé lett magyar hazátok. Budapest: Osiris. Hettling, M. (2003) “Volk und Volksgeschichten in Europa”, in Hetling, M. (ed.) Volksgeschichten im Europa der Zwischenkriegszeit. Gӧttingen: Vandenhoeck  & Ruprecht, pp. 7–37. Hroch, M. (1985) Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe: A Comparative Analysis of the Social Composition of Patriotic Groups Among the Smaller European Nations. London: Cambridge University Press. Kopeček, M. (2008) “In Serach of ‘National Memory’ ”, in Kopeček, M. (ed.) Past in the Making. Budapest: CEU Press, pp. 75–97. Laczó, F. (2008) “The Many Moralists and the Few Communists”, in Kopeček, M. (ed.) Past in the Making. Budapest: CEU Press, pp. 145–169. Lorenz, Ch. (2008) “Drawing the Line: In Stefan Berger: Narrating the Nation. Historiography and Other Genres”, in Berger, S., Eriksonas, L. and Mycock, A. (eds.) Narrating the Nation. Oxford and New York: Berghan Books, pp. 35–55. Mevius, M. (2005) Agents of Moscow. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mevius, M. (2010) “A  kommunizmus és a nacionalizmus viszonyának újraértékelése”, Regio, vol. 2., pp. 3–31.

Nationalism in historical constructs  193 Mink, A. (2008) “The Revisions of 1956 Hungarian Revolution”, in Kopeček, M.(ed.) Past in the Making. Budapest: CEU Press, pp. 169–178. Pach, Z. P. (1983) “Pach Zsigmond Pál:Nemzeti fejlődés, nemzeti öntudat”, Társadalmi Szemle, vol. 10, pp. 23–37. Rév, I. (2005) Retroactive Justice: A Prehistory of Post-Communism. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Romsics, G. (2010) Nép, nemzet, birodalom. Budapest: Új Mandátum Kiadó. Trencsényi, B. (2011) A nép lelke. Budapest: Argumentum.

23 Nationalism as civil religion The case of Hungary Attila B. Pató

Introduction – defining civil religion Depending on the applicable definitions, two slightly different meanings of civil religion are worth being distinguished to describe a complex tradition in Hungary. In a general sense, a broad variety of cultures, which includes texts, myths, music and relics, as well as other forms of symbolic representation of events and personalities, regarded as emblematic icons of political relevance and various kinds of rituals performed on symbolic occasions, should be mentioned in the context of a deeply rooted tradition of civil religion. It is important to note that the necessity of cultivating traditions is highly estimated by the society, or more precisely by the nation (even if the very problematic use of this term may not be discussed in here), thus securing a consensual ground for societal forms of civil religion, as well as for the system of political representation. Since the elements of social forms of civil religion tend to display essential functions of the community, they should be accepted by the majority of the community. As it has always been regarded as the embodiment of values and norms, a coherent system should help the community to express its integrity and its members to ensure a sense of commonness. Members of a community bear certain pride and self-respect when identifying themselves with the community by performing public rituals, at the same time visibly representing their own existence in the in-between space of human beings (Arendt 1958). Further, it is essential for the community to build its image among the neighbouring communities, too. However, it is also relevant that the images or codes built up by a community are not always received, or decoded, by the neighbouring communities according to the original intentions of the codifiers. In the case of Hungarian self-representation, there are considerable alterations in the message and the interpretation of certain rituals. Conflicts with neighbouring communities, as we shall see in a case study (Târgu Mureş, Romania), may arise due to inadequate self-representation  – or improper interpretation. On the other hand, political forms of civil religion, the symbolic representation performed by political movements and parties, are regarded as legitimate with respect to the acceptable and meaningful configuration of the social forms of civil religions (symbols and codes). A relevant part of the political culture is

Nationalism as civil religion  195 disclosed in the public sphere, usually regarded as social events (sometimes combined with religious representation), for example, on occasions of official or nonofficial memorial days, electoral campaigns. Therefore, the set of shared values and symbols should be achieved by democratic consensus, exactly because of the vital role that images and rituals assume in providing the community with the ground for political cohesion and reasonable social interaction – thus minimizing the chances of political or social conflicts. Even if the two forms of civil religion, described tentatively above, are close in meaning, it will be of crucial relevance to make a distinction between societal (popular, cultural) and political forms of civil religion. In the following text, some more arguments are delivered to substantiate such a subtle distinction.

Societal civil religion as a set of symbols and rituals in social interaction In Hungary, over the past 150 years, there has evolved a set of symbols and rituals regarded as identifying codes of national representation in its complex and not utterly coherent integrity. Although justly regarded as traditional, it has often been coined as ‘millenary’. In a perpetually polarized ideological framework (in shortcut form: ‘modernists’ vs. ‘traditionalists’), hallmarked by bitter disputes and social conflicts, some key elements and the very essential concepts always played a dynamic role in various forms of civil religion. Discussing the most persistent codes, we will identify the aspects of a ‘much-tormented nation’, whereby all efforts and the concomitant sacrifice have been dedicated to two complementary layers of modern nation building processes: emphasis on the social and cultural integrity of the nation (cf. Szűcs 1984, Rákos 2000), and in political terms, on the sovereignty of the State. As noted by foreign observers, the two aspects are not always clearly distinguishable, even causing further complications by the fact that both forms have often been associated with the myth of a ‘historical’ or ‘Millenary State of Hungary’. Regarding internal communication, it is worth mentioning that the political aspect  – in ideological terms  – has often served to dominate any criticism based on social or political demands. This point cannot be emphasized enough; though not exclusive feature of Hungary, social criticism and political opposition in critical moments were often regarded illegitimate exactly on this ground, thus their representatives might have been banned from publication or sentenced to prison by the governing – more or less legitimate – body politic. In this context particular attention should be paid to the tradition of clandestine rituals, performances and other elements of popular traditions in specific historical periods, or in minority context (an excellent compendium of social imaginary: Bárdi et al. 2008). The conceptual elements of the national self-representation are often linked to the images of the survival of an ever suffering nation in heroic victories and falls among great powers and adjoining nations, more often than not watched as potential adversaries – with Poland as the only real exception in the neighbourhood.

196  Attila B. Pató Germany and Austria represent very special, highly intricate cases, not to be discussed in here. However, a special case should be mentioned: Turkey. The real sympathy from Turkey and its people is always perceived with utter surprise, for example, by Hungarian visitors around Bosporus, or even in Antalya. In Hungary, as a somewhat extraordinary gesture, a monument was erected in 1996, representing both Sulejman I, or the Magnificent, who died in the battle of Szigetvár in 1566, and his enemy in war, Imre Zrínyi, in a memorial park on the site, contributed to the joined history of the two, as present NATO-allied nations. Indeed, it has never been forgotten that Turkey had often proved to be a host for political refugees, especially after the failures of national uprisings against the Habsburgs; it was the land of the sultans where Lajos Kossuth found temporary refugee after the war with the Habsburgs had tragically concluded in summer 1949. The national remembrance induced extreme gestures in the case of Ferenc Rákóczi or Imre Thököly. They had both, with many others with similar fates, spent the rest of their lives in Turkish exile after the wars against the Habsburgs at the turn of the 18th century. Let us mention two aspects of the commemoration of the three aforementioned politicians: first, all their ashes were returned to Hungary, with official and religious ornaments, as proof that they eventually had the chance to return to a free and sovereign Hungary around 1900 – which, on the other hand, according to István Bibó, only proved the ‘false realism’ of the governing body politic. As a single hallmark of the second aspect, one may admire even today a remarkable memorial stone placed past 90 years that a train with the ashes of Duke Ferencz Rákóczi passed through the station of Szeged on its way to his final destination, the Saint Elisabeth Cathedral in Košice (Slovakia, in Hungarian: Kassa). Still today, the Hungarian–Turkish Fraternity Association organizes their annual pilgrim trips to the relevant sites in Turkey, as well as to Košice, even to Kežmarok (Slovakia, in Hungarian: Késmárk), that is, to place their wreaths at the memorial grave of Imre Thököly in the Evangelical Church. In the context of neighbours, foes and friends, just for a brief mentioning, the faraway Finno–Ugric relation has been left of entirely linguistic relevance, without any specific trace in civil religion.

Relevant dates and related rituals in civil religion Let us mention the probably most significant forms of civil religion that are related to certain events with their appropriate rituals. The most popular and binding form refers to commemorating symbolic events, such as (1) 15 March, the outbreak of the popular uprising in 1848, provoked by a small, legendary brotherhood of young literary personalities. It is remarkable, though unnoticed in the popular legend, that the revolutionary moment was not at all welcomed by the Hungarian political establishment when Sándor Petőfi sat on a historical stage by performing his poem on national freedom. The historical moment has ever since provided the opportunity to perform the most popular, indeed nationwide public rituals, with compulsory programs in schools, speeches by political leaders, and marches with

Nationalism as civil religion  197 flags and families with ‘Petőfi cockade’, a red-white-green knot of ribbon worn under the collar, in the air of social feasts. Less relevant, still officially recognized importance is attributed to (2) 6 October, the tragic end of the same revolution and war of liberation against the Habsburgs in 1849, finished on that day with the capital punishment of 13 generals, and Lajos Batthyány, the first legitimate prime minister of Hungary. Traditionally, the date has always been regarded as the symbol of national destiny, with all the heroic efforts of a nation, rendered by fate to tragic capitulations – as one may read in the national anthem (written in 1823). Another significant event, (3) the outbreak of the so-called ‘56 Revolution, the beginning of the Budapest uprising in 1956, is also grounds for commemorating gestures on 23 October, provoking particular attention of all Communist authorities until 1989. (4) The martyrs of 1956 are commemorated on 16 June, the day of the execution of revolutionary Prime Minister Imre Nagy in 1958. The uprising, officially marked as ‘counter-revolution’ by the Soviet-imposed Kádár regime, and its martyrs used to be remembered strictly clandestinely prior to 1989. It was also the day of bloodless revolution in 1989, when Imre Nagy and other representative political martyrs were ‘re-burried’ in a huge public manifestation: the event marked the end of communism and Soviet occupation in Hungary. To be sure, the date has been officially recognized since 1990, yet somewhat pushed in the shadow by the right-wing Orbán government (since 2010) – as a communist, Imre Nagy is, after all, considered to lack full legitimacy. The third essential element, with its traditionally powerful symbolism, refers to (5) the foundation of the Hungarian State by King Saint Stephen, celebrated on 20 August, which has a long tradition with many transformations over the past decades. It must be noted that the date was respected even during the communist regimes, celebrated as the Day of Constitution (Soviet-type codification, 1949), also relying on the tradition of the Day of New Bread. The transformation of the most relevant political date clearly reflects the twofold aspect of nationally relevant rituals: acknowledging the power of legitimacy embedded in social forms of civil religion, while  – in this case  – letting the original meaning to oblivion. Since 1990, now officially the Day of St. Stephen, 20 August continued to be celebrated with grandiose festivity with official speeches delivered by all representative state personalities, a navy parade on the Danube and spectacular fireworks, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to Budapest. Co-laterally, a religious ritual involves the ‘Procession of the Holy Right Hand’ – so much typical of the ultraconservative interwar period – with a relic claimed to be the original right hand of King St. Stephen. Finally, the binary logic of commemorations implies that the fall of the ‘Millenary State’ should be commemorated, too. Yet, (6) 4 June, the date of the so much disputed Trianon Treaty (1920) was officially introduced by the FIDESZ government in 2014. A  particular event took place on this date, that is, the reinstallation of a bulky statue of István Tisza, the ultra-conservative prime minister before 1918, right on the reconstructed Parliament square, with the representative

198  Attila B. Pató speech by Viktor Orbán on the ‘Rebirth of Hungary’ – in a way symbolizing the continuity of Hungary as it was ‘dissected’ after World War I. On 4 June, along with official programs, many local events are observed, particularly by extreme right groups, parading in uniforms and ‘Árpád-stripped’ red and white flags, often gathering around the so-called Turul bird statues (based on the mythological eagle of ancient Hungarians), built on various places before 1918. There is irony in history: on 4 June 1990, Viktor Orbán and the FIDESZ group, at that time as a liberal party, unanimously left the Parliament session, on the very occasion that József Antall, the first freely elected prime minister, suggested a brief commemoration of the Trianon Treaty. So many similar paradoxes may well highlight the controversies and dramatic turbulences related to the social and political forms of civil religion in Hungary.

Case study: codes and decoding in a conflict situation As it was widely publicized, in the context of reinforcing a post-communist regime in Romania, a series of battles broke out in multi-ethnic zones just a few months after the 1989 December revolution. Tensions were focusing around Târgu Mureş (in Hungarian: Marosvásárhely), a regional centre in the middle of the country with considerable number of ethnic Hungarians, even in the majority in some localities. During the first months of 1990, hoping for democratic solutions to minority education, students from the Hungarian community claimed a university to be set up with their mother tongue as its official language. Since authorities were not ready to accept the request, students and many young sympathizers decided on a peaceful, still public sit-in demonstration. A few thousand of students gathered in the historical centre, sitting quietly with books and candles in their hands for a few days and nights, having no intention to insult anyone. Unfortunately enough, all the three main symbols would be interpreted in an entirely different way. As for the Romanian community, books were meant to symbolize the provocatively expressed cultural superiority of their rival community, candles symbolized the remembrance of ancestors (see Orthodox symbolism), and the silence merely signed the unwillingness to communicate with the rest of the city. However, it was primarily the responsibility of political manipulation and the active aid of the authorities that hundreds from the hills were transported by vans to the city ‘to bring help to their Romanian comrades against the age-old aggressors’ – not refraining from the use of extreme violence. Still, it is again a sort of misunderstanding. In the minority understanding violence was targeting their nationality – however, the post-communist regime, to enforce their power, used even more brutal violence against students in Bucharest, who also claimed democratic solutions to their problems.

Civil religion in the context of political regimes It is also essential to define civil religion as a politically formulated, official system of symbols, texts and rituals in a strictly political sense, as ever formulated

Nationalism as civil religion  199 by the ruling governments. There should be noted, however, that all the political regimes (basically since 1848) have provided very different selections of symbols and rituals to provide any legitimate ‘official civil religion’. However, these political intentions were hallmarked by an emphatically unique set of values and norms, often based on political mythology formulated against (as if overwriting) the ideologies of their predecessors (Gyáni 2007). In this context, it is interesting that all the Constitutions, of fundamental relevance for a political community, were established by left-oriented regimes (1919 and 1949, which were ammended in 1989 and a few times afterwards). Presumably this is one of the main motives why the actual ‘constitution’ that went into force on 1 January 2012, was entitled The Fundamental Law of Hungary. However, the main elements of a politically relevant system of civil religion remained consistent and consensual: (1) the national anthem, written in 1823, with music from 1844, has been regarded as official by the nation ever since, though not by Austria-Hungary, and never canonized in the constitution until 1989; (2) the national flag coloured red, white, and green, as originally proposed by Alexandra Pavlovna, the popular wife of Joseph Habsburg in pre-1848 Palatine of Hungary as well as, paradoxically, the sister of Nicholas I, the Russian tsar who was ready to help defeat the Hungarian uprising in 1849; (3) the coat of arms, in the present official version is headed with the historical image of ‘St. Stephen’s Crown’ – as it was accepted by the conservative Parliament in 1990, against the votes of the liberal parties; and (4) the politically most important relevant relics is ‘the Holy Crown of King St. Stephen’, which after many adventures, was finally returned from the United States in 1978 – received with a brief but official ceremony by the Kádár regime. Until 1999, it was made accessible to visitors on the premises of the National Museum, but it was later moved to the very centre of the Parliament building, thus obtaining a sort of not clearly defined meaning in the political symbolism. All these elements, with the officially observed memorial days mentioned above, are intended to reflect the millenary presence of the Hungarian nation in Europe, evolving around the most relevant political ambition, the quest for freedom, that is, national sovereignty. All over modern history in Hungary, each political regime expressed a specific set of values and norms, often radically contradicting those of the previous regime, wherein giving priority to their preferences, also expressed by certain legitimizing formulae, which were supposed to be in accord with the traditional use of a national (societal) set of civil religion. Thus, a system of symbols and rituals were designed as supposedly acceptable by the majority, or at least a considerable part of the dominant elites (though not always the same as the ruling elites), as well by a relevant part of the society. As such, it ought to be open to public contest all the time and subject to public consent. However, as it happened in the flow of consecutive regimes, not all of these criteria were entirely satisfied. On the other hand, even if distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate political rules, every political regime, at least partially, always applied traditionally accepted formulae in their attempt to offer appropriate references to its set of codes and symbols, regarded as necessary criteria of political justification.

200  Attila B. Pató

Case studies: civil religion in political context Three examples from the period of 1948–1989 may illuminate certain characteristics of both the social and political relevance of civil religion. The Rákosi regime was hallmarked by a high dependence on Stalin’s Soviet Union. Even so, Rákosi articulated the Communist approach: the emblem of Sándor Petőfi was used in 1948–1953 as a domestic and traditional hero to express legacy to the ‘people’s claim for social justice and equality’, that is, the ‘historical claim of the working classes’  – thereby both relying on and  – by restricted interpretation  – avoiding the legacy of a national identity, now attributed to the ‘aristocracy and their allies, the bourgeoisie’. A typical anecdote from the period may also illustrate the role of national symbolism: Rákosi asked the officially recognized composer Zoltán Kodály to let the new socialist state be provided with a new anthem, with the internationally acknowledged composer honoured with its authorship. After receiving Kodály’s sharp reply: “Why? The old one still makes it for us!” – Rákosi has never raised the issue again. Third, as mentioned above, 20 August, formerly Saint Stephen’s Day was converted into the Day of Constitution after 1949, combined with the traditional ‘Celebration of the New Bread’ – tacitly acknowledging the feeble legitimizing power of any communist constitution. As a brief summary, it should be noticed that various societal forms of civil religion have always been present in the national representation, as often emphasized in periods of restricted or suppressed national sovereignty (Szabó 1998).

The nation as political and cultural concept The main characteristics of an enduring and highly sophisticated tradition of civil religion are embedded in a specific self-understanding of a society, primarily reflected upon in a historical perspective (Smith 1996). Thus, we may say that nationhood (here: identity codes of a community’s self-representation) and historicity (as hermeneutical perspective) are critical factors to understand any conventional or even contemporary phenomena in Hungary. Nationhood here is proposed to be understood in two closely intertwined meanings. First, the symbolic representation of national sovereignty and statehood is devoted to emphasizing the historically legitimate existence of a political nation, whereas the symbolism with cultural codes of literary and other forms would refer to the integrity of a cultural nation. The much disputed problem of the political and cultural nation has often been exposed either as antithetic or complementary (Dieckhoff 2005). In fact, certain political ideologies (nationalism, liberalism) tended to emphasize the political character of a modern nation, thus leaving ethnocultural groups (e.g., groups without statehood, minorities) to social and cultural policies. Still, not very far from its neighbours in Central Europe, the self-understanding of the Hungarian nation remained bound to cultural terms, bearing in mind various political goals – for example, the claim for sovereignty, or political rights to its minorities living along its borders (see political parties, cultural or territorial autonomy).

Nationalism as civil religion 201 In this perspective it is highly significant that ethnic groups and minorities (Germans, Romanians, Romas) living within the borders of Hungary have never been fully accepted as political entities within the Hungarian political nation. These ethnocultural (or ethnolinguistic) groups receive − or in fact, do not receive − specific political rights just because they are not regarded as acknowledged political entities as parts of the Hungarian nation, as a political body. As a result of a 25-year-old unresolved debate, their political representation has not been resolved up to the present – against constitutional provisions. In fact, ethnic minorities are not considered to have an equivalent position with the Hungarian communities living across the state borders, who are regarded as political entities by the Hungarian governments. The contradiction between the two perspectives has already been noticed as a blind spot of Hungarian nationalism, ever since the seminal post-war writings by István Bibó. Nevertheless, the minority issue – often imposed as a “question” which needs solution by all means – may be viewed as a paralyzing characteristic of nation building processes in East-, Central- and Southeast Europe, where language as a politically relevant factor has played crucial role since the beginning of their modern nation self-understanding (Anderson 1983). To be sure, all these problems have always been subject to multiple disputes. Accordingly, we may identify historical events and personalities in the very centre of the Hungarian political mythology, in a hermeneutical perspective. To be concise, three relevant features should be described to provide outlines for a rather complicated situation. Altogether they form the core of various political myths around which symbolism and rituals are organized. A) The nation as a political concept: sovereignty, statehood. Historical facts are mixed with political myths: legends of the occupation of homeland (Árpád and the Seven tribes) together with the foundation of the first state (King St. Stephen) as an ethnically pure Hungarian enterprise, as well the myths of capitulations and phases of national rebirth in the political context (e.g., the revolutions and counter-revolutions of 1848–1849, 1918–1920 and 1956). B) The nation in cultural perspective: focusing on language and literature, development of modern literary life, struggles for a modern language. Characteristically enough, not only literary works are relevant, but authors and key personalities are fully weighted in the focus of the culturally conceived nation. Their lives are canonized in textbooks, petrified in statues, and coded in the names of public institutions, with a key role in formal rituals, or high prevalence in public spaces (e.g., street names). C) Historicity – a hermeneutical perspective: events and personalities in a particular sense of national destiny as a dominant aspect of self-understanding, in social interaction and symbolic representation testifying the (symbolic) identification with a shared history bears fundamental relevance in the context of various habits and rituals (Tamás 1999). It is important to note that

202  Attila B. Pató destiny here is interpreted in two rather different, still complementary meanings: (I) destiny of a political community, very much based on the principle of sovereignty (vis. identify patterns in wars against the empires: Turkish, Habsburgs, and the Soviet); and (II) stories of representative persons – regarded as symptomatic to a destiny of members of a community, such as the images of emigration, imprisonment or execution of literary or political personalities – even if national identity is not always grounded in the person’s ethnic origin. With all the reflections on the paradoxes, as regards the conflict and complementary character of the twofold concept of destiny, we should bear in mind that a critical source of the ‘Community of Destiny’ pattern is deeply rooted in the Protestant interpretation of the Old Testament. This motive is also present in various forms of 16th–17th century Protestant prayers. It is not by chance, that the national anthem exactly imitates the same pattern. Notably, the legitimizing national formula was repeatedly referred to by the first freely elected government in ritualized rhetoric forms.

Reflections on the present situation of national integrity If talking about the symbolic representation of the Hungarian Statehood, the foundation and the multiple rebirths of the nation in the modern political state, the most controversial and sensitive issues are to be tackled. Certain historical moments, such as the quasi-sovereignty in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and its failure by the end of the First World War, the subsequent traumatizing periods of Red and White terror (letting the short-lived First Republic in 1918 fall into the abyss of unresolved disputes), and the participation in WW2 along the Third Reich and the overtly pro-Nazi government in the final period, raised even more sensitive questions never ever purified in the national consciousness. Nowadays, the same ambivalence applies even to the consensus on 1956, which served as grounds for the democratic transition in 1989, by recent challenges to the authentic national legacy of Imre Nagy and his fellow martyrs (formerly Communist Party members). At present, all the frustrations have been cumulating in a national civil religion which is best illustrated by the tendency to use the symbolism of the so-called Historical (Great)-Hungary, as a sign of national integrity and pride thereof. First, a striking feature is the rapidly spreading use of a map of a rather fictitious ‘Millenary Kingdom’ (a sort of oxymoron: St. Stephen’s Kingdom conceptualized as a sovereign state within a complex territorial arrangement of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy) could be found in private spaces, also as vehicle registration code stickers. Similarly, a great variety of symbolism of the same political mythology is applied, such as in the ever-growing number of ‘memorial stones and statues’, not only reviving but as if repeating the abundant public symbolism of 1896, that is, the ‘Millenary year’, commemorating the occupation of the Carpathian basin by Árpád and the Seven Tribes. To make it more multi-layered, all this symbolism

Nationalism as civil religion  203 was richly referred to in their replicas in the Horthy-regime – especially in the context of losses and sufferings caused by WWI and the ensuing Trianon Treaty. In this context, the use of the so-called Árpád-stripped flag has raised serious controversies. The flag is nowadays being used and abused by extreme right movements claiming legitimacy on the grounds that the flag was used by volunteer popular forces in 1848. However, it is justly claimed that the flag was severely compromised by the pro-Nazi Szálasi movement and their quisling government in 1944–1945. All the critical disputes regarding civil religion, sets of codes and their usage could be viewed as signs of disorientation in a modern political culture. Characteristically, the foundation of the new republic has fallen victim to political disputes, too. The proclamation day of the present Republic, 23 October 1989 took place under an interim government and presidency, still dominated by the postcommunist party, having been given a mandate to provide ground for the first free elections. Perhaps due to all the complexities and paradoxes it is no real wonder, even if unhappy, that 23 October in the past years has been celebrated at separate state and party ceremonies, by the government and ruling parties restricted to the context of the ‘56 Revolution – as if letting to oblivion the foundation day of the Republic by a leftist party. Critics also pointed out that the new Fundamental Law (2012) altered the official denomination of the country. Whereas in 1990 the country was officially coined as the Republic of Hungary, the new name is simply: Hungary. At present, in the framework of a complex political culture, all these diverging experiences convey a particular meaning to the problem of ‘national integrity’. An actual and bitter dispute diverges from left to right, even to extreme right movements, mutually discrediting the alternative narrative and symbolic representation. However, certain fundamental issues have been ignored, such as which refers to the source of authority of establishing any symbolic representation: for example, should such power stem from political parties, or rather from socially relevant actors, such as local communities and minorities? If so, what are the criteria of legitimate use of symbolic representation in civil religion? Finally, the question interfering once again with the practices of civil religion reflects the very unsettled character of the actual concept of nation in Hungary.

References Anderson, B. (1983) Imagined Communities. London: Verso. Arendt, H. (1958) The Human Condition. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Bárdi, N., Ferdinec Cs., and Szarka L. (2008) Kisebbségi magyar közösségek a 20. században. Budapest: Gondolat – MTA. Bibó, I. (1986) Válogatott tanulmányok. Budapest: Magvető. Dieckhoff, A. (2005) “Beyond Conventional Wisdom: Cultural and Political Nationalism Revisited”, in Dieckhoff, A. and Jaffrelot, C. (eds.) Revisiting Nationalsim Concepts, Structures, Processes. London: Hurst.

204  Attila B. Pató Gyáni, G. (2007) Relatív történelem. Budapest: Typotex. Smith, D. A. (1996) The Ethnic Origins of the Nation. Oxford: Blackwell. Szabó, M. (1998) Társadalmi mozgalmak és politikai tiltakozás. Budapest: Villányi úti Szabadegyetem Alapítvány. Szűcs, J. (1984) Nemzet és történelem. Budapest: Gondolat. Tamás, G. M. (1999) Törzsi fogalmak (Idola tribus). Budapest: Atlantisz.

24 Czech Republic Dream to be nationalistic Martin Ehl

Historical perspective Covering the Balkans between 1994 and 2001, I have read many texts describing the roots of hatred that escalated into bloody wars in Slovenia, Croatia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Hercegovina. These nations stand in stark contrast to Slovakia and the Czech Republic, two nations which peacefully split in 1993 without a drop of blood spilled. Many scholars blame hidden or open nationalism for intense conflicts in Eastern Europe, but why did a similar war not break out in Czechoslovakia? For a long time I have tried to explain why Czech nationalism, in its present form, is different and how it projects itself into political practice and everyday life, but the answer is not clear. So-called “ethnic cleansing” during World War II had a definite impact on Czech nationalism. Pre-war Czechoslovakia was a multinational state; there were six nationalities with over 200,000 citizens (according to 1921 census) and other nationalities formed about two percent of the population. Of these nationalities, the Jews (the sixth largest ethnicity in 1921) and Roma disappeared under Nazi occupation, and the Germans (the second most major in 1921, after the artificially created Czechoslovak nation) were expelled at the end of the war. Furthermore, to ensure a solid grip on their newly conquered nations, the communists actively suppressed all forms of nationalistic revival and prevented the formation of new national identities under a policy called internationalism. This unique homogeneity coupled with an oppressive post-war communist regime meant that modern Czech nationalism did not begin to develop for almost 50  years. For almost fifty years, there was no necessity to develop the concept of modern Czech nationalism not just because of this, but also due to the official communist ideology of internationalism, which was suppressing any form of nationalistic revival or the birth of new one. Communists capitalised on the long history of contention between Czechs and Germans, keeping alive anti-German sentiment within the Czech nation to unite the Czechs against a common enemy other than the government. After communism was defeated in 1989, people were free to form new ideologies and have new thoughts and discussions. Nearly twenty-one years after the

206  Martin Ehl end of communism, perhaps the best, most accurate account of Czech nationalism was published. The Czech Dreaming (České snění), by famous Czech non-fiction writer Pavel Kosatik, describes modern Czech history as a series of mostly unfulfilled dreams about “the greatness” of Czech old history, about different myths which were created as a part of creation of modern Czech nation, the dreams in which we like to believe. There is a description of our “paternalistic” relation to Slovaks, a dream about the life without Germans and a dream about living within the Russian empire, about having access to the sea and having a courageous army, also about having a national church and having a state of forty million Czechs (and Slovaks). While Czech nationalism is on the rise, one cannot find a purely or openly nationalistic party in Czechia today. It depends on the angle you look at the political scene. For example, unsuccessful election results of the party called Sovereignty of former TV news presenter and Member of European Parliament (MEP) Jana Bobošíková, which, during last two elections, attempted to exploit old antiGerman feelings, show that to succeed with nationalism, one should be much more sophisticated and connect nationalism with other things, but one cannot rely only on that. Another extremist organisation, the Workers Party, was dissolved by the court; however, they were more popular for their anti-Roma sentiments than for nationalism as a political ideology.

Czechoslovak nation Czech nationalism is deeply rooted in modern Czech history and the creation of Czechoslovakia. As British sociologist of Czech–Jewish origin Ernest Gellner points out, the idea of a Czechoslovak (later only Czech) nation created by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk was based not on romanticism, but on moral grounds. The key was to understand that Czechs in the Austro-Hungarian empire were not satisfied with an authoritarian form of government, and anti-German nationalism came into play much later on. The original idea of founding fathers in the 19th century for the Czech Kingdom was to be one of the federal parts of Austro-Hungary (the idea of Austroslavism). Later it became apparent that the system of Habsburg Empire itself was not reformable. Therefore, Masaryk could come with his idea of promotion of liberal democracy as the only alternative that could secure the survival and development of the Czech (Slovak) nation (Masaryk 1990). According to Gellner, the general idea of Masaryk’s nationalism was based on widely accepted ideas that history develops towards greater freedom and democracy. To support this argument, Masaryk examined the history of the proto-protestant movement. Followers of John Hus lead the way towards Catholic revision, proving that Czechs were not simply catching up with international development, but they had brought their own unique contribution to the development of freedom and democracy (Gellner 2003: 120–121). The idea of a Czechoslovak nation was artificially created by the complex war situation from 1914–1918. The large German population living in the Czech nation would be easily outnumbered in a Czechoslovak nation.

Czech dream to be nationalistic 207

Pragmatic nationalism Back to present days. The dreaming version of Czech nationalism seems to be confirmed by sociological research done by the Sociological Institute of Czech Academy of Science. Czechs consider the most significant period of Czech history to be the rule of the Roman Emperor and Czech King Charles IV (14th century). The second most famous and successful is the period of the First Republic (1918–1938). There is also anecdotal evidence of this in the Czech TV competition on the topic of “The greatest Czech”, where Charles IV was a clear winner, after the mythical figure of Jára Cimrman was excluded due to rule that only real historical persons could compete. According to the authors of the long-term study (Šubr and Pfeiferová 2009: 7), there is no deep interest in history within the society. There are no relationships – especially among younger generations – to state holidays, which are related to the Czech history. And the Czech flag is important only when ice hockey matches and football games at the world and European championships are played. As a result, Czech nationalism is not an aggressive political ideology, rather it is a more of a pragmatic version of the national idea, which relies more on argument than on force, is present everywhere, but is not visible on an everyday basis. Czechs, however, are not a perfectly unprejudiced people. In fact, Czechs are often quite patronising towards Vietnamese sellers or Ukrainian workers, and they are often very aggressive towards Roma. This notion could be supported by one of the latest polls evaluating the relationships of Czechs towards the other nations and nationalities living in the Czech Republic. The most sympathetic are Slovaks, Poles, Greeks and Jews. The very last are Roma, and Russians, Vietnamese, Ukrainians and Albanians are also not popular. Interestingly, Germans, during communist times a traditional source of ignition of Czech nationalism, are in the fifth place after Jews and positively evaluated by 57 percent of Czechs (older people are less sympathetic, of course). The first Czech popular elections of the president of the republic in January 2013 has added a corresponding feature to the role of nationalism in Czech political life. Surprisingly useful was a nationalistic card played by Miloš Zeman after the first round against Karel Schwarzenberg – with links to the Czech and German Second World War pasts. There was also clear division on this question between older and younger voters. The situation of the Roma minority is a very specific one, and while racism and nationalism definitely play a role, I argue that the Roma question is more of a social issue. Roma people are usually criticised for misusing social help and state funds, and these practices have roots in communist times. Because their skin colour is different, they are an easy target as a group for any racist and xenophobic attack. According to a May 2011 CVVM poll, 81 percent of Czechs consider cohabitation with Roma to be bad or appalling. According to authors of the study, this situation has been more or less the same since 2006. Even though the Roma question is undoubtedly a social issue, Czech nationalist extremist groups are using this issue to mobilise their supporters, because other

208  Martin Ehl minorities are not as widely disliked. Even the Germans, a traditional enemy of the Czech people, are more widely liked than the Roma. If aggressive Czech nationalism has any political potential, it is because of widespread hatred of the Roma. However, while many Czechs use aggressive anti-Roma rhetoric, brutal attacks on Roma, like the 2009 burning of a Roma home in Vitkov that nearly killed a two-year-old girl, are quickly and fervently condemned by Czech politicians. But again, it is questioned whether we could characterise the relationships of Czechs towards Roma minority as a feature of nationalism (in the pure sense of how is described in the books of Ernest Gellner) or as a feature of social exclusion or racism. The same could be said about the relation of Czechs towards other national minorities like Ukrainians or Vietnamese. Perhaps this hatred stems more from xenophobia or hidden racism than nationalism as a political ideology. Old historical nationalism was constructive because it led to the creation of new space and new state and its structures, first based on the idea of Czechoslovakia and destruction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and second based on an anti-German wave during and after the Second World War. But due to the influence of the Soviet Union and communism ideology of internationalism, it could not develop into full-fledged nationalism, like in Poland, for example. There was the experience of the Munich treaty, and the majority of prominent personalities representing positive nationalism from the first republic were killed during war or emigrated. So the result was primitive, communist-driven, anti-German nationalism within the socialist ideology. And we have seen this as a relic of past playing a significant role in the first direct elections for the president in January of 2013.

Populism plus Due to their historical experience after 1938, Czechs are very sceptical of becoming “positive nationalistic”. I would consider “negative nationalism” hidden one, without the strong potential to develop, also due to historical experience. Czechs got used to the fact that the most important decisions concerning the survival of state and nation are made elsewhere and pragmatically accepted this fact. The New Nationalism created in 1989 does not leave room for new ideas. There have been attempts to combine it with populism, but these attempts have not been very successful. Václav Klaus, president of Czech Republic between 2003 and 2013, has used nationalist sentiments when convenient to gain popularity. Miloš Zeman, a possible contender for the Czech presidency, also uses nationalist sentiments to further his campaign. It is not an everyday business, but when Václav Klaus feels that it is necessary and suitable – like in the electoral campaign of 2002 – he raises his voice over the Beneš decrees, an emotional topic for Bavaria and Austria, from where, time to time, some critical historical voices come. Klaus also – without knowledge of Czech diplomacy – has put an amendment to the Lisbon Treaty concerning Czech relations with expelled Germans, which somehow is still in opinion polls considered a “good” act in defence of Czech interests.

Czech dream to be nationalistic  209 But on the other side, you cannot build on anti-German sentiment for a political campaign and career. As mentioned above, it was unsuccessful for the party of former MEP and TV presenter Jana Bobošíková, who actively played an antiGerman card without success in last elections. The highlight of Klaus’ conservative worldview is his “nationalistic” position on European integration. As a result of his nationalism, we can see that he does not have a counterpart in public debate within the European Union and as a result, the Czech Republic is considered “eurosceptic”. And the domestic implication is even worse: EU matters are not deemed to be a priority, so the Czech government systematically underestimates the necessity to have a strong role, influence and presence in EU institutions. Paradoxically, as a result of Klaus’s version of nationalism and its influence on Czech foreign policy, Czech national interests in the EU are weakened. Klaus dreams about his role in defending Czech interests, and the public listens to him (his popularity in polls was always high). But the only practical result of such a policy on EU soil is a general image of Czechs as not being a very constructive or pro-European partner. But when accused of being nationalist, Klaus defends himself as being a victim of political correctness. What is Czech nationalism nowadays? What does it look like? Who is responsible for the movement? It is hard to say. The truth is that Czechs, due to historical circumstances, have forgotten to live together with other nationalities. The active power of building a national state also disappeared, and the creation of the Czech Republic in 1993 was merely an act of pragmatism. On the other hand, the traditional anti-German source of Czech nationalism is also disappearing as the Czech economy becomes increasingly interconnected with the German economy, and younger generations learn to be more tolerant. It does not mean that Czechs have forgotten history, rather European integration and development inside Germany has allowed Czechs to move on. At the same time, the campaign of Miloš Zeman has shown that coupled with other sensitive social issues, anti-German positions can still attract voters. What might be considered dangerous and is connected with nationalism, is a relationship of Czechs with the Roma minority. Relations with other immigrant groups are not ideal, but hidden racism and unresolved social questions around Roma might cause serious problems. So far, no party as successfully channelled out general dissatisfaction with Roma, as it happened with Jobbik in Hungary, but there are reasons to believe that such situation could happen. So far, after 1989 we have witnessed Czech nationalism more as a “dream” than as a real political ideology which can itself create a viable political alternative. Nationalism is a tool for some politicians, but not all politicians can run a successful campaign reliant on nationalist sentiments. If they use it in a romantic sense, as it is used in Poland, Slovakia or Hungary, they will likely be considered ludicrous. Immigrant post scriptum This chapter was prepared before the immigrant crises in Europe in 2015–2016. I have written that Czech nationalism as a political ideology could be successful

210  Martin Ehl only in combination with populism. And this is exactly what happened during late 2015 and the first half of 2016, when President Miloš Zeman and different anti-Islamist and xenophobic groups used exaggerated danger of Islamism to further their causes. As a reaction, politicians from established parties – like social democratic Minister of Interior Milan Chovanec – became harder nationalists too. The defence of national borders, our values, culture and way of life became the daily business of politicians, even though Czech Republic is hardly a target for immigrants, and there have been no terrorist attacks and incidents on Czech soil (till August 2016). Czech political nationalism has been packed into anti-Islamism, combined with traditional euroscepticism represented by Václav Klaus and his descendants, and newly combined with a slight revival of precaution towards Germany. Czechs – politicians as well as the public – do not understand the German policy of an open door to refugees. That might bring a new combination of anti-Islamism, which is mostly based on biased media consumption as well as revival of traditional antiGerman feelings in part of society. There are regional elections in the fall of 2016, parliamentary elections a year later, and the presidential ones at the start of 2018 – all will be heavily influenced by that new and unpredictable factor.

References Gellner, E. (1993) Národy a nacionalismus. Praha: Hříbal. Gellner, E. (2003) Nacionalismus. Brno: CDK. Kosatík, P. (2010) České snění. Praha: Torst. Masaryk, T. G. (1990) Česká otázka. Praha: Nakladatelství Svoboda. Šubr, J. and Pfeiferová, Š. (2009) “Veřejné mínění o problematice českých dějin”, Naše společnos, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 16–23.

Polls www.soc.cas.cz

25 Historical consciousness Czech and Slovak examples1 Jiri Subrt

The issue of nationalism is inextricably entwined with the problems of social memory and historical consciousness. Today in post-communist countries the concept of historical consciousness seems untrustworthy to many intellectuals. Its lack of credibility lies in its associations with previous Marxist ideology, historical materialism, theses regarding the dialectics of being and consciousness, and the importance of class consciousness. Moreover, this concept may even evoke memories of the theory of social consciousness that was developed by Soviet theorists during the seventies and eighties (one of the leading theoreticians being Uledov [1973]) and imported into other countries of the so-called socialist bloc (cf. Vanek 1980). It is no wonder that most scholars in post-communist countries, when they engage in people’s relationship towards the past, prefer the concept of social (collective, cultural or historical) memory. In the past two decades, the idea of social memory has enjoyed the overwhelming (one might even say exclusively) interest of researchers, becoming the subject of numerous studies, and an instrument of contemporary political and ideological disputes and conflicts. The concept of historical consciousness is, however, rather marginal and forgotten by many. Nevertheless, it cannot be completely ignored. Expressions of social memory and historical consciousness overlap, but cannot be identified with each other, and one cannot permanently replace the other. The concept of historical consciousness has been used and elaborated in some professional contexts. The first was in German philosophy, where the concept Geschichtsbewußtsein appeared. In the 19th century, it appeared in the philosophy of life of Wilhelm Dilthey (1981), followed in the 20th century by Hans Georg Gadamer (1979) in his hermeneutical philosophy. Geschichtsbewußtsein in this concept is seen as a prerequisite for the understanding and interpretation of past events. It is a consciousness able to judge the past according to itself, not the standards and prejudices of the present time. In the 1970s, some German experts on the issue of teaching history began to work with the concept of Geschichtsbewußtsein (Bodo von Borries [1988, 1990, 1995], Karl-Ernst Jeismann [1988], Hans Jürgen Pandel [1987], Jörn Rüssen [1994, 2001] and others), but in a somewhat different context than that presented by philosophical hermeneutics. In their approaches, the term is associated primarily with the question of educational activities and meaningful connections between the idea of the past and orientations towards the present and the future.

212  Jiri Subrt Other suggestions then came in the 1980s from the area of narrative psychology, which developed particularly in the U.S. (Bruner 1990; Sarbin 1986), and also found expression in Germany (Straub 1998, 2005). This psychological direction, working with the concept of Historical Consciousness (Historisches Bewußtsein),2 emphasized that people view their lives as stories whose versions they present to others. Jürgen Straub (2005: 48–49) combines historical consciousness with historical narrative construction and historical ideas in the field of the human mind. Peter Seixas (2004: 10) defines historical knowledge as well as individual and collective understanding of history, which are influenced by cognitive and cultural factors. It is essential that part of historical consciousness is a historical understanding of the present and the future. Jörn Rüsen (2004: 66) characterized historical consciousness as a particular mode of orientation, which is used in solving current life situations. Historical consciousness can be defined as an “entity” shaped by the interplay of certain components. One of these components is lived historical experience (lived personally, eventually transmitted through interpersonal contact). Another is ideology, particularly state ideology, as states and their regimes use ideological interpretations of history for their legitimation; a particular role is also undoubtedly played by the ideology of political parties. The third component (not in order of importance) is the knowledge produced by historiography and historical science. The fourth is what is called ‘collective memory’; especially the cultural content stored in it. In addition to these mentioned components, other influences can be considered – for example, the ways that culture, family, school, religion, art and media express themselves. These effects, however, can be discussed under the headings mentioned above, as through them knowledge spreads, characterised by lived through historical experience, ideology, expert or scientific knowledge, and collective memory. Historical consciousness among the population of post-communist countries developed for decades under the influence of power-political pressures, social changes and even hard-earned life experiences that show that this consciousness is fragile, manipulated, vulnerable, and particularly in non-democratic societies it is the subject of power-political pressures and is so often abused. Turning to a particular example of national historical consciousness, the first survey after 1989 in the Czech lands, which relates to the subject of historical consciousness in then-Czechoslovakia, took place in September  1992 in the atmosphere of the approaching break-up of the joint state of Czechs and Slovaks. In this survey, the Public Opinion Research Institute in Prague asked respondents about the ‘most glorious period, the period of progress and development’ in the history of the Czech and Slovak peoples. The responses were as follows (the question was open): In 1992, the Czech population selected the era of Charles IV more often than the First Republic as the greatest period in history, which to some extent, can be explained by the fact that the Czechoslovak Federation was on the verge of breaking up, and that cast a shadow over the ‘Czechoslovak’ concept of its founder and first president, T. G. Masaryk. Conversely, in the early 1990s in the eyes of the

Historical consciousness  213 Table 25.1 When you think about the history of the Czech/ Slovak nation, which period do you regard as its most glorious, as a period of progress and development? (in % for each of the two republics) Czech Republic (N = 537) Charles IV 29 First Republic 23 Hussite Wars 9 Period since 1989 4 1948–1989 Period 3 1945–1947 Period 2 National Revival 2 Přemyslid Dynasty 2 Great Moravia 1 Other 4 The nation has no history 1 Do not know 19

Slovak Republic (N = 503) 1948–1989 Period 21 Slovak State (1939–1945) 11 National Revival 8 Slovak National Uprising (1944) 8 Current Period 7 1945–1947 Period 7 Great Moravia 6 First Republic 5 Other 1 The nation has no history 4 Do not know 22

Source: Pohled 1992 Note: The percentages have been rounded, so the sum of percentages may not equal 100%.

Czech public, the period of Charles IV represented a time when the Czech lands played an important role in European history. Consequently, it is no surprise that the transformation process under way at the time, which was accompanied by the motto of ‘rejoining Europe’, led people to emphasis this, it could be said, very ‘pro-European’ period in national history. The differences in the opinions of Czechs and Slovaks captured in this survey again clearly attest to their different perspectives on the assessment of the pre-war and post-war stages of the joint statehood of the two nations. In 1992, Slovaks assessed the period 1948–1989 much more positively than Czechs, and conversely, the First Czechoslovak Republic was not assessed as highly. But when analysing such differences, we need to take into account the fact that the survey was conducted during a period of tension, when debates over the division of the Federation were in progress. Events of the past also tend to have a different instrumental nature for contemporaries: they serve to express identification with current events or conversely to express a distancing of oneself from them. That is why, for instance, highlighting the significance of the Slovak National Uprising or the Slovak State need not necessarily be interpreted as an expression of firm preferences for these periods, as they may also have been a way of expressing a sense of detachment towards the current federal state and an affirmation of Slovak identity. Another example of research on historical consciousness may be that which was conducted in the Czech Republic in October–November 2011. In it, the question was raised of how the Czech public evaluates selected figures of national history. Findings from research conducted in 1946, 1969 and then in the last two decades show that in responses to the historical figures of Czech history, the top positions are occupied by Masaryk, Karel IV, Hus and Comenius. The order of these figures has changed at times, but they remain in the leading places. Other high

Figure 25.1  Source: The project ‘A Sociological Study of the Historical Consciousness of the Population of the Czech Republic’ GAČR 403/09/0862; questionnaire research October–November 2011. Note: %, N = 1459.

Historical consciousness  215 positions are occupied by other figures elevated by certain temporary contexts, which then descend to lower positions. The findings of empirical sociological research brings on the issue of historical consciousness (Subrt 2010) show that there is not a permanent set of ideas about the past, characterized by stability and permanence, but rather something that is changing and developing over time. Questions designed to observe how people assess individual periods in Czech national history have, in some rare cases, also been posted in sociological research conducted in past decades. However, these questions were formulated in a different way, so they cannot be compared statistically, but they do tell us something about how the historical consciousness of Czechs has changed over time. The most common answers given in these surveys  – we can provisionally refer to them as ‘the dominant events in national memory’ – have the following pattern, which shows how the collective view of the past has changed over the course of the observed period. This overview suggests an individual interpretation, but it also raises a question of a deeper, philosophical and theoretical nature. What this comparison indicates may partly be explained by the hypothesis that the public always assesses history through the prism of the given context of a particular period, and selections from history are mainly those phenomena and events that symbolize a certain currently relevant ideal or value favoured by the public. This means that shortly after the end of the Second World War, the emphasis may have been placed on the period of the Hussite Wars because it symbolized the nation’s militant determination to defend national interests and build a new society. Later, in 1968, the emphasis was on freedom and democracy, which in the public’s eyes was symbolized by the Table 25.2  Dominant events in national memory Survey year What was significant for the given time of the survey?

Periods of history most often identified as the most important in the given survey

1946

Hussite Wars

1969 1989 1992

2009

First post-war years Waning of the reform period Period leading up to the Velvet Revolution early stages of the social and economic transformation ‘The Present’

Source: Subrt (2010: 91).

First CS Republic Foundation of the CS Republic Period of Charles IV Period of Charles IV

Period of Charles IV Hussite Wars The year 1945

  Period of Charles IV  

First CS Republic Hussite Wars

First CS Republic  

216  Jiri Subrt First Czechoslovak Republic. After 1989, the question of the country’s European identity moved to the fore and with it the period in which the country played a strong role in Europe, namely, that of Charles IV. However, this hypothesis points to another question: how is it possible that an event that definitively and irreversibly occurred in some particular way in the past does not remain firmly established for later generations but can instead change considerably? The American philosopher and sociologist George Herbert Mead (1959: 1–31) has pointed out that people keep changing their ideas about the past (and also the future). This happens as a result of the emergence of new circumstances that put what occurred or is likely to happen in a new light. After exposure to fresh experience, people revisit their past, looking at it from another perspective and accordingly adjusting future actions and expectations (Mead 1959: 1–31). Peter Berger (1991: 56) argues similarly, noting that we reconstruct the past to reconcile it with the present and our current views. History is, as the author says, ductile, malleable and variable, depending on how we repeatedly interpret and explain the past. Such selectivity characterises every national historical consciousness, and it may involve the displacement of unpleasant events and experiences; typical phenomena are the elimination of certain topics, but also the rewriting of history, creation of new myths, or revival of old wounds and resentments. The task of sociological research in historical consciousness is not to solve these problems, because in principle they are not solvable through this approach. However, it is important that research analyses and uncovers the social and epistemological assumptions on which historical consciousness based. The answers to which sociology comes by in this fashion have not only a professional but also a general human significance.

Notes 1 This chapter was carried out within UNCE − Centre for Research on Collective Memory – in the workplace of Historical Sociology at the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University. 2 The term Historisches Bewußtsein gradually pushes next to the term Geschichtsbewußtsein even in a German environment.(cf. Straub 1998; Georgi-Ohliger 2009).

References Berger, P. L. (1991) Pozvani do sociologie. Praha: FMO. Borries, B. von. (1988) Geschichtslernen und Geschichtsbewußtsein. Stuttgart: Klett. Borries, B. von. (1990) Geschichtsbewußtsein als Identitätsgewinn? Fachdidaktische Programmatik und Tatsachenforschung. Hagen: Margit Rottmann. Borries, B. von. (1995) Das Geschichtsbewußtsein Jugendlicher: Erste repräsentative Untersuchung über Vergangenheitsbedeutung, Gegenwatwahrnehmungen und Zukunftserwarungen von Schülerinnen und Schülern in Ost-und Westdeutschland. Weinheim: Juventa. Bruner, J. (1990) Acts of Meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Historical consciousness 217 Dilthey, W. (1981) Der Aufbau der geschichtlichen Welt in den Geisteswissenschaften. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. Gadamer, H-G. (1979) “The Problem of Historical Consciousness”, in Rabinow, P. and Sullivan, W. M. (eds.) Interpretive Social Science: A Reader. Berkeley: University of California, pp. 103–160. Georgi, V. B. and Ohliger, R. (2009) Crossover Geschichte: Historisches Bewusstsein Jugendlicher in der Einwanderungsgesellschaft. Hamburg: Körber-Stiftung. Jeismann, K-E. (1988) “Geschichtsbewußtsein als zentrale Kategorie der Geschichtsdidaktik”, in Schneider, G. (ed.) Geschichtsbewußtsein und historisch-politisches Lernen. Pfaffenweiter: Centaurus, pp. 1–24. Mead, G. H. (1959) The Philosophy of the Present. La Salle, IL: Open Court. Pandel, H. J. (1987) “Dimensionen des Geschichtsbewustßtsein”, Geschichtsdidaktik, vol. 2, no. 12, pp. 130–142. Rüsen, J. (1994) Historische Orientierung: Über die Arbeit des Geschichtsbewußtsein, sich in der Zeit zurechtzufinden. Köln: Böhlau. Rüsen, J. (2001) Geschichtsbewußtsein: psychochologische Grundlagen, Entwicklungskonzepte, empirische Befunde. Köln: Böhlau. Rüsen, J. (2004) “Historical Consciousness: Narrative Structure, Moral Function, and Ontogenetic Development”, in Seixas, P. (ed.) Theorizing Historical Consciousness. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 63–85. Sarbin, T. R. (ed.) (1986) Narrative Psychology: The Storied Nature of Human Conduct. New York: Praeger. Seixas, P. (ed.) (2004) Theorizing Historical Consciousness. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, p. 10. Straub, J. (Hrsg.) (1998) Erzählung, Identität und historisches Bewusstsein: Die psychologische Konstruktion von Zeit und Geschichte. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. Straub, J. (2005) “Telling Stories, Making History: Toward a Narrative Psychology of the Historical Construction of Meaning”, in Straub, J. (ed.) Narration, Identity, and Historical Consciousness. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, pp. 44–98. Subrt, J. (ed.) (2010) Historicke vedomí jako predmet badatelskeho zajmu: teorie a vyzkum. Kolín: Nezavisle centrum pro studium politiky. Uledov, A. K. (1973) Struktura spolecenskeho vedomi. Praha: Svoboda. Vanek, J. (1980) Teorie spolecenskeho vedomí. Praha: Panorama.

Part V

Federalism

26 No federation without separation István Bibó about the prerequisites of regional and European integration Zoltán Bretter István Bibó (1911–1979) is one of the greatest Hungarian political thinkers. This is not only a meaningless opening sentence. When we say that he was a political philosopher, we should bear in mind, that in crucial moments – right after World War II, during the Hungarian revolution in 1956 – for a short period of time, he acted even as a politician. A political detainee from 1957 to 1963 then reduced to public silence during the 70s, being in vogue at the end of 80s, his work was able to capture the imagination of the intellectual generation that took the lead in the regime change at the beginning of 90s. Nowadays he is again largely forgotten.1 The evolution of his memory reflects directly the relation of today’s politics to his ideas, more precisely to his main idea, that democratic politics and behavior are the prerequisites for Central European countries to be able to solve their problems of national identity and territorial disagreements. However, when we say that he was a political thinker, we have to recall that he was very much against any philosophy, let alone political philosophy.2 If we understand philosophers as people concerned with a non-real world, the world of concepts,3 then indeed, Bibó cannot be counted among them. Bibó’s intention was to grasp the realities on the ground, to describe them, rather theorize, and his raw material was the history. Of course, he could not escape theorizing altogether, because “reality” is in itself a concept.4 Was he then an ideologue, or a partisan theorist, who would offer guidance for political activity, based on alleged universal principles addressing the immediate demands of political reality? Of course, this is a very much Burkean and Enlightenment sense of the term ideologue. However, there is no need to dwell deeply here, just to quote the title of Leszek Kolakowski’s short, but identity-building essay, “How to be a conservative-liberal-socialist”; Bibó fits very well into that mold.5 His strive to encompass mutually exclusive alternatives left him alone on the nowhere’s land, or alone with his beloved “reality” and quest for morality. His standpoint was not due to his lack of opinion, or because he was undecided; on the contrary, it was a well-developed theory from the outset in his doctoral thesis: “Kényszer, jog, szabadság” [Cogency, Law, Liberty] (Bibó 1935). His methodology was that of “synopsis”. Synopsis is a Greek word, the equivalent to which in German would be Gesamtschau or Zusammenschau, or in English something

222  Zoltán Bretter like “Together-watching” or “All-in-one point of view”. This is far from being dialectical thinking, because it misses the resolution and dilution of contradictions in a higher synthesis. Paradoxes and unsolvable contradictions remain as they were before: insoluble and impossible to destroy. Meanwhile, their cogency efficiently and urgently asks for a solution. The synoptical view gives us the opportunity to look at contradicting, mutually exclusive standpoints concurrently. We encompass, in the same opinion, the world of what exists on the ground, of facts, of real constraints and duties, in one word reality on one side, and the world of desires, hopes, “ought to”, and moral commands, in one word (and indeed, in the same world) the normative aspects of history and society. The performance seems to be an impossible task for synoptical outlook: this will reject any reduction of conflicts as an unprincipled compromise and will refute wars on principles as the destruction of the fine, compromise-laden fabric of reality alike. But there is a slight possibility to strike a kind of balance, find equilibrium between reality and norms, such an arrangement that will mediate and mitigate between them a modus vivendi, thus allowing us to live together with this contradiction. In philosophical terms, we would say that instead of finding mutually exclusive rational answers for any possible theoretical problem, we look for reasonable agreements among acting individuals. Anyone who is trapped in an ideology will be unable to find that modus vivendi, or, the other way round, only in established democracies, that is, in an already existing modus vivendi, ideological controversies, expressed contradictions, do not threaten the community’s health (and the community is not torn apart by these controversies); on the contrary, they make it stronger, contributing to political stability. Of course, this is again paradoxical, because if we eliminated heated, ideological debates over public issues, how can we expect that will give rise to a democratic public opinion, on which a healthy community rests? The answer could be that realistic analysis, respect for the facts, political correctness, low-key social planning, decision making rooted in tradition and tolerance, and a contract that enables the actors to maintain their identities may overcome the difficulties of paradox. But is not all this a mere utopian community, wishful thinking? A dead end road that has not got any starting point? Let us note that we are speaking about a typical Central European phenomenon, (East Central Europe is so many times characterized as full of paradoxes; this being its underlying culture or political culture) within which ideological debates tend to destroy democratic thinking, rather than contributing to the enrichment of it. In this respect, István Bibó is a pre-democratic thinker, and I mean by this, that he tried to advise Central European countries before they entered in a democratic era about how they have to perform to become democratic. This is exactly what nowadays the European Union, a would-be almost federation – the simple notion of federation being rejected by most – takes very seriously: in that federation, those who intend to be part of it, should meet certain “democratic standards” (whatever it would mean) if the federation aspires for political stability.6

No federation without separation  223

Federation as marriage István Bibó proposed no single integration project and had good reasons why he did not. Federation is like marriage: just naïve politicians, who use to deceive themselves and movie-goers, imagine that Federation and marriage will solve the involved actors’ all existing problems, therefore, is not worth dealing with them. But who knows something about life and human soul, is aware, that entering a federation or a marriage is permitted only if all problems are dealt with and ordered, because sooner or later these come to surface and will shake the stability of the federation; otherwise, Federation and marriage will bring about their grave new questions, and poor of us if we do not possess the collective power for the solutions of them.7 (Bibó 1986a: 614) Thus, regarding the possibility of the federation, Bibó was skeptical for another reason as well. Despite sharing a similar culture, East and Central Europeans do not have to determine joint (I would be tempted to say: synoptical) historical experiences. Therefore, the federation could come into the discussion only when all possible partners possess something very precious they do not want to lose, and that is the moment when they look for safeguarding, that is, the federation itself. Paradoxically, since Bibó wrote his studies, East-Central European states gained a common historical experience, communism, and they gained something very precious they do not want to lose, liberty. This is exactly why they were able to enter a kind of federation, the European Union. Let us remark that in 1943 and 1946, this is the closest point where one could get to conceive a possible federation. Or if we take into account that the starting point is On European balance and peace, in 1943–1944, in the very midst of a war, we could even wonder, how realistic was anything about any federation at all? To be sure, Bibó István was not a visionary thinker, but nonetheless, he was a thinker, who by this time had already contemplated the end of the war. He could not foresee, and how could he, that right after the World War II the moment would arrive when Western Germany will succeed in finding a path back to democracy, and in the meantime will not unleash, but on the contrary will be taming, her own nationalism to such an extent, that will enable a marriage with France. This has been another successful “Münchausen-project”, that is, reality cannot be contended (see below). Now, regarding East and Central Europe and following Bibó’s line of reasoning, we may observe that the time is ripe even for this region. Territorial disputes are no more acute, imperial nightmares do not hunt nations any more, there are no threats for these states to be incorporated into a larger, artificial construction, like the Ottomans’, Habsburgs’ and Soviets’ empires, so nationalisms cannot disturb the minds of communities. The only question remains is whether these nations

224  Zoltán Bretter stick to their democratic commitment or they submerge in a kind of populism and authoritarianism.

The story of history In reconstructing Bibó’s argument, we should take into account his description of the evolution of democracy and nationalism. Bibó tells his story about history.8 In his rendering, the very moment when democracy and nationalism become the twins whose relationship shapes the course of events in modern history is when the tiers état overtakes the national framework, dispossessing the dynasties that allegedly represented peoples for centuries. “Revolutionary democracy, but indeed every democracy, even if declares the liberty of men, this liberty is fulfilled within a community” (Bibó 1986b: 191), and that community, from the French Revolution onwards, is the nation. When in a healthy relationship, as in Western Europe (except Germany and Italy) and Northern Europe, democracy and nationalism do not contradict each other, but when a state, for whatever reason gives way to nationalistic pretensions, democracy has to suffer. When a country that pretends it represents community sets forth expanding borders because it feels for historical, territorial, ethnic or linguistic reasons a right to do so, the community members collapse into a “captive mind” ecstasy. The “Captive Mind” (borrowed here with its full meaning from Czesław Miłosz) is by far the most insightful and enduring account of the appeal of authority and authoritarianism to the intelligentsia and more broadly to the community. Hysteria is Bibó’s term for “captive mind”.9 After a careful reading, we could identify three categories of democracies, according to political culture, notwithstanding the degree of hysteria that characterizes them. These three are the organic (1), the catch-up (2), and the uncertain (3). These categories cover three distinct regions of Europe: Western and Northern (1), Central and East (2), and Balkans (3). But individual countries are not fixed within a category, not at all times and not permanently, as they are part and parcel of these regions. Their temporary status depends on how they cope with the fundamental relationship of nationalism and democracy; they can upgrade or downgrade, according to this criterion. What is characteristic of East and Central European nations is that they were under foreign rule for a long time in their history; so emerges the state of cogency they were in. For these nations, the course of history is the continuity of intermittency rather than continuity with periodic interruptions. Under such circumstances, the cogency tends to perpetuate itself, although it is a bizarre situation. At the beginning one tends to revolt against cogency, feeling that restraint abridges liberty, but with time passing, the one becomes even in love with the situation of being a victim. In this way one perpetuates by his or her will, what was initially rejected out of hand, not only because of very pragmatic reasons but because the situation cannot be changed anyway. In this process of assimilating, what cannot be equated is that one feels permanent that a trauma is guiding his or her existence.

No federation without separation  225 And here lies how Bibó’s thinking is one of the most important analyses of social psychology and the proposal of a concept of political culture. Bibó defines nationalism and hysteria when a reality is conceived as cogency, devoid of any alternative, a reality that inherently commends, dictates to action and does not subject itself to a scrutiny of reasonable people who would find those alternatives for action. The situation of cogency has a cognitive effect in that it locks the mind in just a tiny parcel of reality, a partial truth about reality. One part of the truth covers the whole of it. From this point on the victim (and is a victim, without further ado) has only vindications against the rest of the world in the name of that partial truth that dominates his or her entire existence. My truth is the whole truth, and there is no need any more for any quest for truth. A new trauma is then born: the fear of losing the truth, which is mine and absolute. This fear then is the essence of life, and from now on the problem is that I am right. The problem lies precisely in that I possess the Truth. This is the truth of a community that has lost its senses for reality. Obviously, from this situation, there is no escape. The only way out is the “Münchausen-project”, in which the criticism from within the community reveals the partiality of the commonwealth’s truth, the reality itself, that would enable then to find alternatives for action. This could be the remedy for communityhysteria, but it presupposes that a political community is willing to lose the ground on which the whole of its political establishment rests, to forget the Truth itself. (István Bibó names just only one example of a successful Münchausen-project, that of Denmark, and we may assume that he would have added Germany after the 70s).

István Bibó’s short dictionary of Central European miseries The central notion on which Bibó István builds almost every analysis of his is hysteria. Of course, this is a psychological term, but he does not use it for describing the behavior of individuals, this notion being rather a characteristic of public opinion and political decision-making, more precisely of political culture. Hysteria, at the community (read: national) level, means that there is no balance between what is real, what is feasible and what is desirable. Hysteria distorts the political character. Typical for these nations is the rampant historical consciousness, merged with inherent uncertainty, amour propre, conceit merged with quail, much talk about outstanding achievements and poor records, moral claims and moral irresponsibility. “Much of these nations chew their past as of a glorious great power, or aspirations of becoming a great power again, in the meantime they can apply to themselves the attribute of being a small nation, so distressed, that a Dane or Dutch wouldn’t ever understand.” [“The Misery of Small East European States”: 224.] The hysteria drove, as it were, a distorted community, giving birth to two types of people be they intellectuals, politicians or civil servants: the false realist and the ecstatic essentialist. Then even the society becomes divided along the policies

226  Zoltán Bretter advocated by these two, of course in perfect contradiction with each other. Reality and realistic plans for the future are regarded as nonsense. (As the word of the philosopher in Plato’s cave, when he wants to share his experiences about the real world with those who are enchained and constrained to watch for a lifetime the shadows of the reality.) Reality itself becomes a double reality where the structure of the society and the whole construction of the state are shaped according to some lies about reality. For a society to progress, two things are needed: a realism that enables the community to solve practical problems, and the capacity to distinguish between what is essential and what is not, that is: the capacity for rational answers. When a society’s perception of reality is disturbed, when it creates for itself another – of course tangible and very much existing – reality, a mechanism of selection starts to function. The reversed selection will bring to the surface those who are in the service of this new reality and contribute to its dayto-day construction, and on the other pole, those who find themselves at the edges of society, kind of outlaws, who see the lies on which the new building is built, but they become more and more angry prophets, without being taken seriously. [“Distorted Hungarian Temper, Dead-end Hungarian History” – 1948: 604) The clash of false realists and ecstatic essentialists shapes the future of the community, just by strengthening the primary lies upon which that society is built.10 There is a direct link between this disturbed political culture and its consequence, the interrelationships between the small East and Central European states – this is exactly what we mean by misery. Symbolic and not so metaphorical wars on language supremacy, for minority rights, are fought endlessly; territorial disputes any time can erupt, democracy is continuously under threat. The nightmare for these countries is to slip back into what Bibó calls “antidemocratic nationalism,” the set up in which nationalism and democracy contradict each other: vindication of self-determination for us and inner oppression and coercion by us. István Bibó, one of the greatest Hungarian political thinkers, who witnessed as a child World War I and as civil servant World War II, saw no possibility of a Central European federation, unless the states cannot act and solve their intrinsic problems democratically (democracy is conceived here as empowerment of the people)11 and until they can come to peace with their nationalisms. But because democracy and nationalism have the same roots, finding the equilibrium is nonetheless a demanding task, that has not been fully accomplished – yet.

Notes 1 Of course this is an overstatement, as Bibó’s thoughts exercise a constant influence mainly upon researchers coming from different areas of academia. For an overview see the website of The István Bibó Center for Advanced Studies (www.bibomuhely.hu). I am indebted to many Hungarian writings on Bibó I cannot list in the bibliography of this short chapter. Iván Balog, Gábor Kovács and Balázs Trencsényi to name just a few. In the text – when otherwise not stated – all translations are mine. 2 There will be many who would consider István Bibó – against his will – as a political philosopher. Most notably the frequently quoted Robert Berki (Berki 1992: 513–435). Although in some respects I agree with Berki (at the end of the day, even Machiavelli

No federation without separation 227

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

can be interpreted as a philosopher, rejecting Aristotle and Aquinas alike), for the purposes of this paper it is more rewarding to follow what Raymond Aron suggests as being the viewpoint of a political realist: “A problem which derives from experience and admits of no universally valid solution cannot be settled philosophically” (Aron 1962: 166). More precisely we can make here the proper use of Gilbert Ryle’s “definition” of philosophy: “some characteristically philosophical arguments are not of the premiss-theorem pattern. For they are operations not with premises and conclusions, but operations upon operations with premises and conclusions.”(Ryle 2009: 337). There is no importance whatsoever in classifying István Bibó. I present his approach to politics, history, society and philosophy only because this instructs us in how should we interpret his standpoint regarding any federative utopia. Further, I will try to suggest in my chapter that his work can be enshrined in something that could be regarded as an individual school of “political realism.” “Leszek Kołakowski shared with his Oxford colleague and fellow Central European Isaiah Berlin a disabused suspicion of all dogmatic certainties and a rueful insistence upon acknowledging the price of any significant political or ethical choice” (Judt 2009), writes Tony Judt on Kołakowski. We may well add István Bibó to this short list of prominent skeptics of Central Europe. See for example the concerted EU criticism of Hungary’s authoritarian tendencies, and first and foremost the discussions aroused by the Tavares report (concerning the curtailment of the rule of law in this country). Though the case of Hungary is a particular one, we witnessed a similar polemic in the case of Mečiar’s Slovakia, some anti-European and anti-federative political maneuvers by the brothers Kaczyński, the EU-skeptic position of Waclav Klaus, the Romanian referendum of overturning the president Traian Băsescu, etc. The quote is from a magnificent little piece of analysis made by Bibó during the years 1943–1944 (my translation; original: Bibó 1986a: 614). On European balance and peace has been published posthumously in Hungarian and just recently in English. (Ersoy, Górny and Kechriotis 2010. This is the essay that deals directly with a possible Federation of East Central European states, overtaking the pre-World War I nation building problems on one hand, and taking the Wilsonian proposal for self-determination seriously as well. The analysis to be found here foreshadows István Bibó’s largest enterprise, the book advising great powers’ politicians on the settlement of international disputes by a series of regional referendums. (Bibó 1976) The arguments of On European balance and peace will occur in many studies written later, see for instance: (Bibó 1986b: 427). This latter study is available in English in the only collection of essays translated so far: Bibó 1991). See also the historical account of the rise of nationalism and its analysis by Lord Acton (Acton 1862: 1). Bibó’s rendering presents are sometimes striking similarities with that of Acton’s, though there are no signs in his oeuvre that he had been influenced by the latter. About Lord Acton’s idea of “nationality” (i.e., nationalism) see for example Lang (2002), Massey (1969) and Himmelfarb (1952). “Captive Mind” should be re-read (Miłosz 1953). Not primarily as a series of essays in deciphering the psychology of intellectuals in totalitarianism, but also as the appeal of communitarianism on individuals and their subjection to a “national” authority. Tony Judt did something like this. Writing about Milosz, he says: “Above all, the thrall in which an ideology holds a people is best measured by their collective inability to imagine alternatives.” (Judt 2010). These two categories closely resemble Raymond Aron’s similar category that of “advisor of the Prince” and “lover of Providence”, but Aron does not expand his predicament on a whole political culture. Raymond Aron was in quest of finding a “third way” out of the dilemma of choosing between Machiavelli and Marx. His notion of “spéctateur

228  Zoltán Bretter engagé” is the same position what Bibó envisaged for himself and successfully pursued. Pierre Rosanvallon says about Raymond Aron: “Raymond Aron distant qu’il y a deux types d’intellectuels: les counsellors du Prince et les confidence de la Providence. Le conseiller du prince, c’est intellectual expert. Le confidence de la Providence, he peut être le prophète ou le maître en idéologie. Il nous faut trouver une troisième voie, celle de l’intellectuel impliqué, chercheur associé de la société civile : celui qui produit à la fois la critique et l’outil” (Rosanvallon 2006). See also Aron (1982) and Anderson (1997). 11 Just to note: I have not discussed in the above chapter the demeaning of democracy and its essential distinction from rule of law; I have not analyzed the notion of democracy employed by Bibó.

Bibliography Acton, L. (1862) “Nationality”, Home and Foreign Review, no. 1. Anderson, B. C. (1997) Raymond Aron: The Recovery of the Political. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Aron, R. (1962) The Opium of the Intellectuals. New York: W.W. Norton. Aron, R. (1982) Le Spectateur engagé : entretiens avec Jean-Louis Missika et Dominique Wolton /Raymond Aron. Paris: France loisirs. Berki, R. N. (1992) “The Realism of Moralism: The Political Philosophy of István Bibó”, History of Political Thought, vol. 13, pp. 513–534. Bibó, I. (1935) “Kényszer, jog szabadság”, in Válogatott tanulmányok, vol. 1, Budapest: Magvető Kiadó. pp. 5–149. Bibó, I. (1976) The Paralysis of International Institutions and the Remedies: A Study of Self-Determination, Concord Among the Major Powers, and Political Arbitration. New York: Wiley. Bibó, I. (1986a) “Az európai egyensúlyról és békéről”, in Bibó, I. (ed.) Válogatott tanulmányok. Budapest: Magvető Kiadó. Bibó, I. (1986b) “A kelet-európai kisállamok nyomorúsága”, in Bibó, I. (ed.) Válogatott tanulmányok. Budapest: Magvető Kiadó. Bibó, I. (1991) Democracy, Revolution, Self-Determination: Selected Writings. Boulder, CO, Highland Lakes, NY: Social Science Monographs and Atlantic Research Publications; Distributed by Columbia University Press. Ersoy, A., Górny, M. and Kechriotis, V. (eds.) (2010) Discourses of Collective Identity in Central and Southeast Europe (1775–1945): Texts and Commentaries. Budapest: CEU Press. Himmelfarb, G. (1952) Lord Acton – A Study in Conscience and Politics. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Judt, T. (2009) “Leszek Kołakowski (1927–2009)”, The New York Review of Books, 24 September 2009. Judt, T. (2010) Captive Minds, Then and Now, [Online] www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyr blog/2010/jul/13/captive-minds-then-and-now/, Available 24 July 2014. Lang, T. (2002) “Lord Acton and ‘The Insanity of Nationalism’ ”, Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 63, pp. 129–149. Massey, H. J. (1969) “Lord Acton’s Theory of Nationality”, The Review of Politics, vol. 31, pp. 495–508. Miłosz, C. (1953) The Captive Mind. New York: Knopf. Rosanvallon, P. (2006) La contre-démocratie: La politique à l’âge de la défiance. Paris: Le Seuil. Ryle, G. (2009) “Proofs in Philosophy”, in Ryle, G. (ed.) Collected Papers: Collected Essays 1929–1968. London: Routledge.

27 The ghost of Judeopolonia or the never-existing Eastern European confederation Zoltán Halasi 1

Introduction Poland was stolen. It was stolen in a way that no one recognized it. Poland vanished. It was believed to be in its original place, but it was not. It passed out of sight.

Polish strategies It is August  1914. The divided Poland has been under the authority of three empires since 1795. The so-called “Polish-question” has not been an issue in the international diplomatic arena for years now. The idea of an independent Poland is not in any of the empire’s interests. Nevertheless, the war breaks out, which might lead to some changes in the European status quo (Davies 2005). On the part of Poland, there are two main strategies which dominate its politics. The first approach is based on the assumption that the war will be won by the Russians with their superior numbers, even if the costs in human life will be enormous. Poland’s biggest enemies are the Germans, and their primal source of fear is Germanization. As the strategy further believes, the Russian tzar will realize that the Polish people constitute a natural shield against the aggressive German invasion. Thus the Polish people shall fight for their autonomy side by side with the Russians. This “constitutional” thinking was promoted by the National Democratic Party and by its leader, Roman Dmowski (Wandycz 1988), The premise upon which the second strategy is created is that the Tsarist (Russian) Empire will destroy and assimilate the Polish people. The ongoing conflict between the Germans and the Russians provides the only possibility of survival for the Polish people. The war might weaken both great powers and an eventual impasse might lead to the creation of a political vacuum in Poland. Till then, the Poles shall be engaged in armed fights with their own legions organized in Galicia and in alliance with the Austro-Hungarian army. If the Russian establishment starts shaking, the Polish “Prometheus” could become the leader of the liberation army against the Moscovites. This strategy was proposed and promoted by the leader of the Polish Socialist Party, Józef Piłsudski (Wandycz 1988).

230  Zoltán Halasi There have always been antagonistic contradictions between the two main strategies. The future envisioned by the German phobia Dmowski is an ethnically homogenous Poland, as it was under the rule of the Piast dynasty in the Middle Ages. His primary interest is the lands in the West under Prussian rule. The idea of the Russiaphobic Piłsudski is the establishment of a multiethnic state, as it was under the rule of the Jagiellonians. He would never renounce claims to Belorussian, Ukrainian, and Lithuanian lands. As long as it is possible, the extremely anti-Semitic Dmowski believes in parliamentarian, while the socialist Piłsudski supports military actions (Wandycz 1988; Davies 2005). Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich, the newly appointed commander of the Russian forces, published on 14 August a Manifesto to the Polish people promising them territorial unity and cultural, political and linguistic autonomy. Of course he did. The Empire needs Polish soldiers willing to fight under the Tsarist flag and also needs the support of its civilian population. Whatever the promised autonomy, for which Dmowski has been fighting for many years, it will never be realized. After all, the reason for the outbreak of the war is not because the tsar intends to bestow rights on his subjects but because the xenophobic supporters of the war prevailed over the other. In other words, the supporters of Russification succeeded over the promoters of liberalization. Dmowski will realize it only 1.5 years later that nothing can be expected from the Russians on “constitutional” grounds. Pilsudski’s situation is equally hard. His legendary First Brigade (Pierwsza Brigada) was defeated and scattered: his people in Russian lands (they carry their saddles and have to find a horse by themselves) escape from Kielce back to Galician territories and fail to win not just a battle but also the support of the Polish civilian population. The Polish Legions’ military independence is coming to an end, temporarily. Piłsudski seeks to capitalize politically on the defeat: the military units gradually become subordinated to the German-Austrian forces (Davies 2005).

A federation plan The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin has to deal not just with direct military goals but also with various future political concepts. However, that idea for a state formation with which a lawyer from Cologne surprises the professional bureaucrats in the first days of August would never occur to them. The lawyer suggests to the German government the establishment of a League of East European States (Osteuropäischer Staatenbund) in the case of victory, which would also function as a buffer zone between Germany and Russia, from Riga to Odessa. Its territory would coincide with the Jews’ Pale of Settlement, the so-called chertá osédlosti, and would have a population of 30 million people. Furthermore, it would be recognized as a multiethnic federation under German protection, its form of government would be a monarchy, its capital Lublin and its ruler a Hohenzol­ lern duke. This formation, on the one hand, would guarantee Germany’s safety from the East, on the contrary, the approximately 1.8 million Germans and 6 million Jews, who would populate the area, would jointly perpetuate the presence

The ghost of Judeopolonia  231 of German culture and would balance out the political weight of the 8  million Polish, 5–6 million Ukrainian, 4 million Belorussian and the 3.5 million Latvian and Lithuanian. While the mother tongue of the Eastern European Jews, Yiddish, is a dialect of German language, the Russian Jews could be considered as natural allies of Germany. Till then, the most important task is to communicate the message to all of them, that is, to welcome the German forces as liberators, by applying nicely wrapped propaganda tools (Bodenheimer 1958; Pogonowski 1998).

Jewish utopias History has already drawn on the map of the various state formations of Central Europe, Central Eastern Europe or In-Between Europe; however, even more was dreamed upon it by politicians and intellectuals. For a wonder, the architecture of Central Eastern Europe has thought about every kind of people from the Estonians to the Tartars of the Crimea from the 1840s till the year 1914, apart from one people of in-between, the Jews. (Halecki 1952) The Jews have never been listed under the concept of “constituent people”; as a matter of fact, they could not have been characterized as such: lack of sovereign territory (they were scattered worldwide); lack of language of the civilized world (“Kultursprache”, Yiddish was not recognized); and lack of army. Central Eastern Europe offered either assimilation or departure for the Jews, considered as significant others, either sink or swim. In those countries where liberalism in the 19th century granted individual rights and consequently career opportunities – for example Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Prussia  – Jewish assimilation was enhanced. Where individual rights were taken away from the Jews – for example, Russia and Romania –a dramatic increase in Jewish emigration was caused. However the situation is not that simple, since it is possible to assimilate entirely, losing all traces of Jewishness, or partly, keeping religion for instance, or in a way that is well-known among Jews: being a good Jew at home (keeping the Torah) and being a good person elsewhere (obeying the state law). All of this, however, is a matter of individual choice, which does not effect the nature of collective pressure from which the Jewish communities suffer. However, the end of the century seeks to soften the abovementioned collective pressure with two utopias. One would couple immigration with the founding of a new state, thus giving the right for the Jewish people to establish their state. The other would aim to cease discrimination with social revolution. The first says that if there is a Jewish state, then the Jews would find their home and would be able to protect themselves, while the other believes that in a classless society every man is equal. The first idea is Zionism, and the second is socialism. Neither of them exist in their pure form, and the Jews manage to formulate out of them unique constructions. However, conscious Zionists and revolutionaries make up only a small proportion of the Jews; the great majority follow their rabbis, are loyal to the community, respect the tsar and are deeply religious. They are the victims of pogroms, the news in the international media. They are the ones who shall be saved by well-off Western European philanthropists of Jewish denominations with aid programs

232  Zoltán Halasi which, however, keep drowning in the mud of the Tsarist administration. They are the targets of top-down, angry, Russian antisemitism. They are that internal enemy who could be killed or looted from time to time with the help of the authority, without being accounted for it. This majority’s only hope is that the Messiah will come. (Dubnow 1920)

The lawyer from Cologne The above-mentioned lawyer from Cologne went first into public in 1891 at the age of 26 when he published a political pamphlet titled “Wither the Russian Jews?” In the text, he drafts the plan of a colonial company (Colonial Gesellschaft), which would provide projects of railroad construction as well as industrial and agrarian programmes and succeed in settling approximately a half million Russian Jews in Syria Palestina within one year, with capital of 10 million pounds. (Bodenheimer 1891; Reinharz 1981) The then Jewish magnates did not see any business opportunities neither in the Beirut–Gaza–Jerusalem railway line, nor in wineries on the Karmel hill, nor in the salt extraction from the Dead Sea; thus, the necessary capital was missing from the start. Nevertheless, the lawyer from Cologne continued to care for the Russian Jews. A little bit later we can see him next to Theodore Herzl, as one of the founding fathers of German Zionism. In 1898, he accompanies Herzl to the Middle East: the four person delegation begins to influence Wilhelm II, who visits the Turkish Empire. Their aim is to obtain Germany’s protection with a quick diplomatic move in order to receive a charter from the Sultan, which would then permit them the establishment of Palestinian Jewish settlements. They misunderstand high politics. The young archduke supports in theory the second “and taking” of the Chosen People; however, Turkey would not dare to stir up Palestinian. The empire is big, says the sultan to Herzl, there is enough space elsewhere for the Russian Jews: let them dissolve gradually (Herzl 1922; Bodenheimer 1958). Max Isidor Bodenheimer, the lawyer from Cologne, elaborates on the constitution of the World Zionist Organization, and he is elected as a member of the action committee. Furthermore, as one of the first directors of the Jewish National Fund, he finances housing projects, afforestation and land buying in Palestine. One of his earliest memorandums has already brought the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ attention to the Eastern European Jewish communities, to the relationship between Yiddish and German languages and the two peoples’ common political interests: in the case where Germany supports the establishment of Palestinian settlements, then they could capitalize on Jewish settlers as Middle Eastern business partners and political mediators. Then, in the year 1902, they did not take into consideration his proposal (Bodenheimer 1958).

Committee for East In the middle of August  1914, he is called to go to Berlin. This is not surprising, since the proposal is not anymore about the faraway Palestine but the war

The ghost of Judeopolonia  233 zone of strategic importance between Riga and Odessa. Bodenheimer has learned from past years’ experiences that the establishment of settlements in Palestine would not happen in a short while, thus the urgent issue would be rather to initiate the protection of the staying Eastern European Jews. This is the primary aim his federation plan – assumingly it was improvised after the outbreak of the war – serves. He negotiates for weeks with the Polish referents of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin. Meanwhile, he cooperates with a few Zionists and well-known Jewish intellectuals and establishes the Committee for the Liberation of the Russian Jews. The first tasks of the committee are to win the support of the Russian Jewish population and to present the Germans in favor of the civil population’s sight. Due to tactical reasons, the committee’s name soon will be changed into the less militant-sounding: Komitee für den Ost (Committee for East) (Reinharz 1981). Bodenheimer’s action has not met with continued success. Leaders of the nonZionist German Jewish association try to ignore and bagatelle it, thus representing the Zionists (who indeed enjoyed only a small public support) in the eyes of the German authorities as partners who are not worth negotiating. Since the World Zionist Organization wants to stay neutral in the war, its leaders issue a resolution which obliges Bodenheimer to call the committee’s activity as a humanitarian mission and, further, to not undertake the presidency as well as preferably avoid getting Zionists involved in the work. His conception on the Osteuropäischer Staatenbund was labeled naive and unthoughtful and collectively distanced themselves from them. He is warned that while he aspires to become the savior of the Russian Jews, he could easily do the most harm with his committedly pro-German activities. (Reinharz 1981) And indeed: as the Eastern front line starts shifting between Silesia and Volyn and between Masuria and Lithuania local people suffer more and more. Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich immediately wants the pacification on the front zone and orders the deportation of the potential enemy, Jewish and German men of military age, to the hinterland. The deportees are packed in sealed wagons, the trains set off, and the hinterland rejects them, not to mention that there is not any wagon and that trains with the deportees hinder the transportation of the troops to the front lines. Some places are in total logistical chaos. Hence, Nikolai Nikolaevich ordains to take Jews of distinguished families hostage and send them to the hinterland and in case any of the settlements proves disloyal the prisoners will be executed at once. Either way, whole cities will be deported later, on the whole, making approximately 1 million Jewish people homeless. The Tsarist command makes the Jewish people responsible for the first big defeat in the war: it is believed that the Jewish households were communicating over the phone with the German headquarters and leaked out information about the Russian strategy. The Tsarist propaganda ignored the fact that the Germans used air scouting while the advancing Russian troops consistently failed to do the same, as if apart from their manoeuvres no other circumstance (for instance the manoeuvres of the enemy) would influence the outcome of the war: Jewish treachery caused the catastrophe at Tannenberg (Lohr 2003).

234  Zoltán Halasi

The headquarters While the Russians continue the deportations on certain front lines accompanied by Cossack pogroms, the advancing German forces get in touch with the local people in the conquered lands. They have not come up yet with any specific plan concerning the region, which makes any ideas and conceptions valuable to them. Bodenheimer’s memorandum gets through to the General’s staff, with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is October 1914, and for the time being, Russian troops threatening to attack Silesia and Berlin were pushed back. Ludendorff, chief of staff on the Eastern front, invites Bodenheimer to the headquarters, who brings along Franz Oppenheimer, who is the head of the committee and a famous Professor of Sociology and Political Economy in Berlin, as well as the agrarian expert of the Zionist movement. Since Ludendorff did not inform them about the exact whereabouts of the headquarters, Bodenheimer and Oppenheimer have adventurous travel. Trains are not safe anymore from Katowice. They get to Krakow by a Red Cross transport, and from there they were carried further by a truck convoy jolting along the rough track through the Russian–Austrian border, passing huge, Pravoslav village churches with golden domes, huts and gunfire buildings. In Kielce a junior officer, who later turns out to be Prince Joachim, son of Emperor Wilhelm II, lends his car to them. Grenade and bomb craters surround their way, and they see dead horses, dogs, ravens, and March of Russian war prisoners. In Radom, the main street is crowded with people wearing black kaftans and black hats with looks of horror on their faces. The reason for the chaos is that, not so long ago, following the withdrawal of the Austrian–Hungarian troops, three rabbis, accused by the Polish, were hanged in public by the Russians. Ludendorff is pleased to welcome them and has a long discussion with Oppenheimer on the food reserves of the powers at war and assures Bodenheimer that the German troops hold strong positions and will never withdraw, as the Austrian–Hungarian troops did. In the evening, he introduces the gentlemen to Field Marshal Hindenburg, who provides written evidence of his support for their plan and activities. The lawyer and professor feel deeply honored to be accompanied by such heroes (Oppenheimer 1964). This is where the story ends. On the way back from Radom their car’s windshield is shot by Cossacks hidden in the forest. Four weeks later the German army withdraws. Neither the headquarters nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs brings up again the idea of the Eastern European Federation. In the first half of November 1914, it disappears from the political agenda, forever (Reinharz 1981).

Judeopolonia Parallel to the above, the restoration of Poland’s independence is gradually becoming an issue. The great powers are over-bidding each other with promises.

The ghost of Judeopolonia  235 In November 1916, Germany establishes the Regency Kingdom of Poland with Warsaw as the capital. This will be that transitional formation out of which, as a result of a political vacuum, Poland can be reborn (Davies 2005; Wandycz 1988). Then who stole Poland if it is not vanished at all? The answer depends on our perspective. Forcing it into a federation as an amputated entity, torn from its Western and Galician lands (they would have remained in Prussian or Habsburg hands) placing it under German–Jewish supremacy – this could be the degradation of a country. The idea to deprive a country from its sovereignty could only be conceived by a devil’s advocate (Pogonowski 1998). It was not realized except virtually. But for those who have eyes to see, let them see. As one of the prominent figures during the Age of Reform in Poland foresaw it already in 1817, that in Polish lands the Moshkos dynasty would reign, Warsaw would be called Moshkopolis, the Polish aristocracy would make ends meet as teamster or craftsmen, the capital would be muddy, Baroque palaces would smell as pubs, theatres would stage obscene pieces, the new upper class that is fat, smelly, dirty and seized the power with treachery or cunningness over a thousand years ago, and they would use a language that is French mixed with Yiddish (Niemcewicz 1996; Michlic 2006). Since Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz’ satirical narrative, The Year 3333, or An Incredible Dream, was published in 1858, the Jewish takeover of power is a recurrent phantasm in the imaginary of the Polish people. The idea of Judeopolonia was taken from Niemcewicz’s pamphlet. Not so long ago, in 2001, there was a book published in Radom; the title already suggests what it will be about: Judeopolonia. Żydowskie państwo w państwie polskim (Andrzej Leszek Szcześniak: Judeopolonia. Jewish State in the Polish State). On its cover, there is the map of state formation suggested by Bodenheimer. In Szcześniak’s narrative, the Jews are informers and spies for the tsar, tightfisted hyenas and arrogant sassy people who oppress the Polish people, as we have already known it from Niemcewicz’s narrative. Bodenheimer’s stillborn private action will be the role model and frame for all kinds of Jewish political intentions, and the symbol of the perpetual danger threatening Poland (Szcześniak 2001).

Conclusion Max Isidor Bodenheimer belonged to that late Romantic generation, which believed in great personalities, in being chosen, in the strength of words and culture, and intended to solve the burning issues of his age by convincing and gaining the support of the opinion leader circles. That historical fact that – contrary to the dominant political narrative of the region, that is, the concept of the nation state – he created a subsequent imperial structure, an in-between empire, shows not only his outdated, 19th-century views, but also his lack of knowledge of the region and its peoples. Count Hutten-Czapski, his negotiation partner in Berlin and an expert in Poland, rightly said that Bodenheimer’s idea was doomed to failure. The count, loyal to the Prussian court but a Polish

236  Zoltán Halasi patriot, was aware of the fact that the Germans would put more emphasis on supplying their army with Polish draftees than on paying attention to how many Russian Jews speak German. As a real politician, Hutten-Czapski was lobbying for the establishment of the Regency Kingdom, thus paving the way for Polish autonomy. Bodenheimer backed the wrong horse. This war could have been started, and dominated for a while by Germany, but it could not have been won. Especially not for the sake of the Jews (Hutten-Czapski 1936). On the territory of the Bodenheimer-like state formation, modern nation states were born. Jews do not live here anymore; however, the myth of their conspiracy is even more alive. It says that even today they manage to economically bankrupt and destroy the peoples in Central Eastern Europe; the Jews, who are already destroyed here.

Note 1 Translated by Anna Lujza Szász

References Bodenheimer, M. I. (1958) So wurde Israel: Aus der Geschichte der zionistischen Bewegung. Frankfurt am Main: Europäische Verlagsanstalt (Engl.: Prelude to Israel; The Memoirs of M. I. Bodenheimer. New York: T. Yoseloff, 1963). Bodenheimer, M. I. (1891) “Wohin mit den russischen Juden?” Die Menora, Hamburg. Davies, N. (2005) God’s Playground: A History of Poland. Vol. 2. 1795 to the Present. London and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Dubnow, S. (1920) History of the Jews in Russia and Poland. Vol. 3. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America. Halecki, O. (1952) Borderland of the Western Civilization: A History of East-Central Europe. New York: Ronald Press Co. Herzl, T. (1922) Theodor Herzls Tagebücher 1895–1904: Erster Band. Berlin: Jüdischer Verl., (Engl: The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl. New York: Herzl Press and Thomas Yoseloff, 1960. Vol. 1). Hutten-Czapski, B. Graf von. (1936) Sechzig Jahre Politik und Gesellschaft 1–2. Berlin: Verlag von E. S. Mittler & Sohn. Lohr, E. (2003) Nationalizing the Russian Empire: The Campaign against Enemy Aliens During World War I. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press. Michlic, J. B. (2006) Poland’s Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew From 1880 to the Present. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press. Niemcewicz, J. U. (1996) “The Year 3333, or an Incredible Dream”, in Segel, H. B. (ed.) Stranger in Our Midst: Images of the Jew in Polish Literature. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, pp. 62–70. Oppenheimer, F. (1964) Erlebtes, Erstrebtes, Erreichtes: Lebenserinnerungen. Düsseldorf: J. Melzer. Pogonowski, I. C. (1998) Jews in Poland: A Documentary History. New York: Hippocrene Books.

The ghost of Judeopolonia  237 Reinharz, J. (1981) Dokumenten zur Geschichte des deutschen Zionismus 1882–1933. Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr. Szcześniak, A. L. (2001) Judeopolonia – żydowskie państwo w państwie polskim. Radom: Polskie Wydawnictwo Encyklopedyczne. Wandycz, P. (1988) Polish Diplomacy 1914–1945. Aims and Achievements. London: Orbis.

28 Feliks Koneczny’s theory of civilizations Tomasz Raburski

Feliks Koneczny (1862–1949) was a Polish conservative historian and philosopher of the history of the first half of the 20th century, who developed an original theory of civilizations. His writings are based on a local, Central European historical experience and Polish intellectual tradition but with a claim to universality. He offered a diagnosis of a crisis of European culture and proposed a program of cultural revival. In the interwar period, Koneczny’s theory gained some recognition among Polish nationalist conservatives. Under communist rule, it was consigned to oblivion. For the last two decades, there has been a growing interest in Koneczny’s work, both academic and political (Bukowska 2007; Gawor 2002). Koneczny’s theory is becoming widely known, but it remains highly controversial, especially for its anti-Semitic elements and critique of multiculturalism. Koneczny was a prolific writer. During his life, he wrote 26 books (some of them published posthumously) and more than a 300 articles and occasional papers (Skrzydlewski 2002). He started his career as an academic historian, interested in the history of Central and Eastern Europe (esp. Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Silesia). Starting from 1921, his interests moved to the philosophy of history. Over the next thirty years, he wrote numerous publications on his political philosophy and theory of civilizations. His main book is translated into English with the title of On the Plurality of Civilizations (Koneczny 1962). Although it was acclaimed by Arnold Toynbee, who wrote the preface, it remained unnoticed (Piotrowski 2003). The only notable non-Polish follower of Koneczny’s ideas was a German folklorist and philosopher, Anton Hilckman (Hilckman 2011). Koneczny developed a pluralistic theory of civilizations, which was intended as a general framework for understanding human history. Like the other pluralistic theories of civilizations, it is based on an assumption that there exist many civilizations, which are complex forms of social organization. These civilizations are the primary structures of the history. All other forms of social organization (e.g., cultures, nations, institutions, social movements) are derivative or secondary. One cannot understand the history or societies, without referring to the concept of civilization. Koneczny denied the unity of the humankind and believed that conflict between the civilizations is inevitable. Each civilization has its value system and distinct form of institutions (Koneczny 1962). Koneczny’s theory is

Feliks Koneczny’s theory of civilization  239 complex and significantly different from other theories of civilizations (Gawor 2002; Skoczyński 2003). It is deeply rooted in the anti-positivist turn of the early 20th century, Christian philosophy (esp. Augustinianism, Thomism, personalism), Polish conservatism and messianism, and Herbert Spencer’s evolutionism (Piotrowski 2003). The beginning of the 20th century was rich in attempts to conceptualize the relationships between different cultures. The development of social sciences (esp. cultural anthropology) brought an end to the unilinear evolutionary approaches. The cultural differences turned out to be stronger and more enduring. The growing impression of the decline of European culture led many intellectuals to the conclusion that Western culture is not universal and does not represent the highest standard of humanity (Gawor and Zdybel 1995). One of the most influential theories was developed by Oswald Spengler (1880– 1936). In his The Decline of the West (Spengler 1918), he marked out the path for the whole genre. Spengler’s theory was pluralistic and comparative. He described eight great cultures, which were monadic in nature but shared structural similarities. He argued that all great cultures during the period of growth, fall into stagnation and slow decay, and finally die. Spengler’s theory was pessimistic, and he claimed to be a prophet of the twilight of the West. Spengler’s approach found many followers, among them Arnold J. Toynbee, author of the monumental A Study of History, Shmuel Eisenstadt, and Samuel Huntington (Toynbee 1934– 1961; Eisenstadt 1987; Huntington 1996). Initially, the category of civilization was used by the conservative scholars, but in time, it became widely used, also by the researchers with leftist sympathies (e.g. Wallerstein 1984). In this intellectual tradition, Koneczny is considered an early pioneer. Koneczny knew Spengler’s works, but his theory developed independently and had many distinct features. He criticized Spengler for pessimism, determinism, naturalism, and finally for the glorification of the Prussianism (Koneczny 1962). His theory was based on a Christian tradition and the Polish historical experience. It was a creative project that aimed at building the Augustinian City of God. Poland had an important role to play in the project (Dworaczyk 2006). According to Koneczny, civilization is a method of social organization. Civilizations differ in their value hierarchies and the forms of their institutions. Koneczny’s theory is idealistic, since he denies the importance of the material culture. Its focus is on ethics and legal and political institutions, not on material artifacts. Koneczny mentioned 22 civilizations, but described only 7: Latin (based on Western Christianity, Greek philosophy and Roman political institutions), Jewish, Turanian (militaristic civilization of Russia, Ukraine and Ottoman Empire), Byzantine (bureaucratic civilization attributed to Germany, post-revolutionary France, and Protestantism), Brahminian, Chinese and Arabian. Four of them coexist in contemporary Europe: Latin, Byzantine, Jewish, and Turanian. Unlike Spengler, Koneczny did not see civilizations as the development of a single idea or soul. According to the Polish philosopher, there are five fundamental values or categories of being: beauty, welfare, health, good and truth. Koneczny called these five categories Quincunx of civilizations and considered them

240  Tomasz Raburski to be the grounds of culture. Different civilizations differently understand these basic categories and differently order them. There are also other features that make civilizations distinct: • • • • • • •

the concept of time, the place and form of religion, the location of the individual, the sources of law, the existence of a national identity, the form of so-called “triple law” (family law, property law, and the law of succession), the relation between public and private law.

There is no single factor determining the features of a given civilization. In contrast to other theories of civilizations, it is not religion, although it plays an important role. Koneczny argued that also ethnicity, race, language or material conditions of living do not determine the autonomy of civilizations. In consequence, the societies, religious and ethnic groups are cut across by the civilizational divisions. People are not bound to them by birth but can choose their civilizational form. However, there is a significant limitation. As Koneczny said: “One cannot be civilized in two ways” (Koneczny 1962). Civilizations are complex, closed structures. One cannot choose which institutions or values are worth supporting and which are not. One must take all of them as a whole. Elements of particular civilizations cannot be mixed. Civilizational syntheses are destined to fall. The purity of an ideal and a necessity of avoiding the civilizational mixtures are common ideas among the theorists of civilizations (e.g., Spengler or Huntington) (Raburski 2006). According to Koneczny, there is no single “European” or “Western” civilization, but under the surface of the culture and public life, four civilizations compete for our souls. Thus, the contemporary crisis is not, as Spengler claimed, “the decline of the West”, but a symptom of coexistence of four civilizations. This is the real source of contemporary crisis and ethical and political chaos. Koneczny tried not only to understand the historical process but also to set a political agenda. His theory is a project for a moral revival in Europe. As well as most conservatives, he idealized the past. However, he did not claim that there was ever a golden age. The ideal political system is yet to be built. Europeans should abandon the dreams of multiculturalism, get rid of non-Latin institutions and return to their ethical origins. Thus, Koneczny’s theory predated Samuel Huntington’s idea of the clash of civilizations (Gawor 2002). There are many parallels between these two theories, but there are also significant differences. First of all, there is Augustinian spirit in Koneczny’s theory. The rivalry between the civilizations is continuously present within the societies and the minds and hearts of the peoples. While Huntington created only a theory of international relations, the works of Koneczny also include a full-fledged ethical theory.

Feliks Koneczny’s theory of civilization  241 Secondly, Poland has a special status in Koneczny’s theory. He was a continuator of Polish messianism and the idea of Poland as a bulwark of Western civilization and Christianity (Dworaczyk 2006). According to him, Polish culture was born within the Latin civilization, but in the historical process, it was contaminated by the alien influences (e.g., the influence of Turanian civilization was the cause of Polish Sarmatism). In spite of these influences, the Polish nation remained a repository of Latin values and a possible savior of Latin Europe. Thirdly, Koneczny described Europe from a Central European (in particular Polish) perspective. At the core of all the theories of civilizations, there lies a basic opposition, which serves as a framework for the theory. The structure of the theory is a consequence of the initial assumptions, such as what the analytical units are and what are the most important factors and variables. Spengler built his theory contrasting ancient and Western civilizations. Huntington focused on comparing Western, Islamic and Chinese civilizations. Koneczny compared Poland, Germany, and Russia. He looked for the differences between them and attributed them to separate civilizations. Latin Poland is placed between East and West: between Byzantine Germany and Turanian Russia. It is a front line of defense of European Latinism, and its fate is a European fate. Czechs and Hungarians are other boundary countries between Latinism and German–Byzantinism. Hungarian origins were in Turanian civilization, but in the Middle Ages, they became utterly Latinized. All Koneczny’s writings were focused on this part of Europe and were built on local historical examples. Since Koneczny’s theory was a normative project, he did not refrain from grading the civilizations. Civilizations are not equal in the ethical sense. Latin civilization holds the highest value, which means it harmonizes all the quincunx categories to the highest degree, and it is the best for the fulfillment of an individual. Other civilizations are also harmonious and stable structures, and they may be even more successful in the material sense. That is because the ethical excellence is not paired with power. Quite the contrary: lower ethical standards prevail in political institutions. Thus, according to Koneczny, purity is a matter of survival for Latin civilization. Koneczny’s theory was a significant contribution to Polish conservative thought. He helped to modernize conservatism and to transform it into a modern ideology, not limited to certain social classes. His thought has little influence on liberals and the left, because of the explicit anti-Semitism, nationalism, and antimodernism. Koneczny’s concepts are used by some contemporary conservative parties (most notably by the League of Polish Families or Marek Jurek’s Right of the Republic) and by some officials of the Polish Catholic church or by the neo-Thomists (e.g., Mieczysław Krąpiec). The most prominent supporters of his theory are the members of Giertych family: Jędrzej Giertych (interwar politician), Maciej Giertych (former member of the European Parliament) and Roman Giertych (former deputy prime minister of Poland) (e.g., Giertych 2007). Koneczny’s thought became more popular after the war. At that time, it was overshadowed by the ideas of the leader of the nationalists, that is, Roman Dmowski. Nowadays, however, it seems that Koneczny’s theory better responds

242  Tomasz Raburski to the needs of Polish conservatives facing the problems of social pluralism and cultural wars (e.g., Kossecki 2003). The contemporary followers of Koneczny describe themselves as defenders of a Latin substance of the Polish nation. Nontraditional ideas and forms of life should not be tolerated. Multiculturalism poses a threat to society, and the European Union is described as a Byzantine, bureaucratic project, alien to the Latin values and institutions.

Selected works by Feliks Koneczny • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

(1897) Dzieje Śląska, Kraków: Gebethner i Wolff, (expanded edition: 1931. Bytom). (1917–1984) Dzieje Rosji (vol. I-III), Warszawa – London. (1921) Polskie Logos i Ethos, Poznań: Ks. św. Wojciecha. (1924) Dzieje administracji w Polsce, Wilno: Szkoła Policji. (1928) Kościół w Polsce wobec cywilizacji, Włocławek: Ateneum Kapłańskie. (1933) Zawisłość ekonomii od etyki, Lwów: Życie Gospodarcze. (1935) O wielości cywilizacji, Kraków: Gebethner i Wolf. (1938) Kościół jako polityczny wychowawca narodów, Warszawa: Akcja Katolicka. (1938) Rozwój moralności, Lublin: Towarzystwo Wiedzy. (1962) On the Plurality of Civilisations, London, Polonica Publications. (1973) Cywilizacja bizantyńska, London: Towarzystwo im. Romana Dmowskiego. (1974) Cywilizacja żydowska, London: Towarzystwo im. Romana Dmowskiego. (1977) O ład w historii, London: Towarzystwo im. Romana Dmowskiego. (1981) Państwo w cywilizacji łacińskiej, London: Towarzystwo im. Romana Dmowskiego. (1982) Prawa dziejowe, London: Towarzystwo im. Romana Dmowskiego.

References Bukowska S (2007), Filozofia polska wobec problemu cywilizacji. Teoria Feliksa Konecznego. Katowice Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego. Dworaczyk, A. (2006) Wielość cywilizacji a cel Polski: Wokół konserwatywnej historiozofii Feliksa Konecznego. University unpublished PhD Thesis. Poznań: Adam Mickiewicz. Eisenstadt, S. (1987) European Civilization in a Comparative Perspective. Oslo: Norwegian University Press. Gawor, L. (2002) O wielości cywilizacji: Filozofia społeczna Feliksa Konecznego. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej. Gawor, L. and Zdybel, L. (1995) Idea kryzysu kultury europejskiej w polskiej filozofii społecznej. Analiza wybranych koncepcji pierwszej połowy XX wieku. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej. Giertych, M. (2007) Civilisations at War in Europe. Bruxells. Hilckman, A. (2011) Gesammelte Werke: Schriften zur Kulturwissenschaft. Teil 1: Die Wissenschaft von den Kulturen. Frankfurt am Main: PeterLang. Huntington, S. (1996) The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Feliks Koneczny’s theory of civilization  243 Kossecki, J. (2003) Podstawy nowoczesnej nauki porównawczej o cywilizacjach: Socjologia porównawcza cywilizacji. Katowice: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Śląsk. Koneczny, F. (1962) On the Plurality of Civilizations. London: Polonica Publications. Piotrowski, R. (2003) Problem filozoficzny ładu społecznego a porównawcza nauka o cywilizacjach. Warszawa: Dialog. Raburski, T. (2006) “O niektórych osobliwościach rosyjskiej myśli cywilizacyjnej”, Zeszyty Filozoficzne, pp. 12–13.1 Skoczyński, J. (2003) Koneczny. Teoria cywilizacji. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo IFiS PAN. Skrzydlewski, P. (2002) Koneczny Feliks Karol: Powszechna Encyklopedia Filozofii (ed. Maryniarczyk, A). Lublin: Polskie Towarzystwo Tomasza z Akwinu. Spengler, O. (1918–1922) Der Untergang des Abendlandes. Umrisse einer Morphologie der Weltgeschichte. Wien and München: Braumüller and C. H. Beck. Toynbee, A. J. (1934–1961) A Study of History (Vols. I–XII). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wallerstein, I. (1984) The Politics of the World-Economy: The States, the Movements and the Civilizations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Part VI

Liberalism

29 Liberalism in the Czech lands Between nationalism and party marginality1 Vít Hloušek

Introduction The concept of liberalism has been always a strange, although dominant, ideology in Central Europe. Looking at the history of political ideas in the Czech lands, Hungary, Poland, or Slovakia, one can trace back elements of liberal thinking even before the period of Revolution 1848/1849, and when taking into account thinkers in exile as well, one can say that liberalism has not disappeared ever since. On the other hand, the general reflection of the concept by the political mainstream has always been based on a combination of interest and reservations, or perhaps even suspicion. Liberalism was always more widespread among the intellectuals than by politicians, and it achieved more as a concept of society than as a clear political ideology. To put it in another way, liberal rhetoric was not always followed by liberal politics and vice versa (Cabada, Hloušek and Jurek 2014: 19). There are many achievements of liberalism rooted deep in Central European societies, but as a political ideology, liberalism always depended on alliances with other approaches (nationalism till the First World War and conservatism in the period of democratic transition of the early 1990s) as their minor political partner. This statement applies even more when one looks at relative weakness and instability of liberal political parties. This will be demonstrated on the Czech example. The role of liberalism, liberal ideology, and liberal thought in Czech politics represents an interesting example of originally imported and by further development fairly modified and disintegrated idea. The roots of Czech liberalism can be found already in the works of some activists of the Czech Enlightenment, such as Josef Jungmann, but full-fledged liberalism entered the floor of national politics in its true shape during the so-called “Spring of Nations” – Revolution 1848–1849.

Czech liberalism seized by nationalism We can mention historian and politician František Palacký as well as journalist and politician Karel Havlíček Borovský as the main persons of Czech liberalism in the mid-19th century. Both of them were profiled as pronounced political leaders during Revolution 1848–1849. We can indicate Palacký as a moderate and Havlíček as a radical example, but both of them demonstrated an intense

248  Vít Hloušek interest in modern liberal ideas and, at the same time, in the ideas of risorgimento nationalism. It must be stressed that nationalism and liberalism of the first half of the 19th century did not see each other as competing for political enterprises. Synthesis of early liberalism and nationalism could be found in the whole Central European area, including German states during this period; it was not a feature typical only for the Czech liberalism. It seemed in the 1840s that individual liberties and collective national or ethnic claims are not contradictory to each other, whereas later development of the Habsburg monarchy showed the examples of both German and Czech liberalism how the nationalistic appeals suppressed initially dominant or at least equally important elements of liberal ideology, such as constitutional government and (proto-)democracy. Typical for the tradition of (Central) European liberalism was the pressure against the cultural dominance of Catholic Church, as well, which was not necessarily channeled to atheism and efforts to promote secularization and laicization, but it could take the shape of politically based inclination to Protestantism in the Czech case as well. A feature specific to the Czech case was, on the other hand, strong accent on the cultural dimension of politics and on fostering of the national educational system (Urban 1995: 21–22). The typical handicap of the narrow social basis of the Czech liberalism also appeared already in the mid-19th century. Members of Czech Bildungsbürgertum agreed only upon some elements of liberalism, and they were attracted by other ideologies too. Czech bourgeoisie was still relatively weak in the mid-19th century, and its economic and political powers strengthened only gradually. Liberalism remained a somewhat strange set of ideas in other societal classes, which had a negative impact on the electoral decline of Czech liberal parties in the times of introduction of universal enfranchisement at the edge of the 19th and 20th centuries. Political activity of early Czech liberalism was not realized only by flamboyant articles in daily papers but also on the floor of Parliament, summoned to the city of Kroměříž, intended to elaborate a new constitution converting the subjects of the Habsburg dynasty to citizens. Palacký belonged to the core of deputies working on the constitution, together with another distinguished liberal politician and, later on, the main organizer of National Party, František Ladislav Rieger. The set back of revolution and neo-absolutist rule in the 1850s turned Czech liberals willy-nilly to political if not philosophical doubts. The so-called Bach’s Absolutism, on one hand, resigned from civic, constitutional, and political plans of the 1840s liberalism; on the contrary, it launched a program of crucial economic modernization and liberalization. This fact helps us to understand why – regardless of few exceptions –economic issues were never a critical topic in the Czech liberal thinking of the second half of the 19th century and why the most important elements of Czech liberalism embodied issues of constitutional (not necessarily democratic in the same time) government and national emancipation. The shameful end of the neo-absolutist rule at the beginning of the 1860s allowed the Czech liberals to formulate more coherent party representation for the first time in their history. The National Party was established in 1860 as a mixture

Liberalism in the Czech lands  249 of both conservative and liberal politicians. Ideologically speaking, the National Party was very close to the parties of German Liberals in Austria, but the issue of Czech national emancipation strictly cut off the possibility of cooperating with them. The very dominance of nationalistic issues has led to the strange bedfellowship between the “Old Czechs” (a later nickname for the National Party) and Austrian and Slavic conservatives at the field of Austrian Parliament and Czech and Moravian diets. Nationalism thus triumphed over liberalism politically for the first time in the 1860s and 1870s. Prolific synthesis of both ideologies was no more possible. The emergence of the pure liberal party was connected with the split of the National Party and the creation of National Liberal Party nicknamed “Young Czechs”. The liberal wing of the National Party had been vital already since 1863; full division took part eleven years later. The Young Czechs’ manifesto proclaimed emphasis on the values of civic liberty, Czech historical rights (reconstruction of historical autonomy of the Czech lands inside the Habsburg Monarchy), and anticlericalism. Young Czechs triumphed under the circumstances of strictly limited suffrage, completing liberal ideas effectively with nationalistic motives. Political crystallization took a slower pace in Moravia, where the liberal Moravian Peoples’ Party split from the Moravian National Party not earlier than 1891. The 1890s in Bohemia were a token of further fractionalization of the Young Czech Party. One of the streams constrained too much by urban bourgeoisie liberalism was the independent Agrarian party, which soon become the strongest single party in the territory of the Czech Lands. Other splinters were of decidedly lesser importance: the so-called Radical Progressive Party was similar to radical liberal parties operating in contemporary Western Europe, and the so-called State Right Radicals were nationalists in a far more radical way than the Young Czechs and anti-socialists at the same time. Both of these parties represented petty bourgeoisie and parts of the intelligentsia, and later they fused with one another into the Radical Party. A specific stream of ex-Young Czech politics was represented by humanistically oriented “Realists”, a small party of urban intelligentsia inspired by its leader and, later on, the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (Urban 1982: 481–488). Realism is, however, abandoned liberal ideology. Masaryk’s political thinking always went beyond tailor-made ideologies, and it synthesized many stimuli, including certain elements of liberalism and socialism. Pure liberalism was an object of heavy criticism for Masaryk, who rejected its reputedly exaggerated individualism and reputedly insufficient moral base of it. The introduction of universal suffrage (for men) in 1907 showed quickly diminishing societal basis of the Young Czechs. Despite an electoral coalition with Old Czech, the National Liberal Party got only a quarter of Czech chairs in the Viennese Parliament, being more or less of the same strength as the Agrarian Party and Social Democrats. Their electoral return was even worse four years later. Czech liberals were little capable of coping with the changing political environment, in a similar way as their Western European counterparts. Young Czechs reacted at the end of the First World War with a fusion with remnants of Old Czechs, Radicals, Moravian Liberals and Radicals, and part of

250  Vít Hloušek the Realists to a new party called the National Democracy since 1919. National Democracy, however, took a more conservative direction quickly as a reaction to changing political context. There was no relevant and at the same time real liberal political party operating in the party system of the interwar Czechoslovak Republic. A couple of liberal oriented politicians could be found in the National Democracy; even more, liberals were organized inside the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party. Here we can find isolated liberal politicians, even in the short period of limited democracy in 1945–1948 before the communist coup d’état. This fact constitutes a typical paradox of Czech politics, because the official ideology of the National Socialists combined non-revolutionary and non-Marxist socialism with a strong emphasis on Czech nationalism. Despite the absence of the party representation of liberalism, we can find many liberal features in the political and economic life of the first Czechoslovak Republic. As historian Jan Havránek (1995: 276) reminds us, the period 1918–1938 was exactly because of its liberal nature “in direct contrast to everything that came afterward”. The episodic attempt to create an explicitly liberal-oriented Labor Party in the mid-1920s, however, collapsed because of voters’ lost interest. And the very label “Labor Party” showed that even liberal politicians were not risking explicit self-identification with liberal ideology. Czech liberalism of the interwar period was thus cultivated more in intellectual circles. For example, the influential daily Lidové noviny (Peoples’ News) close to official politics of Masaryk could be cum grano salis labeled as more or less liberal. The most important political journalist who supported liberal ideas was the famous Ferdinad Peroutk,a with his review Přítomnost (Presence). We must not forget an important economist, Karel Engliš, whose works epitomized the liberal stream in Czech economical thinking. Despite activity of those distinguished persons, we can conclude that liberal ideology was definitely out of fashion in the first Czechoslovak Republic. And the liberal praxis died out quickly after the signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938 to clear the gangway to authoritarian and totalitarian ideologies.

Cautious renaissance of liberalism in the Czech lands after the “Velvet Revolution” Liberalism in the Czech Lands experienced a sort of moderate Renaissance after November 1989. The dissent movement, as such, did not prefer liberal ideas, and regardless from a couple of liberal thinking figures (like Petr Pithart and his book In Defense of Politics), the dissent mainstream was influenced more by conservatism, Christian social thinking and, in some circles still, popular reform socialism in the 1968 fashion. Typical for the contemporary atmosphere was that even Pithart labeled himself as a conservative, despite the advocacy of many liberal principles. Pure liberalism thus returned to the Czech debates as an almost imported article. This time liberal thinking was not filtered by German language area, but it was imported directly from the Anglo-Saxon environment. Even during the last

Liberalism in the Czech lands  251 years of the communist regime in the late 1980s, ideas of modern liberalism (and conservatism) fertilized Czech political debates at different underground universities and seminars in Prague and Brno, sometimes even presented directly by their authors sneaked out to Czechoslovakia. The Civic Institute (Občanský institut), rooted exactly in circles of youngsters’ visitors of Prague home seminars before the “Velvet Revolution”, launched its activity in 1991. The Civic Institute has always been oriented towards (neo-)conservatism, but especially at the beginning of the 1990s, it published translations of liberal classics such as von Hayek’s Road to Serfdom (Hayek 1991). The Liberal Institute (Liberální institut) was created even earlier, in February 1990. This think tank also works until today, and it focuses on advocacy of private property, market economy, and the classical liberal concept of limited state and self-restricted politics. Liberalism after 1989 was, of course, vital outside these two think tanks as well. The liberal label was also used in different ways (and very often with rather different content) by emerging Czech plural political and party elites. An important moment to be mentioned is a fact that since the very beginning, the expressions of new Czech liberalism started to differentiate among themselves in political and ideological ways. Elements of social liberalism soon emerged beside a more visible and more influential stream of neoclassical liberalism (or neoliberalism, if you prefer).

Premature hopes: Czech party liberalism in the 1990s The origins of liberal parties operating in Central Europe in the early 1990s were pretty varied. Liberal politicians could be found in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and more or less in Poland inside mass umbrella democratization movements. Liberal movements and parties developed on their own, opposing the communist regime in Hungarian conditions. Two liberal parties emerged in Slovenia, one of them surprisingly transformed out of the official communist youth movement. Organizational changes were typical of the Czech liberals in the same vein as for the Polish with even more moments of discontinuity. Liberal politics has been constituted both inside and outside the Civic Forum since the turn of 1989 and 1990, and it was divided between proponents of neoliberal and social liberal approach since the very beginning. Politicians favoring neoliberal doctrines had concentrated in Vaclav Klaus’ Civic Democratic Party (ODS) when the Civic Forum dispersed in February 1991. Inside ODS, very soon an impressive synthesis of liberalism and strong elements of conservatism prevailed as the leading ideological mix of the party. Liberal politicians who disagreed with Klaus’ right-wing course founded in December  1990 the so-called Liberal Club of the Civic Forum, led by contemporary Minister of Foreign Affairs Jiří Dienstbier. which turned to a party called Civic Movement (OF) after the break-up of Civic Forum. The Civic Movement disposed had a solid political base of deputies in federal and Czech parliaments, substantial participation in executive power, and a tight relationship to influence President Havel in the period 1991–1992. The key problem of the OH, however, was self-positioning in the political center, which

252  Vít Hloušek was hardly understandable, and only somewhat attractive for the voters, and contrasted strongly with the clearly defined ODS. The other problem was significant ideological and personal heterogeneity, similar to the Polish Democratic Union or the Union of Freedom. The Civic Movement failed to cross the electoral threshold in the June 1992 elections, and this moment started the process of OH’s decline. An important part of OH’s elite went sooner or later to Social Democracy. Another formation that can be labeled as the relevant liberal party was the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA), founded already in late 1989 and operated formerly in the framework of Civic Forum. Contrary to OH, ODA worshiped classical economic liberalism combined with conservative appeal for the moral renewal of a society devastated by the era of communism. Such an identity, however, implied two problems. First, ODA was very close to ODS, which increased coalition potential of the former, but on the other hand, ODA permanently needed to explain its difference from the bigger partner and make itself distinguishable from the latter. ODA thus tried to represent a politically more active party closer to Václav Havel and more “friendly” to intellectuals than ODS. The second problem was a high level of intra-party tensions between the conservative and liberal wing that was unable to synthesize both approaches (Kostelecký 2002: 49–52). A case of intrinsically heterogeneous ODA and marginal electoral OH showed that the real liberal party wishing to maintain its relevance needs some allies to complete its insufficient electoral potential to get parliamentary representation.

Czech liberalism seized by the Quadcoalition The last serious attempt to revitalize importance of a purely liberal party in Czech politics has taken the shape of so-called Quadcoalition. Its genesis reached back to the rupture inside the ODS in the years 1997–1998. Václav Klaus was strong enough to sustain at the position of party leader; he was, however, incapable of calming down internal disputes and the divides of the party. The opposition faction that demanded a consequent cleanup of the party after financial scandals finally left the party and founded the new Union of Freedom (US). This party positioned itself primarily against the political style of ODS. US leaders proclaimed the party to be a right-wing liberal formation, but the profile of the party was defined in rather a vague way. An alternative against ODS was meant to be more liberal everywhere that ODS mainstream used to be rather conservative, such as the position towards the EU (US demonstrated ostentatious Euro-enthusiastic position against soft Euro-skeptic ODS – cf. Neumayer 2008: 149–150). In a similar vein as OH and ODA, even US, however, failed to expand its electoral and membership bases (Kopecký 2006: 133). When two main poles of Czech party politics – the Civic and Social Democrats  – signed the so-called opposition contract after 1998, elections enabling Social Democrats to a create one-party minority cabinet opposed smaller Czech parties strongly this solution. They created an alliance called Quadcoalition because of its four members, which encompassed a rather heterogeneous mixture

Liberalism in the Czech lands  253 of parties more or less on the right from the center. Part of the Quadcoalition was the centrist Christian Democratic Union – Czechoslovak Peoples’ Party (KDUČSL), both liberal parties ODA and the US, and, till that time, the marginal conservative Democratic Union (DEU). The main binding agent of these parties has been a critique of the opposition contract (Roberts 2003), and it was precisely the review that helped those parties to gain substantial electoral results in the 1998 preliminary elections. The Quadcoalition tried to foster and deepen its cooperation to create an electoral coalition for 2002 elections, but political disputes soon started to prevail over a common goal. Christian Democrats argued with ODA and United States (DEU was for tactical reasons fused with the United States in the meantime) on many economic, moral, and cultural issues. Another problem was the endless effort of KDU-ČSL to takeover the leadership of Quadcoalition. The apex of this effort was a successful attempt to push ODA out of the coalition because of its financial problems. This was at the same time the end of ODA, which was marginalized soon after. A final coalition of two parties – KDU-ČSL and US-DEU – finally gained only something more than 14 percent of the vote in 2002, which was hardly enough for the role of the major pole of the Czech party system. KDU-ČSL survived thanks to its stable membership base and core electorate for this moment, but US-DEU began marginalization in the period 2002–2006. Participation of the Union in a coalition government led by Social Democracy did not correspond with preferences of party’s voters, and the voter base swiftly melted down. A confused attempt to reshape liberal profile in cultural issues made by the United States before the 2006 elections to attract especially young cohorts of voters with an emphasis put on the legalization of soft drugs was not successful. The United States was marginalized and at the same time, it was the end of last serious attempt to promote pure liberal party politics in the Czech lands to date. To some extent, we were witnessing the repeating experience of the early20th century liberals who were not able to secure broad enough social and electoral bases of liberal politics. Liberalism in Czech party politics thus survives more inside or in symbiosis with other political streams. More successful have been attempts to integrate liberalism and conservatism on the right, as an example of ODS demonstrates.2 Some social liberal politicians found their political home inside Social Democracy or the Green Party, or even under the wings of business-firm-like party ANO.3 It is also interesting that despite the relative marginal position of pure liberalism in Czech party politics, another internal cleavage inside the liberal camp beyond neo-liberal versus liberal social division emerged, namely cleavage concerning European integration. Liberals in the ODS are tending more to refuse to deepen integration because it may bring too much political regulation of the markets; social liberal politicians were prone to it because further integration of the EU opens bigger space for advocacy of liberal concept of human and citizens’ rights. Czech liberals thus mimic the cleavage inside the liberal party family well known from the Western European area (cf. Hix and Lord 1997: 32–33).

254  Vít Hloušek

Instead of conclusion: liberalism and the Czech society An important question that remains is the question of the level of specificity of Czech liberalism. I assume that especially in the second half of the 19th century, in the era of Young Czech predominance, we can talk about a specific tradition or, at least, a particular style of Czech liberalism mixed strongly with Czech nationalism. Its original features and complexity, however, slowly faded out after the emergence of independent Czechoslovakia. Inspiration from abroad, ideological import played the crucial role in the process of liberalism renewal after 1989, leaving virtually no space for Czech or Central European originality thus. Despite this, we can conclude that early national liberal synthesis inserted deep roots in Czech political thinking and even more in Czech political mythology, and it remained one of the vital sources of Czech political imagination till these very days (Kopeček 2008). Party liberalism is not very attractive for the Czech voters now. Liberalism as a set of political concepts and ideas is, however, not dead. And there are even deeper roots of cultural liberalism in the Czech society. Particularly secularism, typical for Czech society, which traces back to the 19th-century anticlericalism, has clear liberal origins, and it constitutes an important constant of the 20thcentury development, making the Czech pathway divergent from the rest of Central European countries. Also, the certain higher level of cultural tolerance demonstrated by, for example, by the liberal attitude of the Czech public to LGBT community is, at least, a partial product of liberalism, not to forget the obvious but too often underrated fact that institutions of contemporary Czech polity have liberal historical backgrounds. To conclude with an answer of the question, how the concept of liberalism is reflected in Central Europe, we must stress the difference between acceptance of some liberal ideas and recent low salience of liberalism in contemporary party politics of all Central European countries. Liberalism in combination with a democratic form of governance was an important source of early, as well as the most recent, constitutional changes, leading to a shift from a non-democratic to a democratic form of governance. Liberalism has been an integral part of Westernization or Europeanization appeal that substantially boosted the transition to democracy in early 1990. On the other hand, even in the heydays of pro-liberal enthusiasm, it was difficult for proponents of liberalism to convey the message that purely liberal parties are the best option for those voters who would like to keep the country on the track of building democratic institutions, increasing the capacity of civic society, expanding the scope of contacts between the Central European countries and the core of European integration and rebuilding the more traditional patterns of post-totalitarian political culture to more opened, less exclusivist, and generally more liberal polity.4 Political parties representing liberal policies and ideas have always faced a very competitive environment of post-communist or reformed social-democratized left, as well as more conservative and nationalist-oriented right and an increasing rivalry of new protest parties emerging in all the Central European countries.

Liberalism in the Czech lands  255 It seems that liberalism is still a somewhat strange ideology that does not match well with prevailing political traditions and very often goes against conventional wisdom and common sense of the people inhabiting this part of Europe.

Notes 1 Some parts of this chapter are based on the chapter devoted to liberal party family in the volume Hloušek and Kopeček (2010). 2 Nevertheless, ODS as such should be put rather to the conservative family of parties although it is closer to pragmatic conservatives, such as Spanish Peoples’ Party, than to conservative purists. 3 ANO belongs to ALDE, but this alignment is more a product of political tactics than genuine liberalism of the ANO party, which offers a rather eclectic populist program with some elements of liberalism mixed with other ideologies and issues, being far from European mainstream liberalism. 4 If we take into consideration a wider Central European context, we must, however, admit that for some time, Slovenia was an exception from this rule, with a strong Liberal Democracy as the main pole and pivotal party of Slovenian politics.

References Cabada, L., Hloušek, V. and Jurek, P. (2014) Party Systems in East Central Europe. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. Havránek, J. (1995) “Liberalismus za první republiky”, in Znoj, M., Havránek, J. and Sekera, M. (eds.) Český liberalismus: Texty a osobnosti. Praha: Torst, pp. 275–278. Hix, S. and Lord, Ch. (1997) Political Parties in the European Union. New York: St. Martin´s Press. Hloušek, V. and Kopeček, L. (2010) Origin, Ideology and Transformation of Political Parties: East-Central and Western Europe Compared. Aldershot: Ashgate. Kopeček, M. (2008) “Historická paměť a liberální nacionalismus v Česku a střední Evropě po roce 1989”, in Gjuričová, A. and Kopeček, M. (eds.) Kapitoly z dějin české demokracie po roce 1989. Praha and Litomyšl: Paseka, pp. 232–264. Kopecký, P. (2006) “The Rise of the Power Monopoly: Political Parties in the Czech Republic”, in Jungerstam-Mulders, S. (ed.) Post-Communist EU Member States: Parties and Party Systems. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 125–146. Kostelecký, T. (2002) Political Parties After Communism: Developments in East-Central Europe. Washington, DC, Baltimore and London: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and The Johns Hopkins University Press. Neumayer, L. (2008) “Euroscepticism as a Political Label: The Use of European Union Issues in Political Competition in the New Member States”, European Journal of Political Research, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 135–160. Roberts, A. (2003) “Demythologizing the Czech Opposition Agreement”, Europe-Asia Studies, vol. 55, no. 8, pp. 1273–1303. Urban, O. (1982) Česká společnost 1848–1918. Praha: Svoboda. Urban, O. (1995) “Český liberalismus v 19: století”, in Znoj, M., Havránek, J. and Sekera, M. (eds.) Český liberalismus: Texty a osobnosti. Praha: Torst, pp. 15–27. von Hayek, F. A. (1991) Cesta k nevolnictví. Praha: Občanský institut.

30 A fall of liberalism foretold? Liberal politics in Hungary at the turn of two centuries Szabolcs Pogonyi

It is not at all surprising that after the 1989/1990 democratic changes, historians and philosophers with an interest in the history of ideas turned to the long neglected political thinkers of the 19th century. But the increased attention was only in partially the result of genuine scholarly interest. Studying the history of Hungarian political thought also became politicized itself. After 40  years of thought control, the newly established parties tried to strengthen their legitimacy and support by connecting their political doctrines to pre-socialist ideological traditions. Liberals, conservatives, and socialist could all find intellectual fodder in the rich tradition of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some liberals turned to 19th-century Hungarian liberal politics for inspiration and encouragement. Among others, historian Miklós Szabó, a leading figure of the Democratic opposition and founding a member of the liberal Free Democrats’ Alliance (SZDSZ) compared the post-1989 possibilities of liberal politics to the success story of the late 19th-century liberal movement (Szabó 2008). In 1991, a year after the first free parliamentary elections he offered a rather optimistic picture. He and many other liberal intellectuals had at that point high hopes that liberal parties will for long be important actors in Hungarian politics. Indeed, liberals had good reasons to be optimistic. After the 1989 regime change, it seemed that Hungarian liberal parties will have a significant role in determining the future decades of the post-socialist era. Liberalism became a buzzword of the transition and the post-1989 economic and social reforms. Being liberal was trendy, which is not very surprising, taken into account that many of the leaders of the democratic opposition before 1989 followed liberal ideas. In the first free parliamentary elections in 1990 the Free Democrats (SZDSZ), the party of liberal creed secured 24 percent of the seats, while the then also liberal Alliance of Young Democrats (Fidesz) earned the 5 percent of the mandates. As Árpád Göncz, the first president of the Third Republic noted, it seemed that in Hungary a three pillar political constellation is being crystallized in which conservatives, socialists, and liberals will provide intellectual checks and balances of pluralism. Szabó, at that time, argued that revived liberal politics that in Western Europe attract only marginal votes (mainly from intellectuals), in Hungary may well be supported by wider publics. Szabó’s argument was elegant and convincing. He acknowledged that the transition was an unprecedented situation for liberals.

A fall of liberalism foretold?  257 Liberalism in Western Europe was inherently linked to the emergence of a large and dominant property-owning middle class. But in Hungary, no middle class with entrenched property rights existed. This, however, did not mean that the state was all powerful. True, socialism was state-centered. Access to private property and entrepreneurship was extremely limited in the quasi-feudal planned economy. As Szabó and others suggested, in the socialist era a “double Society” was born. On the one hand, everybody was part of the official socialist planned economy and relied on its institutions (both as an employee and a customer). But the permanent malfunctions of the planning (shortages, etc.), an unofficial private economy also emerged in the shadows of the official one. The state, fearing political unrest, did not want to interfere with the black market and “fusizás” (using one’s time on the job and public property for private business purposes), assuming that if the unofficial private economy helps to satisfy the needs of the citizens, they will be less concerned about the lack of free and democratic institutions. Leading figures of the democratic opposition hoped that socialism will simply be abandoned, and once the unofficial private economy takes over all the major social tasks from the state bureaucracy, then the obsolete political superstructure will also fall without causing major social crises. The “people’s capitalism”, the informal private economy will then serve as the civil society, rendering the transition swift and peaceful. Liberals, in this interpretation, were the natural allies of small enterprises. This “petit-bourgeois liberalism”, as Szabó put it, aimed at strengthening the economic freedom of a property-owning middle class by cutting state intervention, including redistribution. Echoing János Kornai’s conception of “premature welfare state” (Kornai 1992), he claimed that the main task of post-1989 reborn liberalism was to cut back the welfare state that hindered the development of civil society by redirecting resources from successful market initiatives and entrenching welfare dependency. In this interpretation, the big challenge for liberals would have been to attract traditional left-leaning strata of the society somehow as well. After their huge defeat in the 1990 elections, it seemed that the socialists suffered a real blow, and many predicted that there was no chance that they would shortly become an important segment of the party system. Liberals had a historic opportunity to embrace blue collar workers, but they failed to do so. In their battle against state socialism, liberals did not pay enough attention to the victims of the transition to a market economy through shock therapy. It is not surprising that anti-communist liberals, who regarded the state as a possible danger to both individual freedom and market efficiency, wanted as little state intervention in the economy as possible. They assumed that the invisible hand of the market would sooner or later resolve unemployment. Twenty years after the regime change, the liberal hopes seems to be unfulfilled. Liberals (next to the Socialists) have in the past decade been accused of irresponsible selling out of state property which, according to their critiques, lead to mass unemployment and poverty. The right-wing nationalist parties could effectively mobilize against liberals by accusing them of promoting neoliberal policies. In the 2010 elections, Free Democrats dropped out of the parliament. Fidesz won the

258  Szabolc Pogonyi elections with a landslide victory, but the once liberal party has since 1990 abandoned the liberal agenda and now favors statist and nationalist principles. Socialists, who in 1994 surprised even themselves by their landslide victory just four years after the regime change, are the second largest party in the parliament, narrowly followed by the radical right-wing Jobbik. Politics can be Different (LMP), the fourth party that managed to get in the Parliament offers a mixture of green and left-wing liberal politics. In the 2014 election, the increasingly anti-market and illiberal Fidesz won the two-thirds of seats in Parliament for the second time. The left-wing electoral alliance came in the second while the far right Jobbik increased its support and received more than 20 percent of the vote. Though most of the parties in the Parliament share some liberal ideas, there is one single representative in the House that label themself as a liberal. The adjective “liberal” today is mostly used as an insult, not only by conservatives. Even the MSZP, the main left-wing party, also trys to distance themselves from liberal ideologies by identifying them with neoliberal economic principles that they reject. Even some liberals prefer to identify themselves as “szabadelvű,” the 19th-century translation of the English “liberal.” The decline of post-1989 liberal politics has been compared with the fall of liberal politics at the end of the 19th century.1 This parallel is intuitively compelling. Both after the 1867 Austro-Hungarian Compromise and the “negotiated revolution” of 1989 liberal ideas triumphed and helped to establish institutions that were socially and economically progressive. But nonetheless, after the initial success, the support for liberal parties declined. In the late 19th century (often anti-Semitic) conservative nationalist groups gained popularity. In the case of 1989, the retreat of liberal politics was much swifter: in the third free elections, just eight years from the regime change SZDSZ could only narrowly pass the parliamentary threshold and Fidesz by then became a center-right party. Both the socialists and the right-wing parties were for state intervention in the economy. But from a political and theoretical perspective the comparison of the fate of liberal politics at the turns of the two centuries is not entirely convincing. On a closer look, there are core differences in the political context. The 19th-century liberal ideas have few commonalities with post-1989 liberal thought. As for comparative narrative discourses, recent developments in the study of the history of ideas show that we should in the first place try to avoid interpretative approaches that discuss political ideas without reference to their context. Let me very briefly refer to the Cambridge ‘contextualist school’. The novel findings of Quentin Skinner, Richard Tuck, and John Dunn show that methodologically valid interpretations of political ideas should focus on the actual social and political contexts of the authors. This approach implies that the construction of an imagined discourse among great thinkers is not the proper method of analysis. If we take these insights seriously, we have to be very cautious when speaking about the discourses of “Hungarian liberalism”. The use of this category of analysis would imply that we take it for granted that a liberal discourse connecting different liberal political ideas of different eras do exist. The simple fact that some parties and intellectuals in the late 19th and the end of the 20th centuries identified themselves as liberals does not

A fall of liberalism foretold?  259 necessarily mean that there is indeed a conceptual similarity between the various currents of self-ascribed liberalisms. Liberalism has always been an essentially contested concept (Gallie 1955) neither supporters, nor critics of liberal thought agree on the actual content of liberalism. Philosophical and political debates about liberalism revolve around the actual meaning of liberalism. Today, the main question is if liberal freedom entails market friendly, Smithian-Hayekian principles, or rather a more substantive notion of freedom that necessitates state intervention and redistribution so that to provide equal opportunities. The contemporary libertarian/neoliberal and social democratic rifts go back to the late 19th century debates between classical liberals and new liberals.2 While the former advocated minimizing state intervention in the name of individual freedom, the latter supported state intervention that could provide every citizen with the means of free and unrestrained pursuit of individual happiness (Gratz 1904) To make the concept of liberalism even more confusing, we should also take into account that in the 19th and the early 20th centuries, the borders of liberal thought were not as clear as today. Rousseau, for example, was often discussed as a liberal thinker on a par with Adam Smith (Lázár 1902) If liberalism is an essentially contested concept, grand historical narratives like “Hungarian liberalism” are necessarily a particular construction of liberal ideas. The postulation of historical continuity of ideas requires not only that we leave aside the debates about the meaning of liberalism in a certain epoch, but also that we assume that there is some substantive link between 19th- and 20th-century debates. But can we believe that we can learn anything important to the contemporary debates by looking into liberal discourses of the late 19th century? In what follows, I will try to highlight some important contextual differences that question the feasibility of such comparative approach. First and foremost, I will point out in an extremely simplifying account that the main difference of liberal politics in the late 19th and 20th centuries was that a century ago, liberals endorsed nationalist ideas, while after the 1989/1990 democratic revolution, liberal ideas were offering an alternative to resurgent nationalism. In the 19th century, liberal politics was inseparable from nationalism (Dénes 2006: 6), and the pursuit of liberty for the 19th-century Hungarian nobility meant primarily that Hungary should not be ruled from Vienna. The reasons for the emerging resistance of the Hungarian aristocracy in the early 19th century were that the Habsburg Empire started to leave behind the feudal rule and adopted the principles of enlightened absolutism. The former tributary state hierarchy was replaced by a modern version of central administration. The Habsburg Empire started to rely on taxes to maintain central administration and an independent army. The evolution of a modern absolutist state implied the growing influence of state administration. For the Hungarian landed nobility, centralization of state powers meant weakening privileges. Nationalism was the pure ideology that could foster the interest of the Hungarian aristocracy. To maintain its privileges and power, traditionalist aristocrats invested in nationalist mobilization. Hungarian nationhood was mostly unknown to the masses before the first decades of the 19th century. But “nationalizing elites”

260  Szabolc Pogonyi (Brubaker 1996) realized that Hungarian unity could only be established if a Hungarian pro-independence public emerged. The creation of such a public was the common denominator of the pre-1848 progressive elites, including the otherwise competing fractions, including the reformist Széchenyi, the more radical Kossuth and the traditionalist nobility as well (Schlett 1999). Széchenyi followed the theories of his contemporary liberal thinkers including John Stuart Mill and advocated nationalist values assuming that liberty and progress are only possible in culturally homogeneous advanced nations. Aurél Dessewfy and other traditionalist Hungarian landed aristocrats tried to resist the growing influence of Vienna by national and feudal traditions. They were also hostile towards Széchenyi’s progressive liberal nationalist vision and against the trade of land, modern banking, and industrialization. For them, national interest meant the conservation of the feudal system. Hungarian independence could only be achieved if there is a strong nationalspirited public. Széchenyi, following the English liberal tradition, realized that without a strong civil society progress and independence are not possible. To achieve his liberal nationalist aims, not only economic modernization of the extremely underdeveloped feudal Hungary was necessary but also the creation of a public sphere – a modernized Hungarian language and vivid cultural and scientific scene. To create a strong civil society, first the emergence of a self-reliant property-owning middle class is necessary. But a middle class was missing from the 19th-century feudal social stratification in Hungary. It first had to be created by strengthening trade and industrialization. Liberal-minded elites also realized that support of the so-called peasant nobles could only be secured by the Hungarian elites if they promised more progressive economic and social reforms than the imperial center. Liberal progressive aims were thus intertwined with nationalist aspirations: both served the creation of a modern civil society and public that could be the basis for Hungarian independence. The Hungarian national awakening, initiated partly by German-speaking aristocrats living in the cosmopolitan center of the Habsburg Empire, meets the classic nationalism explanations of both Benedict Anderson and Thomas Nairn. The former claims that nationalism is an import of emigrés living in more developed states (Anderson 1991). Nairn argues that nationalist imagination fosters the interest of local elites, who without the support of a nationalist population cannot compete for political power and economic influence with the more developed imperial aristocracies (Nairn 1977) Liberal modernization proved to be extremely successful. During the heyday of liberalism, the three decades after the 1867 Austro-Hungarian Compromise, Hungary went through an unprecedented modernization period. Liberal politics, nonetheless, lost their appeal. The reasons for their decline are manifold, but usually, three main reasons are identified by historians. First, by the end of the century, liberal ideas were on the retreat in Central Europe, even in more developed Austria (Schorske 1979). Second, liberal parties could not address the needs of the working class created by industrialization or those of state-dependent bureaucrats. As I briefly showed above, liberals from the 1830s advocated right-wing

A fall of liberalism foretold? 261 economic policies in order to strengthen civil society and weaken the power of the imperial bureaucracy. As in Western Europe and North America, by the end of the 19th century, social democrats appeared on the political stage. They claimed that core liberal ideas, individual freedom, and prosperity requires state intervention in the economy. In Hungary, similar economic ideas were advocated by conservative nationalists, who considered state intervention necessary for the protection of the nation. In their rhetoric, left-wing economic policies were often framed in a nationalist, anti-Semitic and anti-capitalist narrative. Third and probably most importantly, Hungarian nation-building efforts were emulated by national minorities in Hungary. Hungarian national liberals, from the beginning, worried about the independence movements of the nationalities residing in Hungary. By the end of the 19th century, it became apparent that Hungary could not more successfully assimilate its national minorities than Austria assimilated Hungarians (Dénes 2006: 179–177) It would be very tempting to say that the decline of post-1989 liberal politics followed a somewhat similar trajectory. The similarities are undeniable. Liberal politics after the regime change throughout East Central Europe were based on pro-market economic ideas (Szacki 1995), just like in the 19th century or as in other post-socialist countries. Swift economic transition, deregulation, cuts in social spending, and large-scale privatization increased insecurity and poverty. People who lost their jobs during the fast-track modernization could easily be mobilized by statist parties who competed for votes with increasing demagoguery. While liberals bought into the neoliberal economic dogmas, the newly conservative Fidesz and the socialists promised to lower taxes and increase welfare benefits, and due to the lack of political culture, this strategy worked out. Liberals, who instead of creating grand political visions focused on reasonable politics, became the scapegoats for all the pains of the democratic transition. Despite its appeal, these similarities are only skin-deep. Even without in-depth analysis, it is obvious that the context of post-1989 liberalism was very different from that of the 19th century. After 1989, Hungary became an entirely independent country, and there was no imperial center that tried to maintain its influence. Hungary after the Cold War was invited to the NATO and the EU, which was an important stabilizing factor. Though comprehensive structural reforms were necessary, Hungary in 1989 was an industrial society. Post-1989 liberalism had only superficial similarities with 19th-century liberal politics. Most importantly, territorial independence and nations were givens. Liberals did not have to aim for either sovereign statehood or national culture. Instead of reviving classic liberal nationalist ideals, post-1989 liberals embraced cosmopolitan norms and did not consider nationality or national belonging as important political forces. Liberalism and nationalism that, in the 19th century, were allies became harsh ideological opposites after 1989. The nationalist card became a very useful tool for right-wing parties which, from the early 1990s, accused liberals of betraying their nation through their support of cosmopolitan moral ideas as well as neoliberal economic policy. It was not only the political, geopolitical and economic situations that were different. Though some of the 19th-century liberals were well-versed in liberal normative

262  Szabolc Pogonyi theory, liberal politics was not founded on philosophical principles, whereas leading liberals after the 1989 regime change were scholars of liberal political and social theory. Human rights considerations, liberal constitutional principles and normative theories of justice that were mostly absent from 19th-century liberalism became cornerstones of the post-1989 ideology (Dénes 2006: 189). And we should not forget that Fidesz turned into a conservative statist party after 1994. When voters abandoned the conservative MDF, Viktor Orbán saw the opportunity and converted the small liberal Fidesz into a big tent center-right party. The strategy, without doubt, worked out in electoral terms. As for the SZDSZ, its decline not only the result of neoliberal economic policies. SZDSZ, originally the most radical anti-communist party, in 2004 decided to form a coalition with the post-communist MSZP, the party that otherwise had a firm majority in the parliament. The step was a catastrophic failure from an ideological point of view. The 1994–1998 and the 2002–2009 socialist–liberal coalitions had continuous internal fights and corruption scandals. It is also important to acknowledge that dogmatic neoliberal economic policy did indeed contribute to the decline of liberal politics. But it was far from predetermined that liberalism after 1989 lost its initial appeal.

Notes 1 In addition to Szabó see Trencsényi Balázs’ nice summary of Hungarian liberalism (Trencsényi, Balázs: “ ‘Jön a tatár!’ A Nemzeti antiliberalizmusok kihívása Kelet-KözépEurópában. [Here come the Tatars! The Challenges of Nationalist Illiberalisms in East Central Europe]” in Dénes, I. Z. (ed.) (2008) Liberalizmus és nemzettudat: Dialógus Szaból Miklós gondolataival. Liberalism and National Consciousness [Dialogue With the Thoughts of Szabó Miklós]. Budapest: Argumentum, pp. 241–270. 2 For an early contrast of “classical liberalism” and “new liberalism” see Hobhouse (1962). For a comprehensive and systematic overview of the two main types of liberalism see Freedan (1986).

References Anderson, B. (1991) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. New York: Verso. Brubaker, R. (1996) Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe. London: Cambridge University Press. Dénes, I. Z. (2006) “Liberalism and Nationalism: An Ambiguous Relationship”, in Dénes, I. Z. (ed.) Liberty and the Search for Identity: Liberal Nationalisms and the Legacy of Empires. Budapest: Central European University Press. Dénes, I. Z. (2006) “Political Vocabularies of the Hungarian Liberals and Conservatives”, in Dénes, I. Z. (ed.) Liberty and the Search for Identity Liberal Nationalisms and the Legacy of Empires. Budapest: Central European University Press. Freedan, M. (1986) The New Liberalism: An Ideology of Social Reform. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Gallie, W. B. (1955) “Essentially Contested Concepts”, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, vol. 6. 167–198. Gratz, G. (1904) “A liberalizmus” [Liberalism], Huszadik Század, no. I. 1–20.

A fall of liberalism foretold?  263 Hobhouse, L. T. (1962) [1911] Liberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kornai, J. (1992) “A  posztszocialista átmenet és az állam: Gondolatok fiskális problémákról” [The Post-Socialist Transition and the State: Thoughts on the Fiscal Problems], Közgazdasági Szemle, vol. XXXIX. no. 6. 489–512. Lázár, N. (1902) “Liberalizmus és szocziáldemokráczia” [Liberalism and Social Democracy], Huszadik Század, no. VII. 32–49. Nairn, T. (1977) The Break-Up of Britain: Crisis and Neo-Nationalism. London: New Left Books. Schlett, I. (1999) A magyar politikai gondolkodás története [The History of Hungarian Political Thought]. Budapest: Korona. Schorske, C. E. (1979) Fin-de-siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture. New York: Knopf. Szabó, M. (2008) “A Liberalizmus a mai Magyarországon” [Liberalism in Contemporary Hungary], in Dénes, I. Z. (ed.) Liberalizmus és nemzettudat: Dialógus Szaból Miklós gondolataival. Liberalism and National Consciousness. Dialogue With the Thoughts of Szabó Miklós. Budapest: Argumentum. Szacki, J. (1995) Liberalism After Communism. Budapest: Central European University Press.

31 Liberalism in Poland Past experiences – present challenges Michał Warchała

Introduction If we ask how liberalism is reflected and acted upon in Poland, the rough answer would be that while it was formed by the same set of ideas stemming from the Enlightenment and then modified by Romanticism and again by positivism, the particular circumstances of 19th and 20th Poland made it a specific mixture, sometimes very different from Western European or American liberalism. Following the vicissitudes of liberal ideas in Poland, one needs first of all to follow Poland’s complicated 19th and 20th-century history.

From birth to catastrophe (1791–1989) The word “liberal” in the sense more or less resembling its current political meaning appeared for the first time in the Polish language in 1816, thus closely following its appearance on the European political scene (1812). The anonymous author of the article published by a respectable Warsaw magazine and entitled What do the liberal ideas mean? explained to his readers that “liberal” might be identified as “civilized,” polite” or “open.” His reasoning is heavily indebted to original Latin meaning of liberalism. He refers to Cicero and Plautus as well as to medieval art liberals but, nevertheless, formulates at the end some political conclusions saying that “liberal” is related to “individual perfecting his intellectual faculties”, to the “love of common good” and to the government that “allows for opposition”, which guarantees political freedom (Janowski 1998: 49–50). Although sometimes considered an actual starting point of the liberal tradition in Poland this text was an outcome of a longer evolution, which began in the second half of the 18th century when the Enlightenment movement took the roots in Poland. This was the era of great political and social reform initiated under the auspices of King Stanisław August Poniatowski. That early Polish liberalism has some peculiar features resulting from the mixed influence of different traditions, such as French Enlightenment and revolutionary thought with its insistence on liberty and equality, the economical ideas of French physiocrats, some elements of English political tradition (though largely filtered through Montesquieu’s work), Prussian economics praising state interventionism and, last but not

Liberalism in Poland  265 least, indigenous Polish tradition of “Sarmatian” freedom. That is why the claims for free trade were easily combined with arguments underlying the necessity of constant state vigilance and intervention, and the notions of sovereignty or projects of modern parliamentary regime might still have been married to the archaic ideas of active nobility self-government (Janowski 1998: 28). But the road for future development of liberalism was open – even despite the fact that the great reform movement failed, and Poland was finally partitioned by Russia, Prussia, and Austria and disappeared from the map of Europe. In the 19th century, Polish liberalism would have two periods of intensive growth: the first one was the sixteen years when the Polish state, in the form of an ephemeral Congress Kingdom (1815–1831), existed with limited sovereignty guaranteed by the Russian Empire. It was the period when, for the first time in Polish history, a parliamentary fraction which might be called liberal was formed and led by the brothers Wincenty and Bonawentura Niemojowski. The Niemojowskis were strongly influenced by the ideas of Benjamin Constant and French doctrinaire liberals, and through them by the older ideas of Montesquieu. Their political ideal was a constitutional monarchy and a “mixed” British regime; they were legalists stressing the importance of independent courts of justice and ardent supporters of the freedom of the press. Their liberalism was mostly a continuation of the Enlightenment ideology, with its belief in reason (and the associated ideals of justice, progress, and education). In economics, their views still varied as did those of their 18th century predecessors: from visions of spontaneous development inspired by Adam Smith to more or less elaborate schemes of state intervention; what was common to all of them was the view that Poland needs modernization that would put it on the same track as other leading European nations (Janowski 1998: 60–61). The first period of when Polish liberalism could show its strength came to an end with the so-called November uprising: the liberals took part in it and could even influence its course, but its defeat and the following political repression marked the true end of postEnlightenment liberalism in Poland. What came after, in the 1830s and 1840s, may be viewed as a Romantic interlude when the entirely new variety of liberalism was born. It was inspired by Romantic thought: the ideas of organic development and national independence. Their relationship to the post-Enlightenment liberal ideal of rationality and individual freedom is rather tense, but, nevertheless, there were thinkers who succeeded in marrying the two currents. Karol Libelt (1807–1875) and August Cieszkowski (1814–1894), both living in the western part of Poland that belonged to Prussia and both strongly influenced by the philosophy of German idealism, used post-Hegelian metaphysics to trace the development and justify the existence of liberal civilization based on private property, individual freedom, and capitalist entrepreneurship (cf. Janowski 1998: 84) All this had a higher, messianic and eschatological sense in their thought, but the particular circumstances of the 19th century Poland led to the creation of the new ideal, that of “organic work” fostering “civilization” understood in liberal terms; instead of fighting for independence in the failed uprisings, the power of the Polish people should be directed towards building the infrastructure that would allow the nation itself to

266  Michał Warchała survive and then, perhaps, regain independence together with other nations. The culmination of this Romantic liberalism – both among the Poles and in Europe in general – were the liberal and national revolutions of 1848. They marked what in other contexts has already been an indisputable fact: liberalism prevailed in Europe and held sway over many European elites. Modernization and industrialization were reaching an apogee in the second half of the 19th century and liberalism with its belief in rationality, progress and science seemed victorious as an ideology of a triumphant bourgeoisie. Its enemies (conservatives, monarchists as well as left-wing radicals) continued their struggle, but their cause seemed lost. What was the case in Europe was also in Poland and the period stretching roughly from 1850 to 1885 was, to use the words of a historian Maciej Janowski the time when liberal ideas “have most clearly dominated” in the society still deprived of its state (Janowski 1998: 124). We can divide this period into two sub-periods: before and after the disastrous January Uprising of 1863. The preuprising decade brought about intense development and re-transplantation of liberal Western ideas in all the three parts of Poland, belonging, to Austria, Prussia, and Russia. This was, in particular, a time when the first examples of mature liberal economic theory written by Polish authors finally appear. One of these authors was Józef Supiński (1804–93), a scholar and writer living in Lviv (that is, under Austrian rule) who formulated the complex theory of national economy based on unrestricted freedom and laissez-faire but at once arguing, quite along the Romantic lines, for “organic” development to which all individual efforts should contribute. It was a theory based on the observation that took into account the specific conditions of Poland and its historical development. It opposed, for example, the forceful industrialization that Supiński had found ineffective and unsuitable for Polish society (Janowski 1998: 143). The uprising of 1863 brought destruction, misery and further political repression, especially to the part of Poland that belonged to Russia, but it was, paradoxically, there that liberalism flourished most in the second half of the 19th century. Now, however, it was no longer associated with Romanticism but with positivism that also triumphed in Europe at the time. In Poland, as the historian Andrzej Jaszczuk observes, liberalism was viewed almost as synonymous with positivism (Jaszczuk 1999: 10). It was, therefore, a post mortem triumph for Enlightenment, of which positivism has clearly been an heir. The defeat of another national uprising seemed a sufficient proof that only a “grassroots” and patient work of modernization, leaving aside lofty metaphysical ideas, may allow Polish society to survive. There were various strands of this positivistic liberalism, some of them more radical and left-wing that emphasized the need for radical social reform and opposing the very influential Catholic Church, and some of them were moderate, stressing the importance of compromise and patient reconstruction of the country without provoking further retaliatory actions from foreign powers that possessed the Polish lands. What they had in common, besides their dislike for military struggle for independence, was an opposition to any form of social revolution (the modernizing transformation had to be carried out peacefully) as well as to a spirit

Liberalism in Poland 267 of unrestricted laissez-faire capitalism – individual entrepreneurship was essential for any modernizing effort, but it should be accompanied by the spirit of social solidarity (Jaszczuk 1999: 22–23). The leading figures of positivistic liberalism were the writer and journalist Aleksander Świętochowski (1849–1938), the writer Bolesław Prus (1847–1912), and the journalist based in Russian Empire’s capital St. Petersburg Włodzimierz Spasowicz (1829–1906). Its fierce opposition to any form of a military struggle notwithstanding, the Polish positivistic liberalism sooner or later had to face the issue of national independence. It tried to ally itself with nationalism and introduce a new pattern of Polish patriotism focused on “organic work” and modernization of the country that together would have brought independence in the future, but one may say that it was nationalism  – especially its ethnic variety that became increasingly popular in Poland and the rest of Europe, as the 19th century was approaching its end – that finally brought its decline. The problem of the Polish liberals was that they had never been able to form a popular movement or a political party resembling nationalistic or socialist movements (Jaszczuk 1999: 14). Liberalism with its positivistic underpinnings, the Western source of inspiration (Comte, Spencer, Buckle) and praises sung for the virtues of a small number of Polish “captains of industry,” remained, in the particular circumstances of a partitioned Poland, an elite style of thought that could not mobilize wider popular support. So when the Polish independence was finally won in 1918, and the ordinary political life restored, liberalism was anything but a leading force in it, marginalized by the strong right-wing, nationalistic and conservative, as well as socialist political groupings. What flourished instead was a specific sort of cultural liberalism propagated by writers, literary critics and columnists such as Antoni Słonimski, Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński or Jerzy Stempowski. They drew heavily on the rationalistic Enlightenment and anti-clerical tradition of free thought impersonated in Western Europe by such figures as Bertrand Russell or H.G. Wells. These liberals were able to gain some prominence in the intellectual life, but their political influence was scarce – and this despite contacts some of them had with the representatives of the political elite. Any further development of liberalism was stopped by the outbreak of the Second World War and – as it soon turned out – it was to be totally “frozen” for another fifty years. This vanishing (almost) without a trace, as well as precarious conditions in which Polish liberalism had developed in the 19th century  – nation without a state, very small indigenous class of bourgeois capitalists, strong “messianic” nationalism – made some historians question the very existence of “liberal culture” or “liberal tradition” in Poland. This view was most explicitly stated by Jerzy Szacki in his extremely influential Liberalism after Communism, where he argues that the specific character of Polish liberalism after 1989 stems mainly from the fact that liberal tradition was “virtually nonexistent” in Poland and other Central European countries, Czech lands being perhaps an exception. Only certain “elements” of Western liberal doctrines reached Central Europe and were incorporated into the thought of 19th-century conservatives or romantic radicals. These elements, Szacki argues, were “abstract principles borrowed from somewhere

268  Michał Warchała else, principles which taken did not and could not have any practical application as any single idea . . . and cannot be called liberalism or, at least, liberalism tout court” (Szacki 1995: 59). The situations when these elements began to lead an independent life and were used as practical guiding rules of political action were extremely rare. Other historians, however, opposing this view, give convincing proofs of continuity on the level of ideas and concepts that in the case of Poland justified the use of the term “tradition” (cf. Jaszczuk 1999: 9–10; Janowski 1998: 274–275; Bernacki 2004). All these controversies notwithstanding, historians agree that the period of communism brought a total disaster for Polish liberalism. Liberal ideas – political as well as economic – disappeared from the intellectual life only to be revived from time to time by some isolated figures such as the writer and columnist Stefan Kisielewski (1911–1991) who never ceased to criticize “real socialism” economy from the liberal point of view. These people sometimes called themselves mockingly “the party of crazy liberals” – so much out of tune was liberalism in the gloomy reality of communism. The communist regime, Jerzy Szacki observes, not only eradicated any traces of non-Marxist political thought but also created a system “without clear alternatives, an order generating dissatisfaction and rebellion but not political thought” (Szacki 1995: 72). The real alternative appeared nevertheless in the form of the dissident movement in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. This movement was based on certain general ideas which Szacki calls “protoliberal.” Two of them are especially worth mentioning here: the idea of a free individual “living in truth” – as Vaclav Havel puts it in his famous Power of the Powerless – and the idea of “civil society.” The free individual, says Havel, opposes to the communist tyranny the power of his moral convictions and the power of truth which communist propaganda tries to bury under the thick cover of lies (Havel 1987: 55). Civil society, says Adam Michnik, in turn, one of the main proponents of this idea, is an aggregate of those free individuals, which opposes repressive communist state and creates its ethos – the ethos of free speech and search for truth (Szacki 1995: 73–75). These ideas, although undoubtedly related to politics, had a clear “antipolitical” intention of keeping away from a morally “suspected” sphere of politics monopolized by the communist state. The absence of any clear and consistent political program was accompanied by the lack of any economic agenda – this, as one of the otherwise sympathetic Western observers pointed out, was one of the main weaknesses of this dissident movement (Ash 1989: 205–208). It is also one of the reasons why this intellectual current cannot be considered properly liberal despite the emphasis put on individual freedom and civil society (Szacki 1995: 109–117). In Poland, however, it was to play a decisive role in the process of structuring political scene and public discourse after the collapse of communism in 1989.

The revival – 1989–1991 The process of revival or, one may say more accurately, of “re-transplantation” of liberalism (in the proper sense of the term) in Poland began in the 1980s. One

Liberalism in Poland  269 branch of this growing liberal tree was economic liberalism initiated by Mirosław Dzielski (1941–1989), philosopher and columnist, an important figure in the dissident movement although strongly opposed to its main current described above. Dzielski’s liberalism was based mainly on the neoliberal thought of F.A. von Hayek and Milton Friedman and shared their defiance of state regulations and interventions, as well as their insistence on the individual economic initiative. The first element was purely “theoretical” and sounded rather abstract in the Polish reality of the 1980s. But the second one had a very direct relation to the context of crumbling communist system. The main fault of communism, Dzielski argued, was not its oppressive or “totalitarian” political regime that the “antipolitical” current within the dissident movement so readily acknowledged, but its disastrous economical organization, which totally blocked the development of the country and must have led to final and inevitable economic collapse. The way out, or the “road to freedom”, was not a political struggle using undercover “civil society” but a gradual and negotiated introduction of private means of production which would change the whole system. Dzielski’s ideas found the circle of ardent admirers in the group of so-called “Gdansk liberals”  – Donald Tusk, Janusz Lewandowski and Jan Krzysztof Bielecki  – who after 1989 created Congress Liberalo-Demokratyczny (Liberal Democratic Congress) the first genuinely liberal party in the independent Poland. They achieved spectacular – if rather short-lived – political success in 1991, when the newly elected president Lech Wałęsa designated Bielecki as prime minister. This government collapsed however after a few months. The more durable achievement was an introduction of Balcerowicz reform a year earlier under Tadeusz Mazowiecki’s government, a reform which was conceived in a typically neoliberal, monetarist fashion, with the intention to dismantle as quickly as possible the communist planned economy. But there was also another more important way in which liberalism triumphed in Poland after 1989. The “proto-liberalism” of the dissident movement was transformed into a full-fledged cultural liberalism – although for many of its proponents (e.g., Adam Michnik) who had earlier considered themselves leftist and had, in fact, nothing in common with Western liberals, either in the political or economic sense, this was rather an unintended consequence of this historical breakthrough. These “newborn” liberals strongly supported Balcerowicz reform not because it was neoliberal but because it was introduced by the first noncommunist government which was to represent the whole anti-communist opposition. Thus, liberalism became the only genuine alternative to communism, an alternative which filled up the ideological void left by the collapsed ancien regime. As Jerzy Szacki puts it: “[in the 1990s] liberalism is not only one of the many orientations that have sprung up like mushrooms on the ruins of the old order but also something more: the harbinger of a new society that should be built as quickly as possible” (Szacki 1995: 3). The main tribune of this blurred “liberalism-as-an-antidote-for-communism” became Gazeta Wyborcza the daily newspaper founded by Michnik and his friends. The group consolidated gradually and in the 1990s won genuine “cultural hegemony” having a decisive influence on the democratic public discourse. The group’s ideology may be summarized

270  Michał Warchała in four main tenets: 1) Poland needs fast and “imitative” cultural modernization which would reduce the distance separating it from the rest of Europe; 2) this modernization is possible only under the guidance of a strong group of enlightened intelligentsia who will lead the masses out of the communist mental trap; 3) the passing of communism to liberalism should be as peaceful as possible, the main condition of which is paralyzing any attempts at the de-communisation and 4) the collapse of the communist system created a void in which the old Polish demons of nationalism and anti-Semitism may again come to life  – that is the reason the liberal avant garde must remain vigilant and fight every idea that has anything to do with those dreadful phantoms. As the definition of nationalism or anti-Semitism used in this discourse was rather broad, the liberal ideology has got more and more paternalistic, crystallizing into a dogmatic creed used as a weapon to silence all adversaries, especially from the right, but also from the left – for example, those who, however timidly, protested against the ways of economic transformation. In the hands of Michnik’s group, liberalism became a true “instrument of structuring the political scene”, to use Jerzy Szacki’s words (1995: 2), but this, unfortunately, has given much credibility to the accusations directed against “arrogant liberal elite.” Such claims gradually gave rise to populist wave that reached its peak at the beginning of the second decade of Polish transformation.

The phantom menace – liberalism vs. populism 2005 to the present Populism became an important factor in Polish political life at the beginning of the 2000s when the growing disappointment with liberal reforms and cultural liberalism exemplified by the Wyborcza group was politically “operationalized” by the newly founded right-wing party Law and Justice (Prawo I Sprawiedliwość or PiS) led by the Kaczynski twin brothers. The event that triggered the whole process was the so-called “Rywin affair” when film producer Lew Rywin wanted to bribe Adam Michnik into accepting a deal over the new media bill prepared by the post-communist government then in power. Michnik refused and then described the whole deal, thus compromising certain government officials and ruling party members of Parliament. But this proved to be a suicide attack on Michnik and his group. The affair propelled the deluge of enraged media commentaries that, besides blaming post-communists, made the Wyborcza group partially responsible for creating the context in which this kind of political bribery was possible. From prosecutors, Michnik and his group turned into the main defendants – and together with them the whole current of “mainstream liberalism” (as it is usually called by the populists). Jarosław, the more energetic of Kaczynski brothers, formulated a clear diagnosis which became the cornerstone of his anti-liberal crusade. This again may be summarized in a few main tenets: 1) post-communist Poland was a country with feeble state institutions which could not prevent pathologies such as various forms of “crony capitalism”; 2) cultural and political liberalism was the ideology of an arrogant elite which justified those pathologies in the name of “modernization”;

Liberalism in Poland 271 and 3) the only way to prevent further political degradation is to dismantle the post-communist “network” by means of a massive “decommunisation” and enhancement of state institutions. The diagnosis was not altogether false, and many leading Polish intellectuals (e.g., the sociologists Jadwiga Staniszkis, Paweł Śpiewak and Zdzisław Krasnodębski) shared Kaczynski’s view at the time. The Law and Justice party came to power in 2005 after a decisive victory over Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska or PO) the new emanation of “Gdansk liberalism” founded by Donald Tusk in 2001. PO used some liberal slogans in its election campaign, but it also denounced the post-communist “system”, being only less radical than PiS. But the latter cleverly capitalized on anti-liberal sentiments and fears of the population and succeeded in associating the very term “liberalism” not only with post-communist “cronyism” but also with “savage capitalism” turning people into hopeless victims of market forces. PiS won a parliamentary majority and – what was even more important – Lech Kaczynski, Jarosław’s brother, became the president of Poland, defeating Donald Tusk The populist wave soon lost its mobilizing power among senseless accusations and inchoate attempts to undermine the legitimacy of certain liberal democratic institutions (e.g., Constitutional Court, which declared unlawful some of ruling party’s reform bills). The deep reform of state institutions has never been carried out, and the old “cronyism” was only replaced by the new one. The PiS government fell in 2007 after two years in power, and PO won the new parliamentary election. Unfortunately, this soon proved a Pyrrhus victory for liberal ideas. Donald Tusk drew a peculiar political lesson from his defeat in 2005: liberalism does not “sell” well in Poland, so one needs absolutely to avoid not only liberal claims, but any clear political projects or visions of reform. People are wary of political campaigns and wars and grew suspect of any ideological claims. This lesson was the cornerstone of Tusk’s “soft populism”, to use the expression of one of the keenest observers of Polish political scene (Matyja 2007). The response to PiS political fever and pointless hyperactivity was “politics without politics” or “post-politics” which depended more on public relations than any clear political messages or activities. Painstakingly avoiding any associations with his original liberal creed Tusk has seemed to believe in the technocratic ideal of “power without politics”: as there is no viable alternative to a market economy, and the liberal democratic political regime in Poland politics may easily be reduced to “management.” The problem is that this post-political turn and “managerial” strategy, however successful it has been up till now, may nevertheless prove naïve faced by a concentrated attack of the strong anti-liberal, populist movement (having its own popular media tribunes, such as the weeklies Gazeta Polska or W piece) created by Jarosław Kaczynski after his brother Lech’s death in a plane crash near Smolensk in April 2010. This tragedy gave an additional “eschatological” boost to populist propaganda: the dead president became another sanctified romantic hero, who “courageously fell” near the place where thousands of Polish officers were murdered by the Soviet political police in 1940. This renewed romantic

272  Michał Warchała mythology was put to a cynical political use that creates a “paranoid style” of politics which seems to be a major challenge for liberalism, the challenge in the face of which liberals sometimes seem totally helpless. In fact, from today’s perspective, the whole period starting in 2005 may be seen at the time of total cultural war against liberal ideas accused of being both “trivial” and oppressive. The situation of Polish liberalism became, therefore, similar to the situation of its American counterpart: it is the condition of a fighter struggling desperately against wellorganized conservative and populist movement, the movement which wants to impose not only its political ideas but also its own, sometimes rather a paranoid vision of reality. Now, therefore, at the end of our story, we can offer a more precise answer to the questions raised at the outset: how is liberalism reflected and acted upon in Poland? The Polish liberals and liberal ideas went a long way from Enlightenment to post-politics. This certainly resembles the Western liberal trajectory, but the particular circumstances of Polish modern history – the country having been wiped out from the map for more than hundred years, the desperate Romantic struggle for national independence that determined much of Poland’s 19th century history, then communist tyranny, and finally the re-transplantation of democratic (and liberal) ideals – all sharpened certain features of the Polish variety of liberalism while making others vanish altogether. The Polish liberals might have been too fanatical believers in the “enlightening” power of free market after 1989, and they still have too little to offer, by way of a viable alternative, to the Romantic pattern of patriotism so well acted on by the conservative populist right. One cannot doubt that liberalism prevailed as an implicit foundation of the current democratic regime – in this respect, at least, the transplant has set in quite well; but one may wonder, nevertheless, if liberal ideas, first abused and then suddenly dropped by the political class, are still alive. It will depend on the intellectual courage and integrity of today’s Polish liberals (some signs of which may, fortunately, be seen today) whether liberal ideas will be alive.

References Ash, T. G. (1989) The Uses of Adversity: Essays on the Fate of Central Europe. New York: Random House. Bernacki, W. (2004) Liberalism Polski 1815–1939: stadium doktryny politycznej. Kraków: Historia Iagiellonica, Havel, V. (1987) “The Power of the Powerless” (trans. Wilson, P), in Vladislav, J. (ed.) Vaclav Havel or Living in Truth. London: Faber & Faber. Janowski, M. (1998) Polska myśl liberalna do 1918 roku. Kraków-Warszawa: ZNAKFundacja Batorego, Kraków-Warszawa. Jaszczuk, A. (1999) Liberalna Atlantyda: główne nurty liberalizmu polskiego 1870–1939. Lublin: Instytut Konserwatywno-Liberalny. Matyja, R. (2007) “Dwa Populizmy”, Europa, vol. 47, no. 190. Szacki, J. (1995) Liberalism After Communism (trans Chester, A. K). Budapest and New York: CEU Press.

32 Liberalism and its tradition in Slovakia Samuel Abrahám

Liberalism is the ideology that provides a framework for any liberal democratic structure, and it is the bedrock of every EU member state as well as of the EU itself. Whether a country has a left-leaning or a right-leaning government, the structure of government, the separation of power between the legislative, executive and judiciary branches of government is based on a legal framework developed by the theorists of liberal democracy. This chapter explores the general status of the contemporary liberal democratic framework in Western democracies. It also applies the same approach to the case of Slovakia, as an example of a country that suddenly implemented the liberal democratic rule of government immediately after the fall of its communist regime in 1989. Any meaningful collective European identity that would promote peace and prosperity will have to be framed within the liberal democratic concept of justice, tolerance, and freedom. To many people, these might seem as too abstract and dry to form a solid and lasting common identity. Indeed, justice, tolerance, and freedom lack the passion and intensity that nationalism and religion entail and provide. However, as the most common denominator, these concepts are the best suited to preserve a Europe that is united but also culturally, racially and politically tolerant and inclusive. Any political party in Slovakia that wishes to embrace sincerely ‘liberalism’ must in earnest follow the same three concepts that form the backbone of a liberal democratic European Union. As opposed to Western Europe, there has been only a faint liberal tradition in Slovakia. Hence, its analysis must start with a brief overview of this theoretical concept and then reflect on which elements of it exist or have existed in Slovakia. Historically, liberalism has two distinct manifestations, defined in the literature as early and late liberalism (Dewey 1963: 7–27). Whereas the former is today reduced primarily to a laissez-faire market, the latter is, in combination with the welfare state, the system that dominates the political structures of all democratic states – namely, liberal democracy. Hence, I will first present the main characteristics of liberalism, then expose common misconceptions regarding liberalism today, and only then present its manifestations in Slovakia. One definition of the modern era could be found in the conflict between liberalism and other ideologies about the domination of certain values and political foundations. Liberalism does not contain an ideal, in the sense that development

274  Samuel Abrahám in a society should lead to a certain perfect goal. On the contrary, the liberal claims that not only is the ideal impossible, but even undesirable. In fact, an ideal would predispose the direction of development, which would clash with the basic precept of liberalism – the possibility of choice. As Isaiah Berlin writes, paraphrasing J. S. Mill: “Man differs from animals primarily neither as the possessor of reason, nor as the inventor of tools and methods, but as a being capable of choice,” as one who chooses and does not allow others to choose for him (Berlin 1969: 178). And the more choices an individual has, the richer life becomes. Besides rejecting an ideal political system and individuals having a choice, another precondition of liberalism is toleration of the views of others – even those that one might find utterly despicable or even harmful. In fact, as Gray reminds us, “contemporary liberal regimes are late flowerings of a project of toleration that began in Europe in the sixteenth century” (Gray 2009: 21). This crucial concept of toleration does not entail resignation and submission. Indeed, to understand and tolerate someone’s views does not mean, of course, to accept them. A skeptical respect for the opinions of our opponents, writes Gray, evoking Mill, is preferable to indifference or cynicism. Even worse is intolerance, or an orthodoxy, which suffocates any rational discussion. This is Mill’s basic liberal credo (Gray 1995: 132). This and similar types of conscious moderation make liberalism in the eyes of numerous critics aimless, void, and defenseless. Liberalism, to remain in principle moderate and benevolent, must establish arrangements by which those that would like to constrain and dominate others that can be contained. It sounds paradoxical, but experience shows that this is the only way that assures freedom as understood by Kant and taken over by liberals: your freedom is valid as long as you are not restricting the freedoms of others. Or expressed otherwise: power can be used against individuals to prevent harm to others. And liberalism is certainly not defenseless. As Ernest Gellner argues in his lecture in Prague in 1991, liberalism defeated its most dangerous enemies. What is more, it defeated them with their weapons  – Nazism militarily, communism economically.1 Almost no one today in Western democracies questions the fundamental norms of liberalism. However, in the period when they were first formulated and gradually implemented, they were quite revolutionary and were rejected vehemently by conservatives and various anti-liberals. The analyst Stephen Holmes describes four core norms and values: personal security, impartiality, individual liberty, and democracy. Personal safety vis-á-vis those who possess the means of enforcement is regulated by laws that are equally valid for everyone. Connected to this is impartiality, where a single system of law applies to all. Personal freedom represents a broad spectrum, be it freedom of conscience, freedom to pursue ideas that another citizen considers wrong, freedom of movement, or freedom not to be monitored and followed by the state authorities. Finally, there is democracy – the first and basic right through which each society is judged and evaluated (Holmes 1993: 4). The basic element of contemporary democracy is the right of every citizen to participate in governance either through elections, entering politics, or through public discussion in the independent media.

Liberalism and its tradition in Slovakia  275 Liberalism is often and mistakenly considered to be a hyper-tolerant and relativistic ideology, which is responsible for all the crises and sins of the modern era. However, our epoch is the era determined by liberal norms, and liberal democracy is a standard synonymous with Western democracy. There are numerous political rules and practices today that were denied and rejected in the past, but which, thanks to liberals, have become common today. Among them are religious tolerance; freedom of speech; the restriction of political powers; free elections; the separation of power between executive, legislative, and judicial branches; and publicly transparent state budgets to deter corruption. One can say rather that liberalism mends the crises of our time; if in some regions and during certain periods it has not functioned or has been valid only partially, this is not due to failures encoded in liberalism. It is rather the consequence of imperfect human nature, the ambition of many autocrats and ideologues convinced that through the power and some form of “human engineering” it is possible to attain paradise on earth, a return to the Golden Age, communism, or a thousand-year “Aryan Reich”. These utopias and ideals are the goals, and the people and societies the means for their fulfillment. And those who are deemed less worthy, less class- and status-conscious, less fanatical or conforming, pay the price: varying degrees of humiliation and brutality. This is the condition the liberals tried, and are still trying, to amend – through persuasion and logical argumentation, but also through material domination or force. During the communist era, we perceived the basic practices of liberalism to be the most lacking. Naturally, they were among the first implemented after 1989. One should also be aware that there is also a limit to what liberalism can attain and how widespread it can become. We know that liberalism does not have a firm codex of prohibitions and orders and thus does not supply an ultimate goal for society to pursue. It requires a particular type of citizen and hence politicians. Through their outlook, behavior and disposition, they fulfill and embody its essence. Considering that liberalism, in contrast to other ideologies, does not promise abundance and happiness in the future, it must justify its legitimacy and provide some degree of fulfillment in the here and now. This is increasingly difficult to achieve, and it does not have universal validity and scope. In fact, the continuous diatribes about a “crisis of liberalism” refer not only to the secularization of society and the atomization of individual but also to basic liberal values. It seems, however, that the universality of liberal values is no longer tenable. If they are to survive at all, their validity and span must be limited geographically to Western societies. This was an important as well as disturbing disclosure by prominent American philosopher Richard Rorty in the Slovak journal, Kritika & Kontext: It may be that the intractable disparity between North and South will make it impossible for liberals to remain internationalists; they may have to abandon their hopes of bringing the ideals of Enlightenment Europe to the world as a whole. This abandonment will do a lot of damage – though not necessarily fatal damage – to liberals’ self-image and morale. So I am not very optimistic

276  Samuel Abrahám about the long-run prospects for liberalism. I have no alternative to offer. All I can say is that liberalism is the best idea that Europe has ever had and that it has made Europe and North America into the best human society so far created. But it may not work on a planetary scale. (Rorty 2005: 31) There is also a more mundane criticism of liberalism from the observation of day-to-day politics. The objection is: what is the purpose of all those lofty liberal rules, and norms, when not only here in Slovakia but also in other Western countries, corruption is widespread, most politicians are cynical and selfish, and everything is basically about power and economic interests? They view their activities from the perspective of an electoral period and within the radius of their benefit, and connections and money can often buy freedom for those who act illegally. Indeed, liberalism becomes worthless if at the same time it is not fortified by an ethical component and individual responsibility, both of which are necessary for the functioning of a just political system. Liberalism reckons with citizens who are independently minded and feel responsible for their fate. The greatest threat to liberalism comes not from outside enemies but the apathy of its citizens. Every society under certain circumstances may have a majority that does not need – and often does not want – to take its destiny into its hands. On the contrary, under the right conditions, these people are susceptible to the sirens of ethnic, religious, or other fundamentalist views, or simply become hostile to those that are different. And there are those who are oblivious to anything that is taking place politically in their seemingly quiet and prosperous society. For liberals, the freedom and status of the individual are the cornerstones by which they assess whether a political regime is good or bad; equally important for a liberal democracy’s existence is that the majority of the citizens abide by and protect its written and unwritten rules. And one of the legacies of communist regimes has been and remains the reliance of people on the state to deliver not only protection but also prosperity and guaranteed social status. If a political regime does not deliver, it is deemed bad, regardless of its efforts to guarantee freedom and human rights. Hence, although the politicians in Czechoslovakia after 1989, and certainly in independent Slovakia after 1993, did not call themselves liberals, they founded the basic structures of liberal democracy and the rule of law. It was widely embraced by the majority of the population as being in stark contrast with the petrified communist regimes from before 1989. The new political status quo required political and economic transformation, in the hope of building a political culture that would be conducive to liberal democracy. All these changes brought not only freedom and prosperity for some but also uncertainty, corruption, and criminality that outpaced the authoritarian stability of communist regimes. The blame for these ills of post-communist societies was not viewed as a price for the new political reality, or for the tarnished legacy of the communist system. Rather, they were perceived, according to the far left, as imported evils deliberately brought about to plunder either the material or human resources of the

Liberalism and its tradition in Slovakia 277 new democracies, and, according to conservatives, as an inherited evil of liberal democracies. Slovakia has been a typical case of this misconception of liberal democracy. The ideology that was blamed for these problems was liberalism, or more precisely, the stereotypes of liberalism. Immediately after 1989, liberalism in Slovakia was targeted as a main enemy by Slovak conservatives. The founder of Slovak conservatism after 1989 and former dissident, Ján Čarnogurský, already in 1990 wrote: “We defeated Communism, we will also defeat liberalism.” Surely he was not aiming to destroy the structure of liberal democracy that he helped to establish as the deputy prime minister in the first post-communist government. Despite being a conservative, he would neither want to install a monarchy, religious state, or some other dictatorship. He never offered an alternative vision, and therefore, his aversion towards liberalism must be subconscious, more from ignorance than as a well thought out strategy. The fact remains that his young ideological followers and admirers consider liberalism as something worth “defeating.” Hence to create a liberal party in Slovakia would mean to fight on two fronts. First, a liberal politician would have to defend continuously the political structure of liberal democracy that was a norm for any government in power. Considering all the ills that society experiences when checks and balances are failing when the independence of politicians is diminished by partocracy, this position of defending the status quo against all the worse alternatives is tough. Second, to be a liberal party in Slovakia means to be associated with all the ill of the modern age, as blamed by Čarnogurský and his conservative followers. Hence, there were very few parties in Slovakia that decided to call themselves ‘liberal’ and all were minor parties and unsuccessful. Besides, these parties either used word ‘liberalism’ to position themselves in the middle of the political spectrum, such as ANO and SOP,2 because the left and right parts of the spectrum were occupied; or some parties would call themselves ‘liberal,’ yet intend only to support the laissez-faire market economy, such as VPRED and SaS.3 Hence, the latter would be called conservative parties in other Western democracies but in Slovakia ‘conservative’ is strictly left for either religions right parties (KDH)4 or extremist nationalist parties (SNS).5 And yet liberalism in Slovakia is not absent. It is however manifested in a different vein than in the programs of political parties that call themselves “liberal.” Some intellectuals, journalists, and scholars whom we could denote as ‘public intellectuals,’ as well as a great number of NGOs and some media could be viewed as representing liberalism in Slovakia. They all expose the ills of their societies, endemic corruption, misuse of political power and dysfunctional judiciary that riddle every post-communist society. Also, they remind politicians and their societies – often not very successfully – that to have a stable and prosperous liberal democracy first you need a majority that is willing to abide by and internalize the norms of liberal democracy mentioned at the beginning: justice, tolerance, and freedom. The acceptance of these norms and values, however, depends on trust, individual and institutional solidarity, and an international environment that is stable and not tarnished by political and economic crises, as we often witness today.

278  Samuel Abrahám The survival and prosperity of the European Union and thus the stability and safety of Slovakia will depend not on the size of GDP and the size of their armies, but on lessening the economic disparity, exposing rampant populism and neutralizing left or right extremism. This would strengthen the civil society and thus strengthen the stakes, for the majority of the population, in being involved in protecting liberal democracy in the countries of the EU. This effort would be no minor achievement, because liberal democracy is inherently unstable, fragile and vulnerable to extremism. And why is it worth fighting for liberal democracy, considering its weaknesses and human imperfection? It is the only ideology that does not promise an ideal society, but a decent one where we do not have to make extreme, desperate choices affecting our well-being, and that is the most we can hope for. Let us conclude with one of the most astute liberal of the 20th century, Isaiah Berlins who has this to say about liberal democracy: The best that can be done, as a general rule, is to maintain a precarious equilibrium that will prevent the occurrence of desperate situations, of intolerable choices – that is the first requirement for a decent society; one that we can always strive for, in the light of the limited range of our knowledge, and even of our imperfect understanding of individuals and societies. A certain humility in these matters is very necessary. (Berlin 1992: 17–18)

Notes 1 I personally attended Gelner’s lecture in 1991. 2 ANO: “Aliancia nového občana” [Alliance of a new citizen]; SOP: “Strana občianského porozumenia” [Party of a civic cooperation]. 3 VPRED: [Forward]; SaS: “Sloboda a solidarita” [Freedom and solidarity]. 4 KDH: “Kresťansko demokratické hnutie” [Christian democratic movement]. 5 SNS: “Slovenská národná strana” [Slovak national party].

References Berlin, I. (1969) Four Essays on Liberty. London: Oxford University Press Berlin, I. (1992) The Crooked Timber of Humanity. New York: Vintage Books. Dewey, J. (1963) Liberalism and Social Action. New York: Capricorn Books. Gray, J. (1995) Enlightenment’s Wake: Politics and Culture at the Close of the Modern Age. London: Routledge. Gray, J. (2009) Gray’s Anatomy: Selected Writings. Toronto: Anchor Canada. Holmes, S. (1993) The Anatomy of Antiliberalism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Rorty, R. (2005) “Interview With Richard Rorty”, Kritika & Kontext, vol. 10, no. 29, pp. 24–31.

Part VII

Civil society

33 The rise and fall of civil society in East-Central Europe Agnes Gagyi and Mariya Ivancheva

Introduction Civil society as a concept played a key role in global discourses on democracy in the late years of the Cold War, and in the “victorious” years of neoliberal globalization. In the context of postsocialist transition, recent East-Central European history was a regional model for that normative concept. Civil society was the slogan of the democratic transitions in East-Central Europe in the aftermath of 1989. Nowadays it has become an issue of hope for significant mass participation or disillusionment with the lack thereof primarily. Both the public discourse and academic research in and on the region have implied a normative vision of what civil society should be. On the one hand, it has relied on a rather geographically and historically outright (or arguably ahistorical) opposition of “the state of society”: the market was excluded from the definition or implicitly involved in it as a most natural expression and warrant of human freedom. On the other hand, it has been bounded to the strict power hierarchy of an East-West slope in which the backwards East needs to live up to the standards of the advanced West (Melegh 2006). The East-Central European chapter of the history of the concept “civil society” shows this development in a rather clear-cut manner. The term re-emerged in the dialogue between Eastern European dissidents and Western intellectuals and activists: a multifaceted dialogue which was concluded normatively in 1989. The peaceful revolutions were seen as nothing more than bringing “rectified” Eastern Europe back to the “right track” of history (Habermas 1990; Dahrendorf 1997). All practices of oppositional grassroots organizing under state socialism were branded as “civil society”. They were not thought to be significant because of their actual power or the alternative model they offered. Instead, they were observed and judged as a form of Western democracy taking root in less-developed Eastern grounds. In the post-socialism context, civil society was normatively proposed as a means of democratization and a late “catching up” with the more developed West. Eclipsing the role of the market and the parallel effects of economic subordination, the new donor-driven model of civil society (Kalb 2005) rested on an equitable power division. East-Central Europe was to reintegrate into free market

282  Agnes Gagyi and Mariya Ivancheva capitalism not as a sovereign political and economic body, but as dependent on Western markets through state loans, foreign direct investment and export (Böröcz 1992; Gunder 1992; Drahokoupil 2009; Dale 2011). The attendant economic and symbolic dependency gave way to a reinforcement of Western modernization theory: a colonial form of knowledge and power that legitimates the application of Western models as more worthy and universally valid for the rest of the world (Giddens 1991). In this hierarchical relationship, any resemblance to Western (ideals of) society is evaluated as positive, while differences gain automatically a negative value and are interpreted as anomalies. The present text shows that the concept and ideal of civil society made no exception. After the euphoria of 1989 was over, it soon became visible that the anticipated success coded in the term collided with the facts. Only a small intellectual stratum proposed “civil society” as a way to term civic activity in the region before 1989. In spite of the institutionalized efforts to encourage grassroots activism in the 1990s, the prescribed participation in community initiatives and NGOs did not become a daily practice for the alienated majority. In the meantime, forms of political action emerged that did not fit the norms of civil society and were denounced as “uncivil” (Kopeczky and Mudde 2003). More importantly, efforts to spread democratic conscience and civil participation ran parallel to the strategic Western economic activity and interest at the time. It was the latter that brought the most severe changes in people’s lives in the first period of transition, but these issues were not present in civil society talk. Upon realizing that post-socialist reality did not reflect the prescriptions of civil society theory, a wave of disillusionment swept through the intellectual scenes. Many times it resulted in a devaluation of local populations as not ripe for or not even deserving democracy. In this, it became clear that civil society worked not as a tool of actual political inclusion, but an ideological norm that, when confuted, continued to rule over empirical intellectual scrutiny. A second, smaller wave of hopes attached to civil society was linked to the alter-globalisation movement and its “Eastern enlargement” in the 2000s. This process preserved the East– West hierarchy of the transition and reinforced the discourse of local inferiority. Shocked when its local context did not respond well to mobilization techniques imported from Western contexts, this second wave lost ground to its “uncivil” sibling, radical right-wing anti-globalism. In this text we show that the denotative use as an empirical term to East-Central European societies is problematic: it hides the normative roots of the term. It contributes to making civil society an opaque ideological construct rather than a strategic concept fit for analytical or empirical work. For this reason, we argue, the historic role and current position of the term require a revision.

Reemergence of civil society in the last decades of the cold war To understand civil society as it functioned in the 1980s in East-Central Europe, one needs to question how and why precisely this rich historical and theoretical

Rise and fall of civil society  283 concept reemerged there and then. Dissident self-organization and smuggled samizdat writings under repressive state socialist regimes were a central inspiration of the newly emergent theory. The history and theory of “civil society” in the late 1980s was not written only by the dissidents. After the violent suppression of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, the Soviet intervention in the 1968 Prague Spring, and the rise of the Solidarity movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s, left-wing intellectuals in the West realized the illusion of “really existing socialism.” They started venturing behind the Iron Curtain seeking cooperation between intellectuals from the opposite blocs of the Cold War (Keane 1988; Kaldor, Falk and Holden 1989). On the side of the Western activists, this cooperation was built with the urgency of issues such as nuclear disarmament, human rights, and environmental protection in mind. They expressed a profound disillusionment with the welfare state, the complicity of the Western powers in imperialist wars in the developing world, and the apocalyptic expectations of the “Doomsday” of a nuclear war between the two corresponding blocks of the Cold War. The attempts of the Western peaceniks to attract new activists from “the other Europe” to share their global worries were often far from adequate (Tismăneanu 1990). The new language of insecurity they spoke (using terms like détente, disarmament, and peace) seemed far-fledged for people surviving state socialism that spoke the language of unfreedom (Feher and Heller 1987). Despite their explicit differences, the dialogue was built on a newly realized shared interest. They raised voices against the centralized power of both the welfare and the socialist state which bureaucratized every sphere of life, weakening social solidarity, autonomy and participation under the weight of consumption, efficiency, and growth (Arato and Cohen 1992; Keane 1988). The debates between Eastern and Western intellectuals before 1989 voiced the significance of civic activism in the gradual collapse of state socialism. They gave a tribune to some prominent dissidents from East-Central Europe like Adam Michnick, Gyorgy Konrád, Janos Kis, Václav Benda and Václav Havel. The fame of these intellectuals spread to the West, and their self-assertive liberal voices became representative of broader movements, often reliant on less outspoken voices, who remained out of the Western eye. They were praised for having developed the “ferment” of what was later recognized as a civil society in Eastern Europe: the grassroots initiatives and civic association, which functioned despite the suppressions and violation of human rights. Based on the Western publication and interpretations of their writings, throughout the 1980s, various articles and volumes on civil society were published in the West. They marked the beginning of a theoretical re-definition of the term civil society (Keane 1988; Kaldor 1990; Arato and Cohen 1992), creating sustained interest by “influential allies” in the region. Thanks to this process, by the late 1980s, civil society had become the exchange “currency” of the East–West intellectual dialogue (Ivancheva 2011). About these publications and debates, by the end of the 20th century, the intellectual tradition of civil society had split into two opposing camps. The liberal theory discussed the institutionalized civil society in the Western liberal democracies and its global application in the politics of development, democratization,

284  Agnes Gagyi and Mariya Ivancheva and governance. The opponent Gramscian theory insisted on a new interest in new social movements, civil rights activism, and liberation struggles in the third world (Nash 2005). However, voices carving the 1989 understanding of civil society were far from unified and monotonous. The works of the latter were often more popular in the West than in their country. Western publications often championed one dissident voice to represent a variety of voices and oppositions on the ground. What is more: what is nowadays called “the 1989 concept of civil society”, was named differently by each prominent dissident: “anti-politics” (Konrad), “independent life of society” or “life in truth” (Havel), “parallel polis” and “second culture” (Benda), and “new evolutionism” (Michnik). The distinction comprised at least three divergent political messages behind the civil society concept, about avoiding engagement with, using instrumentally and from afar, and simply taking over the state (Renwick 2006). After 1989, different aspects of the ideal were recuperated by controversial ideologies in the Western academic literature.

Civil society in the aftermath of 1989 Despite local variation and complexity, the dissident idea of civil society as a normative concept of social change and evolution was largely received in the West as a return to democratic liberalism, a “rectifying revolution” (Habermas 1990). European civil society was interpreted in the context of a celebrated final victory of (Western) liberal democracy over (Eastern) socialism at the end of the Cold War. On this ground, the application of the notion of civil society in East-Central European transition happened in an international context, where neoliberal policies became dominant. Civil society – that is, the NGO sector – had to fill the void in the social functions from which the state withdrew. Still, what was becoming clear was that the ideal of civil society was part of an intellectual program of the regime change, and not an empirically grounded descriptive term. In this, public intellectuals who stood up for the ideals of civil society proved negligent of the actual social processes vis-à-vis the stark contradictions between the normative program and the grim reality, the dissident ideal of civil society was reinforced as an anticipated utopia that has not come. When their analysis proved to be limited to smaller circles, instead of initiating new reflection they devaluated the constituency of the democracies they were to build. Still, some critical evaluations of the promises of civil society appeared from 1989 onward, though mostly written in English and targeting an academic audience. Locally, former proponents of the civil society idea featured a general disillusionment with the performance of East-Central European societies compared to their ideals (e.g. Felkai 1997; Tismăneanu 1999). The intellectual debate was split between those who wanted to ascribe the pre-1989 notion of civil society to previously existing schools of thought (Rau 1987; Arato and Cohen 1992; Murthy 1999; Outhwaite and Ray 2005) and those who preferred a critique of the post1989 “NGO-ization” of civil society in East-Central Europe (Kalb 2002; Howard 2003) Camps were divided between accusations (Kennedy 1992), redemptions

Rise and fall of civil society  285 (Kaldor 2003) and apologies (Tismǎneanu 1999) of the post-1989 “betrayal” of the alleged moral ideal of civil society. One of the serious criticisms was that these ideas were limited to a circle of East-Central European intellectuals who formulated them (Tamás 1994; Judt 1990). Another problem was that new forms and instances of spontaneous civil mobilization that happened in post-socialist societies often contained nationalistic elements (Kopecky and Barnfield 1999; Buzogány 2011; Halmai 2011). They were distinguished from legitimate civil organizing as “uncivil society” (Kopecky and Mudde 2003). The autonomous ideal of civil activism was proved to be disconnected to relations of political and economic power (Axford 1995). It was connected, however, to former anti-communist crusades: heavily sponsored by international organizations and individual “democracy-makers”, behind the mask of democratic ideals, they promoted strategic and economic goals of Western governments and businesses (Guilhot 2005).

A new wave of civic activism: the alterglobalization movement In the early 2000s, the term “civil society” featured in a new form in theories of global civil society, and also appeared in the self-reflection of the alterglobalization movement. (della Porta and Tarrow 2005) This concept has been applied by alterglobalization groups in East-Central Europe as well. The new concept of global civil society was born in a specific moment in the political history of the “globalization debate” when the globalist coalition of political and economic liberalism split in the second half of the 1990s, and political liberals started to speak about an autonomous civil society as counterpower to economic globalization. Critics of the concept related this idea of civil autonomy to the context of neoliberal political programs, where ‘civil society’ merely occupied the space the neoliberal state has withdrawn from, and its influence was limited to this ‘autonomous’ space. (Axford 1995; Guilhot 2005) In the case of East-Central European alter-globalization activists, the idea of global civil society took a specific shape. Although theoretically equal in the universal space of a global activist network, the practice of these groups was determined by a peripheral position in the international movement infrastructure. Instead of enabling relevant and effective political action, the framework of “global civil society” served more like a solution to identity construction. It freed political activism from the “bad student” position of the “post-socialist transition” narrative. At the same time, it reinstated a hierarchical East–West division regarding infrastructural subordination of the center vs. the periphery. “Catching up” and communicating with the Western center of the movement became an aim that excluded reflections on the Eastern movement’s actual position. In the face of Western movement models, East-Central European activists began to consider their local contexts as inferior (Gagyi 2013). In the meantime, a radical right-wing anti-globalism, emphasizing the value of local context over the global market, continued to gain power.

286  Agnes Gagyi and Mariya Ivancheva Neither the dynamic of the East-Central European alter-globalization movement nor that of its “evil twin”  – the rise of a globalization-critique from the extreme right  – have been sufficiently explained within the mainstream framework of “civil society” or “social movement” studies. These areas of scholarly research imply basic, often explicitly normative assumptions regarding a hierarchical, developmental narrative of democratization. Accounts of the process of democratization in the East-Central European transition, and the place of people’s participation in it, hardly even go beyond this hierarchical, normative concept of civil society. Thus, finally, Eastern European civil society has reappeared as an “anomaly” in contemporary academic and public debates, nowadays often merged with the analyzes of the new “authoritarianism” or “populism” in the region. Contemporary interpretations of the crisis in East-Central Europe are still deeply rooted in the hierarchical developmental framework of the regime change and post-socialist transition. And while the far right adopts alter-globalization rhetoric and gains new electoral and civic grounds, the liberals and centrist parties continue entertaining neo-liberal pro-EU stances. Almost a quarter of a century after 1989, and despite the recession, insecurity, and poverty which the transition to market economy has brought into the region, they continue to insist blindly that Western-type civil society, liberal democracy, and the free market are the only way ahead.

Conclusion The notion of civil society, as a universalizing normative concept applied to EastCentral Europe, is unfit to meet the questions of both democratic inclusion and empirical analysis. As a tool for democratic participation, it did not include the burning questions of economic democracy at the time of transition. Regarding empirical relevance, it has been too much impaired by an overgeneralization from smaller intellectual circles to whole societies pictured as a demanding Westerntype democracy. When East-Central European societies failed to meet that picture after the regime change, the normative content of the concept gave way to rather moralizing degradations of local populations, and then empirical analyzes of civil society’s “lack”. Against this background, a reflection on the problems of the transnational history of the concept of civil society is more than necessary when thinking about the possibilities of collective action in the face of the present crisis. A new frame of the debate about East-Central European local mobilizations as realities is in order. This time, it should be one that sees the region as embedded in a global context, and not as low-quality “backward” copy of Western models. To this end, the normative notion of civil society could be reinterpreted taking account of the following points: 1  Historical position of its proponents Normative talk on civil society should be interpreted together with the positions of those speaking it. Critical views of the role of intellectuals in regime change

Rise and fall of civil society 287 are also informative in this respect. Research on the role and position of intellectuals in this process can be used to recontextualize the civil society idea in a wider social framework. 2  East–West hierarchy Both the cooperation between East and West European networks of activists and the academic debate need to go beyond the traditional forms and norms of civil society, which usually involve and are conducted as channels of elite interests. The latter use donor centers in the rich countries in the West to outmaneuver local political actors and realities. To reconstruct the historical experience and contemporary reality of Eastern Europe on the map of collective debates over the global crisis, we need a different structure of East–East and East–West dialogues, also opening new perspectives for global hierarchies beyond these divides. 3 Critical reinterpretation of the hierarchical framework of “transition” Dissident discourse on civil society and its applications during the “transition” process connect to a wider discursive frame of European reintegration, of ‘ “returning to Europe”. Transition as “return” implies a framework of hierarchical development, that treats an idealized model of Western modernization as the objective aim of history, and renders any other society – such as post-socialist or post-colonial societies – as inferior, less civilized or less worthy on the historical scale of value dominated by Western modernization. The fallacy of Western-led modernization theory should be included in the analysis of the normative concept and prescribed top-down practice of civil society.

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34 Individualized vs. organized civic engagement in CEE countries Jiří Navrátil

Introduction The aim of this chapter is to sketch the shape of civil societies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) regarding the relationship between citizens and civil society organizations (CSOs). The established notions of a vibrant civil society often stress the connection between citizens and CSOs and build upon the vision of social movement societies where CSOs mediate the interests and identities of their mass social base and thus drive social change. On the other hand, both classic philosophical traditions of civil society thought, and contemporary social research suggests that a different – and not necessarily defective or inferior – model of civil society also exists that performs similar societal and political functions. Here the two key modes of civil society engagement – the individual and the collective – are detached and largely independent of each other.

Two strands of civil society empirical research and its conceptualization There are two major perspectives stemming from different traditions of civil society conceptualization and research. The first, a radical democratic perspective, follows the ‘Rousseau-to-Habermas’ tradition, which asserts that it is the involvement of free and equal individuals in the public sphere that differentiates it from the hierarchy of the family, the instrumentality of the market, and the elitism of political institutions. The other perspective, often referring to the work of Tocqueville, puts more emphasis on the collective civic structures that are viewed here as ‘schools of democracy’. These are said to produce social capital in a society that leads to higher levels of social trust and collective action for the common good (Edwards and Foley 2001). Both of these perspectives are deeply rooted in social science research; however, it seems that the latter perspective has started to dominate in civil society studies. It has become increasingly ‘self-evident’ that civil society research should focus mostly on the analysis of the organizational behavior and collective processes outside the areas of the state and the market, while exploring activities on the individual level largely through the lens of collective structures (membership,

Civic engagement  291 recruitment, mobilization). This epistemological perspective has implied normative positions regarding the assessment of non-organized elements in the sphere of civil society. When applied to the analysis of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, it has been argued that CEE civil societies are weak (or, at least, weaker than Western ones), as there is a low level of intraorganizational participation and trust of civil collective actors, followed by organizational passivity and civil privatism of the citizens (McMahon 2001; Howard 2003). At the same time, there has recently been general discontent about analyzing the CEE societies only through the lens of the concepts of grassroots civil organizations and mass mobilization that developed within pre-war Western Europe and the US and that sometimes do not even fit the contemporary reality of these regions. The concept of ‘social movement societies’ (Meyer and Tarrow 1998; Rucht and Neidhardt 2002) that builds predominantly upon the mass mobilization capacities of social movements and other collective actors, and their focus on citizen involvement, is being challenged at least by two trends in social research. The first trend suggests that there has been an increase in collective civil actors in CEE societies that are less socially embedded and more focused on cooperation (or conflict) with other CSOs or with political elites and institutions, but more powerful in promoting public interest agendas and bringing broader social change than community and grass-root organizations. Consequently, the concept of transactional activism (Petrova and Tarrow 2007; Císař 2010; Císař 2013) has been developed in the post-communist context, where the apparent lack of mass social movements and popular mobilizations has been overshadowed by the plurality of CSOs that do not focus on mobilizing citizens but rather on promoting their interests, while working with professional staff and being economically dependent on external and mostly institutional resources (EU grants, foundations, public funding, etc.). In other words, the former research emphasis on building social bonds among citizens via organizations is being replaced with a focus on developing and maintaining an organizational infrastructure of civil societies (through transactions and relations among collective civil actors, etc.) (Diani 2003; Baldassarri and Diani 2007). Several studies (Císař and Vráblíková 2010; Císař, Navrátil and Vráblíková 2011; Císař and Navrátil 2015) empirically identified and illustrated key aspects of this ‘new’ form of political activism in the CEE societies: these were most importantly advocacy activities, transnational cooperation, close relations with other CSOs in the field, and strong dependence on public funding. The discovery of a class of collective actors operating in isolation from citizens raises the question of the position of the citizens themselves: what is their role and status in the civil sphere in CEE societies? Social research in the field of political participation has started to put greater emphasis on active citizen involvement in extra-institutional activities and to focus on the individual attitudes and contributions to civil society events, structures, and processes (Barnes and Kaase 1979; Brady, Verba and Schlozman 1995; Norris 2002). This perspective stresses the role of temporal and loose interpersonal networks, platforms, or events and – probably most importantly  – studies the individual engagement in the form of volunteering, financial support for groups, campaigns, or advocacy projects and

292  Jiří Navrátil active individual citizenship (ethical consumerism, charity giving, writing letters to public officials, etc.). According to this research agenda, the arrival of new means of communication, the widening repertoire of political participation, and the coming of the digital age seem to have changed profoundly the usual methods of citizen coordination and offered new opportunities for individual political engagement (internet activism, political consumerism, e-donations, etc.) (Norris 2001; Micheletti 2003; Zukin et al. 2006; Shirky 2008; van Deth 2012). This shift towards new forms of direct and individualized political engagement necessarily raises the question of individual involvement in the sphere of civil society. To conclude, the split between the theory of civil society as the sphere of personalized or organized activities is deeply rooted in the classical philosophical accounts of the public sphere and has been paralleled in social theory and research. At least on this basis, the prevailing ‘social movement’ perspective and its application to CEE civil societies might be challenged as one-sided and incomplete. Even if this criticism has already been raised, it was the research agenda of CSOs rather than the ‘invisible’ individual engagement of citizens in civic advocacy that was brought to the forefront. Therefore, this chapter focuses on various aspects of individual engagement in CEE countries. It focuses exclusively on the advocacy function of civil society in which the interaction – or isolation – between individual and collective action poses a challenge both for social theory and research of CEE societies. It asks the following questions: how, and to what extent, are citizens in CEE countries engaged in advocacy activities? What are their attitudes towards CSOs? And what is the relationship between individual and collective engagement?

Data and methods I draw on the individual level survey data from four CEE countries  – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary (V4 Survey). The survey (N=800 in each country) was based on a quota sampling strategy and was conducted via telephone interviews (May  2010). The survey was conducted to map the levels and means of citizen involvement in civic advocacy and citizen attitudes towards advocacy CSOs. If respondents stated they were somehow involved in civic advocacy, they were asked how they were involved and how precisely they got involved; they were further asked about their motives, obstacles, information channels, and the mechanisms of their involvement (or non-involvement); about their opinions on CSOs and on various aspects of their activities; and about their trust in various social institutions. Regarding the potential impact of different issue areas and policy fields on citizen engagement, the individual survey was used to map the attitudes and relations of citizens with regard to fifteen different advocacy sectors and CSOs (children’s rights; disability rights; anticorruption; personal security; human and citizen rights and freedoms; environment; education, health, and social policy; consumer protection; animal rights; women’s rights; economic policy; work of democratic institutions; international and global issues; national minority rights; and LGBT rights). Even if many advocacy activities may take place outside these sectors, the aim was to map only those issue areas that are most explicitly connected with the advocacy or political function of

Civic engagement  293 civil society (contrary to, e.g., sectors connected with sports or culture). The focus was on three main dimensions: first, the opinions of citizens towards the importance of CSO activities in these sectors (7-point scale); second, their perception of the actual engagement of CSOs in these sectors (7-point scale); and third, the (reported) engagement of citizens in these sectors (4-point scale). To make these dimensions fully comparable, the ranking of particular advocacy areas in these dimensions is presented instead of showing exact numeric results.

Individual vs. collective civic engagement in CEE To capture fully the picture of individual engagement in civic advocacy in CEE countries, the exploration starts with an overview of the levels and forms of individual engagement in civic advocacy, continues with their attitudes towards CSOs, and concludes with their involvement regarding various issue areas of civil advocacy. The level of overall activity of citizens in civic advocacy (both on the individual and collective levels) in CEE countries is relatively high: while many of the previous accounts described CEE societies as largely passive, it seems that about one-third of respondents claim that they are somehow involved (see Table 34.1). The lowest level of involvement was reported in Hungary, and the highest in Slovakia, but all four countries are rather similar. Regarding reasons for non-engagement in civic advocacy, the data seem to resonate with classic accounts of individual participation as they suggest the key role of resources: the roles of time and money seem to be of crucial importance here (see Table 34.2). At the same time, the third-most important reason in all countries Table 34.1  Level of civic engagement  

Czech Rep.

Hungary

Poland

Slovakia

yes no don´t know N

32.9 66.9 0.2 800

23.9 75.6 0.5 800

30.4 69.2 0.4 800

36.4 63.5 0.1 800

Source: V4 Survey

Table 34.2  Reasons for non-engagement in civil advocacy

not interested in principle no time have no money to support them health conditions do not allow me to be active I was active, but I got disappointed Those problems should be solved by other actors, not by civic ones N Source: V4 Survey

Czech Rep.

Hungary

Poland

Slovakia

21.3 68.3 63.0 26.2

15.7 54.0 66.9 31.0

23.8 66.4 57.8 26.0

22.2 62.4 68.2 21.5

19.9 47.5

8.8 44.7

19.7 37.0

23.9 54.0

507

581

553

494

294  Jiří Navrátil is directly related to civil society actors as such. About 50% of respondents in CEE countries (37% in Poland) that do not participate in civic advocacy activities claim that these activities should be done by other than civic actors. In other words, they disqualify both CSOs and citizens from the sphere of civic advocacy. Going back to the engaged citizens and their forms of advocacy activities presents a more nuanced picture of civic engagement. Again, we see a very similar picture in all four countries (see Table  34.3). It suggests two basic features of civic advocacy engagement. First, the most preferred mean of civic engagement is donation (to some advocacy campaign or issue) as a distant or extra-organizational way of engagement. The least preferred is related to CSOs – the level of membership among active citizens oscillates only around 20% (which regarding overall population participation matches with the findings of, e.g., European Values Study). There is only one exception, in Hungary, where the least preferred tools for civic engagement are online tools. It seems that there is a reasonable share of engaged citizens and that both engaged and non-engaged citizens in CEE countries display some distance towards advocacy CSOs. The further exploration of their attitudes toward collective advocacy engagement reveals several features. First, both engaged and non-engaged respondents, on average, think that CSOs do not reflect the problems that they face (see Table 34.4). The only exception is in Hungary, where the share of citizens that think CSOs are rather reflective of their needs is somewhat higher. Table 34.3  Forms of civic engagement  

Czech Rep.

Hungary

Poland

Slovakia

donation supporter (signing petitions, participating in the campaign) voluntary work chatting, blogging, etc. member of a CSO N

89.8 52.4

58.8 28.1

77.0 71.6

87.2 70.3

37.0 26.5 20.3 292

47.0   7.6 20.4 219

49.4 26.3 17.7 243

51.9 27.5 20.5 304

 

Czech Rep.

Hungary

Poland

Slovakia

not at all or little quite a lot or very much other (neutral + don´t know) N

26.0 17.2 56.8 800

18.1 22.4 59.5 800

31.0 25.7 43.3 800

25.7 17.8 56.6 800

Source: V4 Survey

Table 34.4  Reflectivity of CSOs

Source: V4 Survey

Civic engagement  295 This not very optimistic view of CSO abilities to provide citizens with relevant goods and services in civic advocacy is further confirmed when the trust of various social and political institutions is compared (see Table 34.5). The citizens from all the CEE countries under study rely most on their closest social environment  – their family and friends. There are minor differences in the preference of other social relations: while the citizens in Hungary and Poland trust the police, Czech and Slovak citizens rely more on themselves (and on police in the next instance). This picture clearly suggests that trust in CEE societies, other than inter-personal trust, is rather low (confirming previous studies on the low level of social capital in post-communist countries), and is followed by confidence in the state (police) or sub-state (local authority) political power. In all of the countries in the study, CSOs rank in the middle of the chart at best, indicating that there are many social institutions more important than CSOs as viewed by the citizens. To summarize previous findings, even if a relatively large share of citizens is engaged in civic advocacy, their forms of engagement are rather indirect, and their perceptions of CSOs are mostly suspicious. But what does that mean in terms of practical civic engagement? How is individual engagement related to collective engagement? And how do citizens reflect their attitudes towards CSO in their practical activities? Answers to these questions may be found in the exploration of citizen engagement in different issue areas of civic advocacy compared with their opinions of the importance of CSO activities in these areas and perceptions of real CSO engagement in the area (Table 34.6). The survey results suggest that there are several patterns, which I call ‘compensatory’ mechanisms. In most of the countries, there are extensive inconsistencies between the importance of some advocacy issues and related citizen engagement and the perception of CSO engagement in these issues. Table 34.5  Trust to social and political institutions   member of parliament a local government representative local authority government agency (ministry) civil society organization media MEP and the European Parliament Ombudsman/ EU institutions the police family friends church community colleagues at work none, I try to solve it myself N Source: V4 Survey

Czech Rep.

Hungary

Poland

Slovakia

9.6 31.0 43.4 11.9 15.9 21.7 16.7

17.3 32.5 50.9 11.2 32.7 17.3 11.3

23.6 29.4 29.8 24.4 42.5 47.5 34.5

15.9 27.9 34.7 19.5 25.9 27.4 19.9

53.7 85.8 69.8 8.8 34.7 60.2 800

57.0 92.5 83.7 24.1 42.0 44.3 800

65.1 90.5 75.6 29.3 49.6 23.6 800

56.1 87.4 80.2 18.1 48.6 58.4 800

Czech Republic animal rights anti–corruption citizens’ security consumer protection disabled people’s rights economic policy education, health, social policy environment human and citizens’ rights and freedoms international and global issues LGBT rights national minority rights rights of children women rights work of democratic institutions N=800 Hungary animal rights anti–corruption citizens’ security consumer protection disabled people’s rights

Importance of CSO advocacy activities

6 –7 –3 –1 0 –3 1 2 0 5 0 1 0 –1 0 N = 292 6 –6 –7 –4 1

4 3 11 0 3 –1 N = 800

8 –9 –10 2 –4

Personal involvement in the civil activities (ranking change)

5 –12 –7 –2 –3 –3 –1 4 –1

Perceived activity of civil organizations (ranking change) Poland animal rights anti–corruption citizens’ security consumer protection disabled people’s rights economic policy education, health, social policy environment human and citizens’ rights and freedoms international and global issues LGBT rights national minority rights rights of children women rights work of democratic institutions N = 800 Slovakia animal rights anti–corruption citizens’ security consumer protection disabled people’s rights

Importance of CSO advocacy activities

Table 34.6  Rankings of advocacy issues according to CSOs activities and personal engagement

3 –8 –9 1 1

1 0 1 0 3 1 N = 800

5 –4 –4 0 –3 0 –3 3 0

Perceived activity of civil organizations (ranking change)

8 –4 –7 0 2

–2 0 1 –1 –3 2 N = 243

7 –2 –4 –1 –1 –1 2 5 –2

Personal involvement in the civil activities (ranking change)

Source: V4 Survey

economic policy education, health, social policy environment human and citizens’ rights and freedoms international and global issues LGBT rights national minority rights rights of children women rights work of democratic institutions N=800

1 4 –1 1 –1 0 3 0 1 2 N = 219

–3 –5 1 2

4 1 8 1 4 0 N = 800

economic policy education, health, social policy environment human and citizens’ rights and freedoms international and global issues LGBT rights national minority rights rights of children women rights work of democratic institutions N = 800 0 1 10 2 3 1 N = 800

–2 –1 –4 2 1 0 1 2 1 0 N = 304

–3 0 0 –1

298  Jiří Navrátil In other words, it seems that citizens see the most important advocacy issues as inadequately covered by CSOs, and so they got engaged with these issues individually and without any close collective coordination. At the same time, there are issues that are viewed as less important, but citizens think that CSOs are rather active here, and so they remain rather passive. Both these mechanisms may be found in CEE countries, with the weakest presence in Poland. In the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia, we may find these mechanisms in at least in two-thirds of all issue areas, while these are present only in one-third of issue areas in the Polish case. In Poland and the Czech Republic, the positive attitude prevails (regarding the number of issues): citizens bypass organizations to cover important issues that they believe are not sufficiently treated by CSOs. In Slovakia and Hungary, the negative aspect is stronger, when citizens avoid the issues the CSOs address.

Conclusion This chapter has focused on the relationship between individual and collective civic engagement in CEE countries. It attempted to illustrate that the consensus of analyzing and evaluating civil societies through the prism of social movement model is both theoretically and empirically challenged. Following the empirical findings, several conclusions may be formulated. First, the overall level of civic engagement in CEE countries is relatively high  – about one-third of the adult population claims to be somehow involved in non-electoral civic activities with some advocacy dimension. At the same time, the forms of their involvement are largely extra-organizational and individualized. On the one hand, this confirms the findings of previous studies focusing on the weak organizational engagement of post-communist citizens. On the other hand, the data contradict the normative assessment of post-communist societies as ‘weak’. They suggest – even if these patterns hold to a lesser extent in Poland – that although citizens largely do not trust CSOs and their activities, they nevertheless remain attentive to them and orient their engagement to compensate for perceived inadequacies in CSO focus and strategies. It should also be stressed that this engagement largely steps out from a purely symbolic or ‘online’ form. It seems that the model of civic engagement in which individual activity compensates for the perceived omissions or failures of organized activities does not necessarily imply defective function of the civil sphere. On the contrary, the Czech experience shows that the largest advocacy campaigns in the Czech Republic after 1989 (against the war in Iraq, against the location of a US military base, or against corrupted political elites) took part without the active support and significant involvement of established advocacy CSOs.

Acknowledgement The data used were collected within the framework of an international comparative research project (‘Has Our Dream Come True? Comparative Research of Central and Eastern European Civil Societies’) funded by CEE TRUST – Trust

Civic engagement  299 for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe (Grant Number CBI_2009_11, Civil Europe Association). Preparation of this chapter was supported by the research framework programme of Masaryk University (MUNI/A/1022/2015).

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300  Jiří Navrátil Norris, P. (2002) Democratic Phoenix: Reinventing Political Activism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Petrova, T. and Tarrow, S. (2007) “Transactional and Participatory Activism in the Emerging European Polity: The Puzzle of East Central Europe”, Comparative Political Studies, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 74–94. Rucht, D. and Neidhardt, F. (2002) “Towards a Movement Society? On the Possibilities of Institutionalizing Social Movements”, Social Movement Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 7–30. Shirky, C. (2008) Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. New York: Penguin Press. van Deth, J. W. (2012) “New Modes of Participation and Norms of Citizenship”, in van Deth, J. W. and Maloney, A. (eds.) New Participatory Dimensions in Civil Society: Professionalization and Individualized Collective Action. London: Routledge. Zukin, C., Keeter, S., Andolina, M., Jenkins, K., and Delli Carpini, M. X. (2006) A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizen. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

35 Contention and the civil society Grzegorz Piotrowski

Introduction During the 1980s, the “civil society” concept made a comeback into the main discourse of the social sciences  – after in principle being out of use since the mid-19th century – mainly as a consequence of the emergence of pro-democratic movements in Eastern European and Latin American authoritarian states (Kocka 2004: 67). Civil society in Central Europe is not only seen as one of the main forces behind the overthrow of the communist regimes in the region; it was also one of the core concepts of the transformation of 1989. The changes within the structure and form of the civil society in post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe reflect, to a large extent, the processes of the post-1989 transformation and the transfiguration of the political. This paper examines the tensions and conflicts within the broadly understood civil society sphere through the perspective of social mobilization and the function of the civil society. It also shows the dynamics of the changes within the sector and compares it with other forms of civic engagement such as grassroots social mobilizations. Finally, this papers deals with few myths about the civil society in post-communist Central Europe that shape the academic and the popular thinking about civil society sector in the region.

Civil society behind the Iron curtain Before the fall of the Iron Curtain civil society in Central and Eastern Europe was perceived as a tool for a political struggle against authoritarian regimes. When analyzing environmental protection movements, a vital part of the civil society sector in the region, Rootes (2004: 630) claims: “Environmental movements are often credited with a major role in the popular mobilizations that accompanied the collapse of Communist regimes, but their subsequent weakness in central and eastern Europe suggests either that green was often adopted as protective camouflage by antiregime activists who subsequently turned to more mainstream political roles, or that the political and economic urgencies of posttransition states sidelined environmental concerns” (Rootes 2004: 335–342). The building of an independent civil society organizations (CSOs) such as trade unions and foundations,

302  Grzegorz Piotrowski as well as less formalized networks such as illegal university lectures, was not only undermining the leading role and legitimization of the state. It was often used normatively to envisage a social sphere disconnected from the logics of the economy and the state, in which citizens could both withdraw from the state and mobilize to put pressure on institutionalized politics. A strong civil society being autonomous from the state thus came to be seen as a precondition for a wellfunctioning democracy (Terrier and Wagner 2006). The calls for independent civil society were, in the end, calls for personal independence and freedom. As one of the leaders of the democratic opposition in Poland, Bronisław Geremek has put it: “the idea of civil society – even one that avoids overtly political activities in favor of education, the exchange of information and opinion, or the protection of the basic interests of the particular groups – has enormous anti-totalitarian potential” (Geremek 1992: 4). The rise of the dissident groups was challenging the state’s monopoly on organized social life. The independence of the civil society sphere was at the core of foundation of this sector. The attitude of such groups was much more confrontational than it is of the today’s CSOs; these groups were more vis-à-vis rather than hand in hand with the state. As Marek Skovajsa (2008: 53) argues: “In countries with particularly repressive and stable post-totalitarian regimes, the dissident conceptions were characterized by deep distrust toward the state and the state-dominated civil society structures.” They were not only criticizing but also controlling the state actions, for example using the existing legal tools to execute peoples’ rights guaranteed by the Helsinki Agreements and other international acts. In some countries (like Hungary or Czechoslovakia), the attempts were more focused on building parallel social structures, educational or cultural, which had an impact on the repertoire of actions. However, both tendencies  – criticisms of state actions and building parallel structures – were leading to an ‘us’ (the people) vs. ‘them’ (the authorities) division and were leading to confrontation of the people against the state and the authorities. Petr Kopecký (2003: 3) in Uncivil Society? Contentious politics in post-communist Europe says: “The crucial element of this conception of civil society [in CEE] was the critique of state power. The experience of suppression and underlying anti-totalitarian tendencies led many dissidents to the conclusion that East European states were to a large extent defined by their hostility towards organizations outside state control”. It is, however, misleading to think of the civil society sphere in the former Eastern bloc as a homogenous entity. Although united against the communist system, the first serious cracks in this body began to form in the mid-1980s when some of the dissidents began to take more moderate approaches than before, aiming at reaching an agreement with the communists and peaceful transition and splinter opposition groups began to appear. For Padraic Kenney (2002) the distinction between the ‘constructive’ opposition and the ‘konkretny’ activists was not only defined by the approach to the state and its institutions but also by the choice of the repertoire of action. In the mid-1980s, when the repressive capacities of regimes declined, a new sector emerged: grassroots social movements. Many of these groups were closely connected to subcultures and counterculture, and they

Contention and the civil society  303 ranged from anarchism, through nationalisms, movements focused on environmental protection (especially after the Chernobyl disaster of 1986) to peace and feminist groups. Many of these movements focused on issues obeyed by the dissident sector and, therefore, became critical towards both the regimes and the opposition. Such situation often resulted in the movements’ isolation, but on the other hand, it helped to mobilize new cohorts of people, mostly young and connected to subcultures.

Consequences of the 1989 transformation The boom of the civil society organized as the ‘third sector’ took place in Central and Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, although the first NGOs and associations could have been registered in Poland or Hungary during mid-1980s. The newly created sector faced on one hand many incentives (mostly economic, in forms of grants and subsidies) but also some political and legal constrains that drove them away (and also many activists) from social movements. The differences in the attitude towards confrontation and conflict with the authorities generated a big split. However, some signs of cooperation and alliances could be observed. A multitude of new groups emerged in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989. There were local chapters of international NGOs present in the region, who do not necessarily have the advantage of the freedom to choose their agenda or repertoire of action. There are also groups focused on providing expert knowledge (for example some environmental NGOs), performing auxiliary (to the state) services when working with the poor, disabled or with minorities or are focused on educating the people. Most of the organizational models and ways of dealing with the issues came from abroad after 1989, when the possibilities for being active opened up. Foreign origins (mainly the United States and Western European) were occasionally also the problem, because of different patterns of activism and differences in the environment in which they were active. Foreign origins were also an issue for nationalist-oriented groups. Nowadays such arguments are also raised by some right-wing or authoritarian regimes attempting to control the third sector by tightening legal frameworks. For many other organizations, the biggest problem was the lack of adaptation of the organizational forms to local realities. For most of the CSOs (this includes NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.) their main target to receive support (both in terms of resources and involvements) was the middle class that was only emerging in Central and Eastern Europe. Grassroots social movements have not disappeared in Central and Eastern Europe after the transition of 1989, and some of the campaigns were continued in the new political context, such as campaigns to abolish compulsory military service or some environmental issues. Groups behind these campaigns relied mostly on direct action repertoire, and some of their actions were illegal, and they can be labeled as radical, or more radical (regarding repertoires of action and claims) than institutionalized NGOs. This radicalism often results in these groups exclusion from public debates or cooperation with other actors. Other movements

304  Grzegorz Piotrowski that emerged after the transition, in the mid-1990s and later, were often inspired by their counterparts in other countries (such as the squatting or alter-globalist movement) and faced difficulties in institutionalizing their actions and developing stable structures and often failed in mobilizing larger parts of the society (in particular, left-leaning groups, cf. Císař 2013: 998).

Myths about civil society in Central Europe The evolution and the development of civil society in Central Europe have generated few myths that bias the outlook and the understanding of the concept. Some of the myths are a result of the importance of civil society actors for the post-1989 democratic consolidation of the region. Besides institutional change, the development of the civil society was one of the pillars of the newly formed democracies. However, soon after the change, a myth was created that the pro-democratic dissidents formed the civil society during communist times. In fact, besides the example of the ‘Solidarność’ movement that had 9–10  million members at its peak (in the years 1980–1981), the dissident structures were weak and lacked popular support. At the same time, there were many associations and organizations controlled by the communist states that took care of activities of the citizens. Despite the state control, their activities were far from being politicized; one can name the bird-watchers’ societies or voluntary fire brigades (in Poland there are approximately 15,000 voluntary fire brigades have about one million members; similar organizations exist in the Czech Republic and Slovakia). Their existence is not always mentioned while presenting the civil society in Central Europe or is it presented as evidence of the weakness of the civil society in the region. Howard 2003 claims that former compulsory membership in such organizations results in smaller numbers of active civil society participants nowadays. This division is often referred to as the civil and civic divide (Buchowski 2001). The second myth is that the civil society sector became depoliticized and dominated by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) after the changes of 1989. It is true, considering the fact that NGOs were not allowed during communist times (legally such form of organization became available in Poland and Hungary in the late 1980s) so naturally, their numbers grew after the fall of communist regimes. However, there are a large number of organizations that survived the transformation (cf. Ekiert and Foa 2011). The emergence and growing importance of the NGOs are connected to the neoliberal transformation of the state and its services. The growing importance of the ‘third sector’ (Anheier and Themudo 2002) is a result of the growing demand for independent expert knowledge and service provisions as a result of the deconstruction of the socialist welfare state and neoliberal reforms. Some claim that the institutionalization of civil society organizations and their dependence on external funding (from foundations, state grants and super-state organizations such as the EU; for Poland 15% of NGO funding comes from the state budget, 15% from local authorities, 23% from the EU, 9% from donations and 7% from economic activities of NGOs, see Wilk 2016) has stripped them off from the potential and willingness to mobilize large numbers of people into collective action, leaving them without the capability to disrupt “business as

Contention and the civil society  305 usual,” which social movement scholars have usually considered as the ultimate basis of the power of social movements (van der Heijden 1997). In the recent years Central and Eastern Europe has witnessed a number of grassroots mobilizations, usually fuelled by growing political and cultural cleavages expressed in changing political powers. Other factors – such as the recent economic crisis and austerity measures that followed or the question of refugees – has sparked numerous protests and campaigns, often nationalist and xenophobic. None of the founders of the third sector were interested in supporting groups with politicized claims, which is one of the reasons for the tensions within the civil society sector and the emergence of the radical sector, for which “independent thinking requires independent money” (Císař 2013: 996). At the same time, a number of groups emerged that began to be labeled as ‘uncivil’ (violent or prone to use of violence or just not acting accordingly to ‘civil society principles’; cf. Kopecký 2003; Kotkin 2010). Many groups and social movements were included in this category and therefore excluded from the civil society sphere. The last myth is the one of the weakness of civil society in Central Europe. Most of the research points to the low numbers of NGOs and civil involvement, which are based on self-declarations and from other data such as the NGO Sustainability Index. But most of the research does not include the participatory activism of trade unions, religious organizations (particularly important in Poland and to a lesser extent in Hungary) or others, including the earlier mentioned voluntary fire brigades. Also, as Tarrow and Petrova (2007) note, civil activism in Central and Eastern Europe takes a different shape, what they call ‘transactional activism’ which is based on networking and the precise targeting of potential supporters to reach the desired political gains. These myths and discussions accompanying them also generally exclude social movements and its organizations from the puzzle. Social movements, in general, are less effective in creating stable institutions and organizations. However, their impact on the policies and public discussions cannot be neglected. This relates back to the origins of the civil society and social movements sectors in Central and Eastern Europe. In recent years, a number of scholars point to the resurgence of civic activities and grassroots activism in the region (Sava 2016), with the growing importance of urban movements and initiatives (Jacobsson 2015)

Tensions within the civil society sector One controversy that separates the civil society and the social activists is the funding. The existing model of supporting and funding for CSOs is based on government or EU subsidies or donations from big companies. Sources of funding of the NGOs raise criticism regarding its independence as the adversaries of the model, recall the classical definition saying that the civil society is to protect the citizen from the forces of the state and the market. This goes back to the debate about an independent civil society that sparked the region in the late 1970s and early 1980s regarding organizations that today would be included in the civil society sphere (such as sports associations, hobby clubs, voluntary firemen brigades, etc.), but they were dependant on the authorities, politically and economically.

306  Grzegorz Piotrowski It seems that the more radical civil groups, regarding repertoires of action and ideas, the less likely they are to develop stable structures (for instant parties, with some exceptions, like the one of Hungarian Jobbik) and networks. The less organized factions of the sphere are the social movements, that are “focused on engaging in collective action focused on conflict; taking part in political and cultural conflicts, and striving to promote or prevent social change” (della Porta and Diani 1999: 15). This also include civic self-organizations, also often excluded from the discourse on civil society but being manifested during protest campaigns and mobilizations but not forming stable structures and institutions at all.

Conclusion What one can observe is the evolution of the concept and understanding of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe over the years and its difference from the mainstream understanding of the term. From a purely politicized and independent arena, with the aim to overthrow the communist regime, to a de-politicized third sector they are oriented at external service provision. The de-politicization of the civil society resulted not only in far less confrontational tactics but also in the dependency of the sector from the funding sources. Also, focusing on service provision instead of targeting the (political) causes of the problems opens a wide and intensive critique, usually coming from the social movements side. At the same time, grassroots groups and mobilizations, radical groups and civic self-organizations emerging from time to time around the whole Central and Eastern Europe are excluded from the definitions of civil society and occasionally labeled as ‘uncivil’. In particular, groups more prone to use violence (or suspected of willingness of using violence) fall under this category. The small capacities of these groups to form stable structures and networks should not be regarded as an argument for such exclusion. On the contrary, these grassroots groups and mobilizations often focus on local actions and local communities in which they play an important role. Their inherent radicalism (sometimes coming from their subcultural and countercultural background) allows them to formulate sharp claims that spark numerous debates and occasionally result in further waves of social mobilization. In recent years, Central and Eastern Europe witnessed a number of social mobilizations, often the result of growing political and cultural cleavages. Numerous actions of governments resulted in protest waves (e.g., KOD in Poland or Milla in Hungary opposing some of the decisions of local governments; numerous rightwing mobilizations). Academics also observe growing involvement of citizens in various local as well as politicized initiatives, undermining the academic and common discourses of weak civil society and anticipating increasing civil activities in the region.

Acknowledgements This paper was written during my stay at Collegium Budapest within the framework of the project “Fresh Perspective on the New European Democracies” funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

Contention and the civil society  307

References Anheier, H. and Themudo, N. (2002) “Organisational Forms of Global Civil Society: Implications of Going Global”, Global Civil Society, pp. 191–216. Buchowski, M. (2001) Rethinking Transformation. Poznań: Humanoria. Císař, O. (2013) “Post-Communism and Social Movements”, in Snow, D., della Porta, D., Klandermans, B. and McAdam, D. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements, vol. 3. London: Blackwell, pp. 994–999. della Porta, D. and Diani, M. (1999) Social Movements: An Introduction. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell. Ekiert, G. and Foa, R. (2011) Civil Society Weakness in Post-Communist Europe: A Preliminary Assesment. Trento: Carlo Alberto Notebooks no. 198. Geremek, B. (1992) “Problems of Postcommunism: Civil Society Then and Now”, Journal of Democracy, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 3–12. Howard, M. M. (2003) The Weakness of Civil Society in Post-Communist Europe. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Jacobsson, K. (ed.) (2015) Urban Grassroots Movements in Central and Eastern Europe. London: Ashgate. Kenney, P. (2002) A Carnival of Revolution: Central Europe 1989. Princeton, NJ and New York: Princeton University Press. Kocka, J. (2004) “Civil Society From a Historical Perspective”, European Review, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 65–79. Kopecký, P. (2003) “Introduction” in Kopecký, P. and Mudde, C. (eds.) Uncivil Society? Contentious Politics in Post-Communist Europe. New York: Routledge. Kotkin, S. (2010). Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment. New York: Random House Digital, Inc. Petrova, T. and Tarrow, S. (2007) “Transactional and Participatory Activism in the European Polity: The Puzzle of East-Central Europe”, Comparative Political Studies, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 40–74. Rootes, C. (2004) “Environmental Movements”, in Snow, D. A., Soule, S. A. and Kriesi, H. (eds.) The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements. Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell, pp. 608–640. Sava, I. (ed.) (2016) Social Movements in Central and Eastern Europe: A Renewal of Protests and Democracy. 2nd ed. Bucharest: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti. Skovajsa, M. (2008) “Independent and Broader Civil Society in East-Central European Democratizations”, Taiwan Journal of Democracy, vol. 4, no. 2 (December), pp. 47–73. Terrier, J. and Wagner, P. (2006) “The Return of Civil Society and the Reopening of the Political Problématique”, in Wagner, P. (ed.) The Languages of Civil Society. New York: Berghahn Books, pp. 223–234 van der Heijden, H-A. (1997) “Political Opportunity Structure and the Institutionalisation of the Environmental Movement”, Environmental Politics, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 25–50. Wilk, E. (2016) “Społeczeństwo obywatelskie według PiS, Zabrać waszym, dać naszym”, Polityka, [Online] www.polityka.pl/tygodnikpolityka/spoleczenstwo/1672066,1,spolec zenstwo-obywatelskie-wedlug-pis.read, Available 29 August 2016.

36 Civil society as a jargon Central European experience of civic activity after 1989 Jan Grzymski

Introduction: fostering democracy The understanding of the civil society concept and its implementation has been significantly influenced in Central Europe by the experience of the anti-communist opposition and the model of Western aid to the region, ignited in the decisive months of 1989. Before the collapse of communist bloc, many dissidents like Adam Michnik, Bronisław Geremek or Vaclav Havel had conceived of an independent public sphere distinct from the governmental and private activities (Geremek 1994). However, the notion of civil society had never been used by the dissidents themselves, and it was only projected to the pre-democratic period after the breakthrough in 1989 (Szacki 1997). But, in the crucial months of 1989 and afterward, when the transition was triggered, this dissident experience helped to crystallize the ideal of civil society as a part of a new political order in Central Europe. “Both Western and Central European opinion makers saw creating a civil society and independent organizations as building the connective tissue of a new democratic culture” (Wedel 1998: 83). Hence, this concept  – although alien to anti-communist dissidents  – proved to be crucial in designing the new post-communist political infrastructure of the region. As a result, the term civil society was very quickly incorporated into the Central European language of politics as one of the many new buzzwords, like democracy, free market, the rule of law or privatization. It was imported in the whole package of the Western help, which poured into Central Europe after 1989. The model of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) was a significant part of the Western so-called ‘technical assistance’ and more generally of the whole ‘training’ for democracy designed for the region. But what is more, that was also meant to be a transfer of a Western way of thinking. As Jannie Wedel observed “Americans tended to talk the loudest about establishing a civil society in the region. The fall of Berlin Wall energized American efforts to try to remake Central and Eastern Europe in ‘our’ image by exporting the can-do mentality and the tradition of citizens’ initiative and local governance” (Wedel 1998: 85). Supporting the newly established local organizations or associations was meant to be an example and vehicle for anchoring Central Europe into the Western model of democracy and Western mentality.

Civil society as a jargon  309 As we could see, the civil society is linked then not only with the broad normative vision of the former anti-communist opposition of how people ought to live, communicate and cooperate among themselves in the political and social life. Even more importantly, it was affected by the imported Western institutional model rooted in a distinct cultural tradition of the long-established habits of grassroot initiatives. What seems to be the major structural drawback of the civil society animation in Central Europe was the top-bottom model, in which what should have been the spontaneous initiatives turned out to be the culturally alien model of organization, namely NGOs, which was transferred and sponsored from the outside (Carothers 1998; Jacobsson and Saxonberg 2013; Leś 1994; IłowieckaTańska 2011; Mendelosn and Glenn 2002). But, the activists and advocates of implementing the civil society in the form of NGOs were convinced that only those types of organizations can help to build the genuine civil society in the postcommunist societies. As Polish researcher Ilona Iłowiecka-Tańska emphasizes, it seems like those social activities attributed to NGOs instrumental value of creating the new democratic order on the social level (Iłowiecka-Tańska 2011: 81). Hence, the specificity of the Third Sector in Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary was shaped by this a priori idea defining the decisive role NGOs in creating new democratic order. (Iłowiecka-Tańska 2011: 85).

Dominance of the NGOs model During the last 25  years, the former dissident ideal was to a significant extent transformed regarding forms of grassroots organization. The civil society in the 1990s and 2000s in Central Europe was reduced to the activity of numerous nongovernmental-organizations (NGOs). As some studies have shown, nearly half of the Polish dissidents confirmed in research polls that they were actively contributing to some NGOs after 1989 (Iłowiecka-Tańska 2011: 52–53). There was then a clear link between the former dissidents and the new type of self-organization in the form of NGOs. But, it is equally important that many of them were also involved in some grassroots initiatives before 1989, but in the more informal and dissident forms of associations, not in the NGOs. That is a clear indication that after 1989 the new model of social activity excluded the previously known forms of self-organization as the legitimate ones, or at least as a subject to all sorts of financing pouring into the region from the West. From the late 1990s, the social activity was no longer a spontaneous and amateur one, but it was framed by a professional model organization based on the corporate pattern of daily conduct (Grzymski and Kassner 2010; Jacobsson and Saxonberg 2013). What used to be dissidents’ ideal of grassroots activity was quickly institutionalized in the early 1990s by the Western organizational framework alongside the donation system. Most of the NGOs were financed at the beginning of the 1990s’ by the Western foundations and, later in the 2000s, by the European Union. Moreover, many of the local NGOs in Central Europe became offshoots of international NGOs or Western foundations. The practice of those NGOs was predominated after 1989 by the auditing brought by the American and

310  Jan Grzymski European donors and later even more formalized with the EU’s new modes of governance, which were underpinning the Social and Structural Funds designed for financing local initiatives in the candidates and later new member states. These practices paved the way to the corporate means of accountability in civil activities, which ultimately replaced the former bottom-up model of initiatives by the rigid granting model.

Social activists: professionals and experts NGOs model of developing civil society entailed the corporate pattern of institutionalization and subjectivity, which captured the NGOs praxis in Central Europe in the 1990s and 2000s. Activists imagined themselves as an experts and professionals claiming relevant expertise in public policy and delivering social services or advocating specialized recommendations and social solutions. It was mainly because of the fact that, regarding political agendas, NGOs started implementing developmental goals, mostly offering social welfare: dealing with ill children, education for the poor, migrants or cultural issues. Hence, in many areas NGOs started substituting the government’s functions and duties in social life and the public care issues. Last but not least, NGOs were promoting the Western model of democracy and the EU accession of Poland, among society financed by Western foundations. Central European NGOs activities accepted that their work had to be assessed through the corporate ways of constant evaluation: auditing and complex accounting. They took it for granted as an embodiment of the contemporary, efficient way of managing any public body (Power 1999). They followed this to attain and maintain the image of a professional institution worth investing money into (Jacobsson and Saxonberg 2013). At the same time, there was very little money available at the ‘granting market’ in Central Europe, so it fueled a very fierce competition between NGOs. As a result, the spirit of civic cooperation gave way to market competition for the limited amount of money. It seems very paradoxical that most of the NGOs in Central Europe now tacitly complain about the complex reporting procedures, but they still perceive it as a modern and ‘Western’ institutional pattern of public activity (Bodnar and Kuchaczyk 2010). Moreover, they look for the remedy for their problems within granting system suggesting that the strict granting procedures ought to be changed and believing that the problems of civil society and, above all, social apathy would disappear only when the NGOs would get more money, and the granters would be less harsh in their granting inspections. However, the corporate logic of auditing, accounting and enterprise seeks to transform the practice of daily activity, schemes of work, and institutional space of social activity. The granting system applied this logic to the sphere of public and civic activity. But the spread and the common acceptance of ‘audit culture’ within the Third Sector demonstrated the aspiration to connect the NGOs actions and its institutional conduct to the corporate’s idea of the optimization of the performance. The constant evolution practices, the ‘best practices’ examples, setting

Civil society as a jargon  311 the indicators of the NGOs development, quality of work and institutional efficiency are all relevant indirect means of regulation and control (Sending and Neumann 2006). But they resemble measuring the social norms of production rather than being adequate to the civic milieu. The archetype of the old civic activistdissident was transformed into a professional who is capable of calculating conduct, working within calculating spaces and, in the end, becomes the subject to particular calculating regimes of the power of the granting system. The granters measure the civil society development with very accurate and precise indicators. In the end, it can only be something which is easily measurable – the number of addressed people benefiting from the NGOs’ activity, workshops, publications, seminars, and international networks. That leaves microscopic room for the soft way of assessing the quality of the civic needs, conditions or problems. Within the granting system the concept of ‘civil society’ became the part of the NGOs and bureaucratic jargon, the ‘keyword’ within the reporting procedures. Many NGOs activists treated it as the bureaucratic code, which helped to receive another grant for animating civil society in which social activity aims at even further stimulation of civil society.

Production of civility The granting system not only entailed the power relations but also introduced new forms of subjectivity and patterns of public conduct. At every moment the civic activist had to be at the same time its manager and accountant, being able to choose and plan its objectives, budget, actions, and results of its work; hence their public activity resembled managing a company rather than spontaneous selforganization. Moreover, the granting system enforced the short-term perspective for the NGOs work in which they were constantly dependant on the granting calendar. And the extended reporting left very little time for the NGOs actually to conduct the actions planned for their projects. “Processes of institutionalization and professionalization tend to transform civil society organizations into hierarchical, centralized and corporate entities that focus on their survival rather than trying to mobilize society” (Jacobsson and Saxonberg 2013: 6). As a result, within the granting system, civic activists had to produce civility, which of course differed significantly from the normative, ideological concept of civil society imagined by the anti-communist dissidents in Central Europe, not to mention the classics of the political thought. Many activists in Central Europe now concede that the dissidents’ dreams became embroiled in the meanders of the granting system, which drained their vision of the self-organized and active civil society (Graff 2010). This could be seen as the reason for the mounting disappointment among many practitioners of the so-called Third Sector since any spontaneous activity is at odds with the regime of rigid auditing. It stifles its potential energy for the grassroots initiatives, framing it into the schemes of the ‘best practices’. From the macro perspective, it seems like the NGOs, which by the civil society concept are meant to create trust among people, are themselves the subjects of auditing regime, which are

312  Jan Grzymski by definition not based on the trust, but rather it is a form of control. Michael Power calls the auditing practices the ritual of verification (Power 1999), and he emphasizes that they entail the high degree of supervision over the conduct of their subject, in this case also of NGOs. Eventually, the rigid framework of the granting system brings up the issue of whether the dreams, ideas or missions of the NGOs are addressing the genuine social, grass-rooted needs or are they subtly imposed by the granting bodies? By paraphrasing the philosophical concept of the instrumental reason, we could state that the granting system constitutes something like the sponsored reason, which entails the very serious power relations reservoir, which we should not neglect about the NGOs in Central Europe (Grzymski and Kassner 2010). That is why the granting system is not politically irrelevant and should be an object of the critical scrutiny. The main peril for the civil society’s ideal posed by the granting system concerns not only too convoluted reporting procedures or temporary adjustment of the NGOs’ aims to the current requirements of the granters. Undoubtedly, by outlining the very basic area of conceivable activity of the NGOs, it limits to a significant degree their potential forms of activity and even their results. The granting subjects like foundations; the EU bodies – through their demands, requirements and procedures – are in fact interpreting the political reality by pinpointing the general objectives they want to sponsor. What is more, the granters also determine to the high degree the area of the conceivable results of the NGOs’ activities, which in turn narrows down the directions of their activities and makes the grantees dependant on the political preferences of the granters. Above all, it exerts the influence on the way of thinking of the NGOs’ activities about the issues they need to deal with. At the same time, the results of NGOs activities seem to be more and more problematic. NGOs in Central Europe are confronted with the complex evaluation procedures. To meet the granters expectations, NGOs must somehow produce the results. Therefore, we can read in the final project’s reports produced by NGOs about flourishing civil society and intense grass-root activities, which they allegedly animate. It seems to be problematic when we compare this with the development on the ground or even with the accounts of activists themselves who are full of grievances about people’s social apathy. The granting schemes and procedures seem to obscure the actual quality of the civility in Central Europe. But within the granting system, the concept of civil society must fit into the granting applications. As a result, the NGOs are making the pretense of animating the grass-root life, but also, the granters are making the pretense of animating the civil society. The tendency to focus on the tangible results of NGOs – seminars, workshops, conferences – makes the final reports of the NGOs actions very impressive, but one might ask if this is not to some degree reproduction of the sponsored reason? Instead of the genuine agency of the civil initiatives, the NGOs seem to be a figurehead, since it is questionable what kind of real influence do they exert on the social and political reality, even though some NGOs became the part of the official political establishment and presented an impressive dexterity in granting hunting.

Civil society as a jargon  313

Claims for people’s voice However, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, many stronger Central European NGOs became also the part of the policymaking process in their countries and in the European Union aiming at serving as a professional people’s voice, which was supposed to compensate for what was widely believed to be a democracy deficit in contemporary European and local politics (Bebbington 2008; Mendelson and Glenn 2002). With the self-representation of NGOs activists as professionally trained managers in different sectors of modern life and due to the rising sense of alienation held by the political elites and their imperative to deal in some ways with the social perception of politics as a detached from people and being only the elite concerned, the NGOs became very useful non-state actors for many governmental or the EU bodies. The NGOs’ civic reputation served as a good form of alibi for politicians or state and the EU officials that they are ‘listening to people’s voices’. By getting involved, the NGOs as legitimate actors in the policy processes through some forms of social dialogue or local, national or European-wide consultations, civil society organizations (only limited to NGOs) started politically legitimating the EU or local governments as more democratic. However, the actual role of NGOs in the compensation of democracy deficit seems to be more problematic than it might look from the perspective of contemporary politics or activists themselves, mainly because it is highly uncertain to what degree the NGOs as the civic organizations are representing the grassroots and genuine social interests or whether they are reproducing the interests imposed by the granters, including the EU or some of the Western donors. Paradoxically, this pretense of being the professional people’s voice is accompanied by a mounting ubiquitous disappointment among civil society activists – both among the former dissidents themselves and staunchly following their newly born professional descendants. Their grievances mostly concern the lack of the grassroots willingness for self-organization of people and the widespread disillusionment about the activists’ agency and a profound sense of dependence on the granting system. Moreover, in Central Europe, there is a lack of systematic, everyday charity habits among people (as an exception in Poland would serve some of the Church’s charities or occasionally issue-based, one-day charity, like Wielka Orkiestra). As a result, most of the discussion about civil society is focused now on the social apathy, the lack of money and the weak agency of the NGOs. Many activists publicly complain that their voice is not always seriously taken into account by the politicians and by the society, which is – according to them – a clear indicator that “democracy does not function properly” (Nowicka 2010). There is a tacit presupposition in such mode of thinking that democracy could work much better only if the activists are going to be listened to by the state, the EU, the media and that “the society would dare to act” in public sphere (Nowicka 2010, p. 12). In the recent 25 years, there has been also an eruption of the scholarly interest in the area of social activity, which was, however, mostly focused on the institutional and the legal problems of NGOs, often taking the quantitive perspective of

314  Jan Grzymski measuring the success or the failure of the civil society in terms of increasing or decreasing numbers of NGOs. Many research studies on civil society also take for granted the ideological aims of NGOs, which ultimately blurs the distinction between the normative and critical/analytical dimension of their research as they mostly deal with the ways the NGOs could overcome the ‘social’ obstacles to achieve even more ‘empowerment of people’, and they are looking for causes for why society does not want to follow their initiatives. One of the reasons for this is that many sociologists in Central Europe were also animators of the civil society in the early 1990s themselves, so they seem to be ideologically attached to the concept of civil society. So, it comes as no surprise that at the very heart of the Central European version of this concept, there is a deeply sociological assumption that there is and should be something like society in their imagined version, that is, the civil society. That is why so many NGOs activists in Central Europe (still) believe that if they apply adequate (Western) institutions, procedures, mechanisms to the society, then they can produce adequate (local) social bonds, competences, and attitudes. This phenomenon coincided with the publication of some influential sociological books like Putman’s famous Making Democracy Work. Putman was advocating the assumption that institutions can build some necessary cultural and political habits. This is the way followed by many advocates of the civil society in Central Europe, and they even incorporated the term working democracy into their language (Iłowiecka-Tańska, 2011: 89). Let us not forget that due to the NGOs activities more people was supposed to vote, actively participate in the public life, trust each other and cooperate. And at least in Central Europe, this has not taken a place yet.

Conclusion: civil society as jargon In the last 25 years, the Western concept of civil society has been widely reduced to the NGOs in Central Europe, and we have been discussing here this particular way of its implementation in Central Europe. However, it needs to be underlined that there is a wide variety of organizations, and it should not obscure the heterogeneity of the NGOs, for instance, regarding whether they are member-owned, professionally staffed, allied to political parties, decentralized or fragmented. We should avoid the impression of a single organizational type that somehow represents these various organizations. But at the same time, this should also not neglect the fact that civic activity can (and should) also take different forms than NGOs. That is one of the reasons why perhaps we need to use different lenses to look for the civil society. To do so, based on this aforementioned short overview of Central European experience in implementing the very particular concept of the civil society, we needed to expose in this chapter the causes of the failure of the current project. It addressed the issues concerning the implications of such application of the civil society concept in Central Europe after 1989, which are often omitted in many studies concerning the Central European transition. Among many NGOs activists, or in the circles of the former dissidents in Central Europe, there is a sense of the constant crisis of the civil society – not enough

Civil society as a jargon  315 money, not enough engagement in self-organization, and not enough organizations. They do not think that the civil society has been successfully anchored in the social tissue. Of course, many activists are officially full of hopes and undoubted good intentions. Even if they do not publicly concede this, they are more and more aware that on the ground the real state of social activity differs from the dreams and expectations of the political and intellectual elites, as well as the NGOs activists themselves. Twenty-five years after the breakthrough, we are at the point where one could perhaps argue that this is the crisis of this particular concept of the civil society with NGOs as its salient element. But, it might also be the crisis of language when we talk about the civil society. It is very striking that practitioners, researchers, politicians, and journalists seem to speak different kinds of language about the concept of the civil society. It became a buzzword with mostly the positive connotations and was being treated as a desirable attitude of the people. But it seems like when we speak of civil society different social actors might think about distinct visions of subjectivity, the pattern of daily conduct or the community life. So, what if the civil society is not where it is supposed to be? Maybe we should not think or speak about the civil society as we would know what and where it is. What if we suppose that we do not know it? Therefore, it might be a crisis of the current epistemological perspective and its ideological basis. The way of thinking about the concept of civil society is torn between the sense of mission of many civic activists, often still stemming from the remnants of the dissidents’ dreams and the schematism of bureaucratic jargon enforced by the granting system. It is also accompanied by the constant sense of the civil society crisis. I do not intend to deprive NGOs activists of their dreams, ideas or mission, but I  suggest we should start thinking about the area of civic activity not as a form of engineering society and producing expected civic attitudes. In the current NGOs’ version of civil society in Central Europe, there is very little room for the genuine grass-root initiatives. The institutional framework of NGOs, reinforced by the granting system, introduces a top-down model of activity, which resembles social engineering. Many examples show that it is the initiative of the activists, their dreams and visions, which are disciplined by the granting system. It entails an irritating teaching pose in which many activists say: ‘we must teach society democracy, civility’. It is a kind of civilizational mission that, in the end, stumbles across the ‘stubborn’ social reality. That is another reason for the widespread disappointment among NGOs’ practitioners. Considering the common social indifference regarding civic and political issues, we need to ask seriously whether the missions of the NGOs are only imagined by the activists or do they have some more grounded basis? The main problem with the concept of civil society in Central Europe is the attitude of the NGOs activists and civil society researchers towards the people they work for and study. They expect certain social bonds, competencies, and attitudes from society, communities, and people treating them as universal attributes of the modern, liberal democratic life and not as particular cultural practices. It seems like, in the triumphalistic period of the transition to democracy, the advocates of the civil society firstly incorporated and imported the concept from the

316  Jan Grzymski outside and then assessed to what degree the social reality meets the criteria of this particular version of civil society. Instead, we need to have an opposite, more anthropological approach; we first observe what the social practices on the ground are and only then we come up with the concepts. One could say that the famous Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville is the acute anthropological book, rather than the set of universal methods of the self-organization of the society and community. Of course, we cannot transmit everywhere the cultural experience of particular social and national groups into another cultural background. As a result, in Central Europe, the concept of civil society became a watchword, which is reiterated on many occasions by the numerous NGOs activists. But this only cements the current schematism and helplessness of civil society advocates and in the meantime, the concept itself became the part of the jargon.

References Bebbington, A., Hickey, S. and Mitlin, D. C. (2008) Can NGOs Make a Difference? The Challenge of Development Alternatives. London and New York: ZED Books. Bodnar, A. and Kucharczyk, J. (2010) “Romantycznie i rozważnie: Organizacje pozarządowe: Polemika z Graff”, Gazeta Wyborcza, 18 January. Carothers, T. (1998) Aiding Democracy Abroad: The Learning Curve. Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Geremek, B. (1994) “Społeczeństwo obywatelskie i współczesność”, in Michalski, K. (ed.) Europa i społeczeństwo obywatelskie. Kraków: Wydawnictwo ZNAK. Graff, A. (2010) “ Urzędasy bez serc, bez ducha”, Gazeta Wyborcza, 6 January. Grzymski, J. and Kassner, M. (2010) “ Społeczeństwo obywatelskie jako żargon”, Gazeta Wyborcza, 18 March. Iłowiecka-Tańska, I. (2011) Liderzy Trzeciego Sektora. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego. Jacobsson, K. and Saxonberg, S. (eds.) (2013) Beyond NGO-Ization: The Development of Social Movements in Central and Eastern Europe. Farnham: Ashgate. Leś, E. (1994) Organizacje obywatelskie w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej. Warszawa: Civicus. Mendelson, S. E. and Glenn, J. K. (2002) The Power and Limits of NGOs: A Critical Look at Building Democracy in Eastern Europe and Euroasia. New York: Columbia University Press. Nowicka, W. (2010) “NGOsy od wewnątrz: Społeczeństwo nie chce się organizować”, Gazeta Wyborcza, 12 January. Power, M. (1999) The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sending, O. J. and Neumann, I. B. (2006) “Governance to Governmentality: Analyzing NGOs, States, and Power”, International Studies Quarterly, vol. 50, no. 3. Szacki, J. (1997) Ani książę, ani kupiec: obywatel. Idea społeczeństwa obywatelskiego w myśli współczesnej, Kraków. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo ZNAK, Fundacja im. Stefana Batorego. Wedel, J. (1998) Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe 1989–1998. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Part VIII

Participatory democracy

37 Participatory democracy in Hungary Out of practice due to lack of interest László Komáromi Residents collaborate in prioritizing public spending and allocating the municipal budget; lay volunteers discuss and deliberate local public affairs with the assistance of experts and present their suggestions to decision makers; and a group of ordinary citizens consult with a panel of specialists in order to assess the social implications of new technologies and to influence the direction of technical development – these few examples of participatory budgeting, citizens’ jury, and consensus conference  – are manifestations of the idea of participatory democracy and emerged in different places of the globe during the last three decades of the 20th century. Nowadays the idea has spread throughout the world, and various procedures and techniques have applied it in practice. The primary objective of the movement is to enhance the participation of people concerned with decisions that relate to the public. According to adherents of this ideal, participation does not only embody a value per se; it may also contribute to increasing the quality of public deliberation, to improve the skills of citizens in dealing with matters of public interest and to make appropriate political decisions with greater legitimacy (Pataki 2007: 145–155; Schmidt 2008: 236–238). The claim for civil participation is also reflected in a growing international normative framework: soft and hard regulations, recommendations and treaties strive to involve people in local, and national and supranational decisions. The first examples are mostly related to environmental matters. Both the Council of Europe and the United Nations addressed the question already at the turn of the 1970s and 1980s (Council of Europe 1979 and 1981, United Nations 1982). In the late nineties, the Aarhus Convention was signed (UNECE 1998), which guarantees people’s access to information, public participation and access to justice in decision-making processes that concern their environment. In recent times, international regulations seem to exceed this thematically limited field. In 2009, the European Union’s Treaty of Lisbon included Title II in the Treaty on European Union that not only lays down certain general democratic principles but also more concretely enables one million EU citizens to invite the European Commission to pass appropriate legal acts on particular issues that fall within its power (European Citizens’ Initiative). Still in the same year, the Council of Europe’s Conference of INGOs adopted the Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the DecisionMaking Process that offers a general framework (principles, levels, tools, and

320  László Komáromi mechanisms) for civil participation in all areas of public administration (Council of Europe 2009). It is easy to recognize the quite positive image of the human being concealed behind the idea of participatory democracy. It is based on the citizen who shows interest in matters of the public, is ready to collect information on current political, economic and social issues, to share it with others and to spend time on taking the initiative and conducting joint actions. Current development of Western societies undoubtedly provides a breeding ground for this attitude: the growing level of education, the easily accessible information through electronic and social media, the mobility and welfare of society reduce the costs of participation and encourage citizens to be involved in decisions of public concern (cf. Jung 1999: 109–110). How is this concept reflected and practiced in post-communist societies of Central Europe? The constitutions of the Visegrad countries enshrine various traditional political rights that enable popular participation. Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia provide detailed regulations on referendums, moreover in Poland and Slovakia, national referendums are mandatory on certain issues (Poland: amendments about some chapters of the constitution; Slovakia: the entering into or the withdrawal from international alliances). A certain number of citizens can force a referendum in Hungary and Slovakia (popular referendum initiatives launched by at least 200,000 and 350,000 voters, respectively) while in Poland only authorities can order referendums “from above” at their discretion even if the initiative came from the people. In Slovakia and Poland, however, citizens are entitled to place certain issues on the agenda of the legislation (100,000 signatures are required in both countries). Local (territorial) referendums are mentioned both by the Basic Law of Hungary and the constitutions of Slovakia and Poland. The right to have access to data of public interest – a precondition for exercising participatory rights in a reasonable way – is explicitly guaranteed by Hungarian, Slovak and Polish constitutional regulation. In these three countries, citizens also have the right to submit petitions, proposals and complaints to state organs and bodies of local (territorial) self-administration. All V4 constitutions open the door to the participation of lay assessors in judicial proceedings (detailed rules shall be laid down in special laws). In addition to these constitutional rights, each of the V4 countries has signed the Aarhus Convention, and they are all members both of the European Union and the Council of Europe. They, therefore, belong to communities that profess the importance of participatory democracy and have either adopted mandatory rules on the implementation of this idea or, at least, urge their members to establish appropriate measures, techniques, and procedures in order to put it into effect. If we take a closer look at the regulation of participatory instruments in Hungary, an even more detailed picture is revealed. In addition to the right to launch popular referendum initiatives, citizens must also be given the opportunity to voice their opinion in national law-making processes. According to the Act on Public Participation in Developing Legislation (Act CXXXI of 2010) draft laws, governmental and ministerial decrees, their regulatory concept and explanation

Participatory democracy in Hungary  321 shall mandatorily be submitted to public consultation if the drafts are elaborated by the executive body. The main form of these consultations is “general consultation” which means that the draft shall be published on a governmental website in due time, and it is open to the public for comments and remarks. Subsequently, the competent minister is obliged to prepare a typified summary on the reactions, to take them into consideration and to provide explanations if comments are rejected. The minister shall, however, not respond every comment individually. Consultations can also be conducted in the form of “direct consultation”. In this case, the minister consults strategic partners: organizations that represent a broad range of social interests in a certain field and are ready to collaborate and have previously concluded an agreement on their cooperation with the authority. Many forms of participatory democracy are, however, related to local affairs. Local referendums can be called “from above” by the local body of representatives but also forced “from below” by a number (falling between ten and twenty-five percent) of local inhabitants. In addition to referendums, local self-governments may also hold public hearings on various issues that concern their residents. According to the Act on Hungary’s Local Self-Governments (Act CLXXXIX of 2011) these consultative forums shall take place yearly at least once in order to enable local inhabitants and civil organizations to ask questions directly from the body of representatives and present suggestions on local common affairs which shall be answered immediately on the spot or within 15 days at the latest. The local body of representatives may also conduct village meetings (which are obligatory if local inhabitants launch a popular initiative for the formation of a new commune), communal and municipal policy forums (typically for the discussion of long-term political plans of the commune), and it can involve outside members (e.g., leaders of civil organizations, local business federations and public utility service providers) in the work of its committees (Kiss 2012). Special regulation pertains to environmental issues. The Act on General Rules of Environmental Protection (Act LIII of 1995) lays down as a principle that information regarding the state of the environment shall be considered information of public interest and that everyone is entitled to access such data. Environmental organizations are granted the status of a client in administrative proceedings related to environmental issues. Such organizations are also authorized to take part in country planning, to collaborate in the preparation of regional development plans, environmental protection programs and to sue persons and institutions that burden the environment. Pursuant to Governmental Decree Nr. 314/2005. (XII. 25.) on the Procedure for Environmental Impact Assessment and Uniform Environmental Use Permit, in procedures for the grant of permits for the operation of facilities carrying out activities that are dangerous to the environment, the competent authority has to inform the concerned public on the opening of the proceeding and the characteristics of the planned facility. Everyone has the right to provide written remarks on the plan, and the competent authority is also obliged to hold a public hearing for inhabitants concerned. Their remarks shall be examined and evaluated in an in-depth manner; the official reasoning of the decision shall also touch upon these considerations.

322  László Komáromi One could easily come to the conclusion that practices of participatory democracy have a firm legal ground in Hungary. Notwithstanding, the proper functioning of participatory instruments is often limited by restrictive amendments and interpretations. In the case of the popular referendum initiative, for example, which was introduced in 1989, an amendment of 1997 doubled the number of signatures required to launch the process. Although the same amendment enacted an approval quorum of 25% instead of the turnout quorum of 50%, the latter was reintroduced by the Basic Law of Hungary in 2012. In addition to this, the scope of issues that are prohibited for the referendum was significantly extended step by step. Since 2012, constitutional matters may not be subject to referendum at all; not even the Parliament itself can submit constitutional amendments to the vote. It is now extremely difficult to put through popular referendum initiatives; authorities reject most of them by referring to provisions that prohibit popular votes on certain issues. Other examples can be mentioned from the field of environmental protection. The extent of the rule that grants environmental organizations the status of a client in administrative procedures was notably narrowed down in the interpretation of authorities. Act LIII of 2006 empowers the government to accelerate and facilitate the implementation of investment projects that are of particular significance to the national economy by adopting special procedural regulations that depart from general rules. This practically implies the reduction of the possibilities of popular participation in decision-making processes (Fülöp 2012: 137–139). The number of projects declared to be of “special significance” has grown to several hundred in the last years. Furthermore, critics often say that authorities hesitate or refuse to make data of public interest available, and the scope of such information is repeatedly limited in regulation and interpretation, and draft regulations that are mandatorily subject to previous public consultation are only published on Friday evening with a deadline for submitting comments on Monday morning (cf. Boda 2008: 165). Also, the practice became fashionable for the government not to introduce draft laws but to have this carried out by members of parliament to avoid mandatory public consultation. Nevertheless, the limited use of participatory instruments can not only be explained by restrictive regulations and the negative attitude of authorities. The demand is poor on the other side as well. A number of surveys attest the weakness of the Hungarian civil society. The paucity of citizens’ participation in civil organizations is striking compared to the EU average (Laki and Szabó 2005: 36–41). The destructive policies of communist regimes are often referred to as one of the reasons for this because it strove to eliminate civil activism or restricted it to a completely apolitical sphere. Accordingly, society got used to avoiding any entanglement in political matters, grassroots movements disappeared, and individual paths for the promotion of interests became predominant (cf. Pogonyi 2013: 24; Simon 2013: 44–45). Parallel to this progress, the citizens’ alienation from the political community and their growing mistrust towards state institutions became more and more obvious. As regards the level of “institutional trust” (trust in political institutions) Hungarian people are placed in the last tenth on the scale of European countries (Tóth 2009: 19). If the lack of trust towards authorities exceeds

Participatory democracy in Hungary  323 a certain degree, this holds back citizens from being involved in civil actions instead of motivating them to make their voice heard in matters of common interest, since they do not believe that their efforts will have an effect on political decisions. Nearly two-thirds of the people polled are in this respect “skeptic”, the huge majority of them is either totally uninterested or practically passive (Jávor and Beke 2013: 65–67, 75). The absence of interest in political participation is also a result of poverty. According to a survey of 2012, nearly one-quarter of the population is unable to properly pay its household expenses, 45% cannot afford to eat meat every second day, 77% of Hungarians could not go on holiday for a week in the last three years due to financial reasons, and 81% of them would not be able to cover unexpected major expenditures (Gábos, Szivós and Tátrai 2013: 47). As long as people need to exploit themselves in order to reach an acceptable standard of living, they will neither actively collaborate in social organizations nor give them a considerable financial support (Laki and Szabó 2005: 29). In fact, the middle class that could promote civil activism and enliven participatory democracy is missing in Hungary. Moreover, Hungarians are famous for being dissatisfied with their situation. Pursuant to the World Happiness Report of 2013, Hungary takes the 110 place on the list and falls far behind other V4 countries (Czech Republic 39, Slovakia 46, Poland 51 – cf. Helliwell, Layard and Sachs 2013: 22–24). Nearly three-quarters of Hungarians think that the economic situation of most people in the country is worse than it was under communism, while only 35% of Polish, 39% of Czech and 48% of Slovak people share the same view. Hungarians are clearly disappointed in democracy: 49% of them think that a strong leader can solve the problems of the country more effectively, and only 42% expect this from the democratic government (the same alternative is inversely assessed in other V4 countries: Czech Republic 15 to 81%, Slovakia 12 to 81%, Poland 35 to 56%  – Pew Research Center 2009: 5, 26). Not without reason, these data may also feed the fear that if once people would take the reins of power in their hands, it could endanger the whole establishment. Participatory instruments could easily become expressions of economic deprivation and political disappointment. Therefore, it is still questionable whether the idea of participatory democracy can escape from being out of practice because of social apathy and also avoid to be used in a destructive manner.

References Boda, Zs. (2008) “A  Civil szervezetek a közösségi döntéshozatalban: participáció és kormányzás” [Civil Organizations in Public Decision-Making: Participation and Governance], in Bódi, F. (ed.) A területfejlesztés útjai az Európai Unióban [The Ways of Regional Development in the EU]. Budapest: Politikai Tudományok Intézete, pp. 159–168. Council of Europe. (1979) Recommendation 854 (1979) of the Parliamentary Assembly on Access by the Public to Government Records and Freedom of Information, adopted in Strasbourg, France, on 1 February.

324  László Komáromi Council of Europe. (1981) Recommendation No. R (81) 18 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States Concerning Participation at Municipal Level, adopted in Strasbourg, France, on 6 November. Council of Europe. (2009) Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the DecisionMaking Process, adopted by the Conference of INGOs at its meeting on 1 October. Fülöp, S. (2012) “Társadalmi részvétel  – A  jövő nemzedékek országgyűlési biztosa irodájának tapasztalatai” [Social Participation  – The Experiences of the Bureau of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations], in Pánovics, A. and Glied, V. (eds.) Cselekedj lokálisan! Társadalmi részvétel környezeti ügyekben [Act Locally! Social Participation in Environmental Issues]. Pécs: PTE ÁJK, IDResearch Kft., Publikon, pp. 137–151. Gábos, A., Szivós, P. and Tátrai, A. (2013) “Szegénység és társadalmi kirekesztettség Magyarországon, 2000–2012” [Poverty and Social Exclusion in Hungary, 2000–2012], in Szivós, P. and Tóth, I.Gy. (eds.) Egyenlőtlenség és polarizálódás a magyar társadalomban. Tárki monitor jelentések 2012 [Inequality and Polarization in Hungarian Society: Tárki Monitoring Reports 2012]. Budapest: Tárki, pp. 37–60. Helliwell, J., Layard, R. and Sachs, J. (eds.) (2013) World Happiness Report 2013. New York: Sustainalbe Development Solutions Network. Jávor, B. and Beke, Zs. (2013) “Résztvevők és apatikusak: Adalékok a társadalmi részvétel helyzetéhez Magyarországon” [Participants and Apathetics. Data on the Situation of Social Participation in Hungary], Politikatudományi Szemle, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 59–89. Jung, O. (1999) “Siegeszug direktdemokratischer Institutionen als Ergänzung des repräsentativen Systems? Erfahrungen der 90er Jahre”, in Arnim, H. H. von (ed.) Demokratie vor neuen Herausforderungen. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 103–137. Kiss, M. D. (2012) A közmeghallgatás helyi önkormányzati intézménye [The Institution of Public Hearings in Local Self-Governments]. PhD Thesis, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law. Laki, L. and Szabó, A. (2005) “Részvétel és aktivitás az “önkéntes” szervezetek életében” [Participation and Activity in the Life of “Voluntary” Organizations], in Füstös, L., P. Táll, É., and Szabados, T. (eds.) Európai társadalmi regiszter 2002: Európai Társadalmak Összehasonlító Vizsgálata [European Social Register 2002: Comparative Study of European Societies], vol. 3. Budapest: MTA PTI, MTA SzKI, pp. 25–42. Pataki, Gy. (2007) “Bölcs ‘laikusok’: Társadalmi részvételi technikák a demokrácia szolgálatában” [Wise ‘Non-Professionals’. Techniques of Social Participation in the Service of Democracy], Civil Szemle, vol. 4, no. 3–4, pp. 144–156. Pew Research Center. (2009) Two Decades After the Wall’s Fall: End of Communism Cheered But Now With More Reservations, [Online] http://pewglobal.org/files/pdf/267. pdf, Available 18 July 2014. Pogonyi, Sz. (2013) “Postcommunist Deficits of Trust”, Visegrad Insight, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 24–25. Schmidt, M. G. (2008) Demokratietheorien: Eine Einführung. 4th ed. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften and GWV Fachverlage GmbH. Simon, J. (2013) “Alávetett társadalom vagy polgári társadalom? Miért gyengék a demokratikus politikai kultúra pillérei Magyarországon?” [Subordinated Society or Civic Society? Why Are the Pillars of Democratic Political Culture Weak in Hungary?], Polgári Szemle, vol. 9, no. 1–2, pp. 40–70. Tóth, I. Gy. (2009) Bizalomhiány, normazavarok, igazságtalanságérzet és parternalizmus a magyar társadalom értékszerkezetében [Lack of Trust, Norm Confusions, Sense of Injustice and Paternalism in the Value Structure of Hungarian Society]. Budapest: Tárki.

Participatory democracy in Hungary  325 UNECE. (1998) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in DecisionMaking and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, adopted in Aarhus, Denmark, on 25 June. United Nations. (1982) Resolution 37/7 of the General Assembly of the United Nations (A/ RES/37/7, World Charter for Nature), adopted on 28 October.

38 Understanding and political use of participation in Polish urban politics Marta Sienkiewicz

Introduction An intellectual trend for the introduction of participatory mechanisms in governance has in recent years become a widespread phenomenon among Polish non-profit activists and more progressive political representatives. Although manifestations of the idea of active involvement in public issues have been present, in less institutionalised forms, throughout the decades, I want to focus specifically on recent developments in urban politics. The choice is not coincidental, as most of the enthusiasm and lobbying for participatory solutions stems from city activists. Their constant work since the mid-2000s first touched upon the issues of privatisation and managerial governance of the cities and later focused on sustainability and new visions of development and peaked in 2011 with the first Congress of Urban Movements.1 The year 2011 was a turning point since which participation – at least as a slogan – has reached municipal offices and entered a complicated game of political struggles. Participatory democracy is often synonymous with urban democracy, as its roots in Poland reflect some extent Henri Lefebvre’s (1996) key concept of the right to the city. It partly frames the understanding of participation, which also gains new connotations along with its practical application in politics and following distortions, reinterpretations and functions in Polish public debate.

Narratives Various perspectives on public discourse frame participation as a means of assuring ‘shared power’ between the public and the authorities, but this term is insufficient to understand fully what participation entails. There are several narratives which underline different aspects of participatory democracy, associated sets of values and expectations depending on ideological preconceptions, and goals that can be achieved through the application of the ideal in practical political action. The most radical in common perception and at the same time advocating for the embodiment of the widest egalitarian ideal of democracy is the leftist emancipatory understanding of participatory democracy. It should not be associated with left-wing mainstream national parties, but rather with academic circles and

Participation in Polish urban politics  327 NGOs – often very locally bounded – representing communities marginalised the in the mainstream (neo)liberal discourse. The examples can be tenant committees, radical democracy associations, groups such as Miasto jest Nasze (The City is Ours) or Polska Społeczna (Social Poland, with its most active branch Social Warsaw). Rooted in traditions of contestating the dominant power hierarchy, these perspectives emphasise the emancipatory and equalising potential of participation and argue that sensible use of participatory mechanisms can be a tool for combatting social exclusion. They attach a reformative touch to the overall systemic status quo, aspire to alleviate current inequality of access to political decisionmaking (and thus inequality in a wider sense) and aim for more egalitarianism in power relations. Participation in this understanding builds a foundation of a completely new democratic order, challenging not only impenetrable ruling political class, but also capitalism and (neo)liberal tale of urban development. The basis for such a view is the criticism of two features from which contemporary representative democracy suffers: conservatism and paternalism. Here participation, contrary to bureaucratic and technocratic managerial governance, is the essential guarantor of pluralism and autonomy of the people and enables the political empowerment of very diverse groups. In the most radical accounts, it should not be incorporated into the current system on reformative grounds, if it were to be a cosmetic change of slight dysfunctions in a working machine. For radicals, even direct democracy is oppressive and only fully deliberative measures would be satisfactory in the longer perspective. Such a line of argumentation is used by opponents of systemic changes towards participation to discredit the notion on the grounds of being revolutionary and utopian. This slightly revolutionary notion should not be, however, interpreted in the light of right-wing calls for more inclusion and change in the power structure. While left-wing movements advocate for renewed, more just social order, the right-wing understanding of equal share in power is, in my view, perceived rather regarding more access for currently excluded at the expense of anybody else who is weaker. On the other extreme of the ‘radical-wary continuum’ lies the mainstream, middle class and dominant interpretation of participation. The inclusion of participatory mechanisms in administrative processes is perceived as an evolutionary phenomenon  – along with the socioeconomic achievements of posttransformational society comes the increased need for involvement into public sphere’s decision-making and communal activities. It does not entail massive interest in public affairs, as individualistic trends flourish in Polish society. Nonetheless even the pressure of the few are rising, forcing urban administrations to introduce progressive new methods of civic participation. Such a perspective is embraced by the governing officials and city councillors and spreads from most progressive to average locations in the country as a new governing trend. This overview of participation does not set as ambitious a goal as the leftist perspective – the willingness to cure inequalities through participation is not a stake in the process. It ‘merely’ allows the citizens to get involved and have their needs and opinions expressed. Nonetheless any systemic innovations occur

328  Marta Sienkiewicz within the existing sociopolitical order. The basis of this understanding of participation among the citizens is often related to the idea of financial control, especially considering the popularity of participatory budgeting in the recent months. Since local governments administer the tax revenues, citizens intend to have more influence on their spending and investment plans. Such an argument is rooted in the civic expertise discourse, claiming that even the elected representatives do not have enough practical insight into the needs of the population, which results in their incompetence and ineffectiveness. Therefore, these are rather pragmatic than ideological justifications of participatory mechanisms. To some extent, participation is seen here as a remedy for low sense of trust in public institutions, which is widespread and rising phenomenon2 in post-soviet Poland. What is worth noting, however, is the divergence of the growing need for civic influence and belief in its realisation through the electoral representative system. Low turnout in local elections in all of the V4 countries (31–46% depending on the region) implies that people either do not want to engage in public affairs at all, even in their most immediate communities, or they have lost – possibly not yet regained after Soviet domination – any faith in political representation. Participation can, therefore, be understood as a remedy for the lack of insight of the authorities into the social needs and the shaky relationship between the public and its representatives. Such thinking is often embraced by non-governmental moderators of the participatory processes, such as ourselves in City DNA Programme of Res Publica. A good example of the ‘social expertise’ notion was the “Cracow against the Olympics” initiative, which undermined the necessity of spending large amounts of money on a sporting event. The third perspective offers a communitarian approach in which participation is a key component of the local government. The Polish term samorząd (self-rule or sovereign rule), which describes regional levels of power, clearly illustrates the fact that the whole urban community is the sovereign of the elected representatives. Although they are blessed with popular acceptance (theoretically, as the reality of low turnout undermines the certainty of such a statement) and are the executors of the will of the people, the sovereign retains the privilege of active involvement in the decision-making and processes of governance. This is further backed by the claim that democracy is not restricted to occasional votes, but in fact, its essence starts immediately afterwards and consists in constant communication between representatives and civic community. The former are vitally needed to smooth the actual administrative and executive processes, but their mandate requires that most decisions should be drawn from public deliberations. In the case of the urban context, such an innovation is more feasible than on the national scale, and this fact is used to strengthen the plea for implementing participatory mechanisms as a pragmatic argument in line with the ideological background of this perspective. A good example of such thinking would be ‘Porozumienie Ruchów Miejskich’ (Association of Urban Movements) a new cooperation of various urban environments which aims to start in the local elections in 2014 (although it is internally diverse, leaning partly towards the first notion).

Participation in Polish urban politics  329 The last understanding of participation that can be clearly distinguished is the educational approach, which frames participation as a tool for increasing practical knowledge of urban politics, functioning of public administration, and wider effective civic society education which will yield more reflective citizens in the future. Advocates for participation with such a goal in mind argue that such a ‘learning through action’ mode is a core component of the empowerment process that will occur with the evolution and development of participatory mechanisms. Along with strengthening of desirable civic attitudes, these mechanisms are also viewed as a chance to introduce more clarity, transparency and exchange of information between the officials and the public – such a narrative was coined by activists around urban participatory budgets. Meanwhile, there is a risk that should this approach prevail, the citizens might be degraded into the roles of tourists in the municipal offices rather than equal co-workers in public-private-civic coalitions. All the mentioned currents intertwine in some respects  – they are presented here as ideal types to underline distinctive features and variance between conceptual understandings of participation. Some groups mix the arguments as they are not always contradictory – especially the more pragmatic approach often needs a more abstract, intellectual base. With the diversity of narratives, there is no universally indispensable essence of participation which could in an objectively standard scheme representi comparable goals and scope of people’s involvement. Such a blurring results in a high risk of discretion in application and usage of participation in political discourse. At this moment, there are a few most popular strategies of incorporation of participation in political discourse, applied by numerous public actors.

Strategic use in political debate First and foremost, it is crucial to stress that the popularity of participation in Polish urban context – still a relatively unfamiliar phenomenon in the perception of ordinary people – has not been sparked by a top-down trend coming from ruling officials. The pressure and discontent of NGOs and activists, combined with already mentioned low trust in public institutions, forced the representatives to adopt a favourable attitude towards participative mechanisms. A call for more engagement with the public builds a more positive image of local authorities and increases popularity and possibly chances of re-election. At the same time, it does not undermine their dominant position – the extent to which communities are allowed to engage, as well as the goals of participation, are determined by the good will of ruling elites. A negative attitude is easily justified by the gravity of the discourse of representation, remaining the core of legitimacy and identity of public servants despite its crisis. City officials or councillors unwilling to adopt participatory measures play this card, which has much more power than the pleas for the sovereignty of the public. In effect, the role of participators is usually fully dependent on the will of the officials. They often refrain from supporting it, fearing incompetence of ordinary people who could allegedly easily

330  Marta Sienkiewicz turn participatory mechanisms into a wish list platform. Whether the propositions of the public are formally binding is also a question of good will and trust, which happen to be exploited through facade processes that do not yield any constructive results, apart from political capital, and do not widen the field of democracy. Even though the precise, indispensable features which define a process as participatory are – as demonstrated – not unified or regulated, the key component is the interaction of various interest civic groups or individuals with the public administration to collectively work out new solutions – even when it is simply a step in a wider political change, as for the proponents of the radical approach. This idea is sometimes twisted when public involvement is arranged to justify unpopular decisions, such as choosing which of the institutions to close down or where to find cutbacks in city budgets. Marcus Miessen (2013) calls this phenomenon ‘the outsourcing of responsibility’, which clearly replaces any cooperation. It serves as a legitimiser of power but does not have any major effect on the quality of democratic procedures and blocks any real deliberation. Even the choice of questions to be decided remains in the hands of the authorities, which leads to a situation when participation is being preached as long as it serves the authorities. While the crisis of traditional democracy and legitimacy of the authorities is imminent, the city officials also present participation and its advocates as a threat to the customary order and the valid status quo established by the decision of the voters. In this superficial interpretation, they try to strengthen their position by creating a false enemy of revolutionary outlaws. Unfortunately the fact that the average public activity of ordinary citizens is still relatively low does not help in ruling out these false projections. The strategy aimed at discrediting participation advocates as being a threat to the legitimate rule of law succeeds quite easily in the perception of the public, especially if presented with Marxist allegations, discredited in the post-Soviet context. The pragmatic use of referendums in the urban political struggle has also been a frequent phenomenon in the last months and has sparked a debate about a potential reform of the mechanism. In the current term, 111 referendums on the issues of dismissal of the authorities were organised in 85 communes, only 16 of which were valid (Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland 2013). One of them was organised in Warsaw to recall the city mayor, Hanna GronkiewiczWaltz, and failed due to insufficient turnout. It provides an interesting analytical example of how this mechanism can be manipulated for a political cause, unrelated to particular urban issues or the common good. Initiated by social activists and local borough politicians (non-members of political parties) in the protest against the managerial style of governance and alleged overall incompetence, it quickly became detached from its original message and incorporated into mainstream politics. It is natural due to the symbolism of a capital city. Nonetheless other referendums, for example, the one organised in Elbląg (Northern Poland) which resulted in the dismissal of the mayor related to the ruling Civic Platform, were also reported and interpreted by mainstream media in the of scope of national politics. Major political parties were heavily involved in the Warsaw referendum campaign, using arguments completely unrelated to urban issues or any particular

Participation in Polish urban politics  331 local context. The lines of argumentation concerning referendums as such were inconsistent with previous standpoints expressed while a different balance of power dominated in the background. Participation was again either approved or discouraged, depending on the particular set of interests in a given situation. While this shift of focus from local to national issues is not surprising, the mechanism of the referendum is also criticised for being a plebiscite not adhering to the idea of cooperation and deliberation, which are associated with participatory democracy. The difference between direct and participatory democracy, usually dim in popular perception, is very vivid in this argument. The initial reasons for the dismissal of Gronkiewicz-Waltz, rooted in social problems and disagreement with ‘running the city like a company’,3 were not the core of the referendum debate; they were not properly critically addressed to develop alternative solutions. The mayor organised a public relations campaign communicating her successes and promised lucrative concep