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Between StatesThe Transylvanian Question and the European Idea during World War II$
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Holly Case

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759861

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759861.001.0001

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The “Transylvanian Question” and European Statehood

The “Transylvanian Question” and European Statehood

Chapter:
(p.9) Chapter One The “Transylvanian Question” and European Statehood
Source:
Between States
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804759861.003.0002

This chapter outlines the various stages and components of the transformation of Transylvania from a place into a question, emphasizing how state leaders in Hungary and Romania came to see the region's ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity as both challenge and opportunity. It charts the emergence of new notions of statehood, showing how leaders in the two states—eager to flex their national independence—derived a national politics that was inherently transnational, fashioning foreign policy to achieve domestic political goals and vice versa. To advance national politics and achieve those goals, geographers, ethnographers, demographers, and politicians developed entire systems of thought that doubled as state propaganda. Overall, the analysis reveals how the interstate dynamic between Hungary and Romania ran much deeper than high diplomacy, saturating domestic politics, social science, cultural institutions, and ideas of statehood. More significantly, this dynamic also gave rise to a set of ideas about Europe, ideas that entailed intensive Great Power involvement in small-state affairs.

Keywords:   Transylvania, Hungary, Romania, statehood, state propaganda, Europe, small-state affairs

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