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The Forbidden Fruit of Federalism: Evidence from Romania and Slovakia


Bochsler, Daniel; Szöcsik, Edina (2013). The Forbidden Fruit of Federalism: Evidence from Romania and Slovakia. West European Politics, 36(2):426-447.

Abstract

Territorial autonomy is one aspect of power-sharing in multi-ethnic societies. Nevertheless, the multi-ethnic countries of Central and Eastern Europe are still among the most centralised in the European Union. This article analyses the failure of any attempts to establish (symmetric) federalism or (asymmetric) autonomy, creating self-governed regions by the Hungarian minorities in Romania and Slovakia. The analysis focuses on the positions of the main parties of the ethnic majorities and the Hungarian minority parties in the two countries. In both cases, the parties representing the Hungarian minorities have favoured territorial autonomy along ethnic lines, but this demand has been rejected by the parties of the ethnic majority. Against the historical legacy of unstable borders, the parties of the ethnic majority argue that territorial autonomy or federalisation might be a first step for a revisionist agenda and separatism. Instead, supported by the European integration, the parties have been able to agree on decentralisation as a half-hearted compromise.

Abstract

Territorial autonomy is one aspect of power-sharing in multi-ethnic societies. Nevertheless, the multi-ethnic countries of Central and Eastern Europe are still among the most centralised in the European Union. This article analyses the failure of any attempts to establish (symmetric) federalism or (asymmetric) autonomy, creating self-governed regions by the Hungarian minorities in Romania and Slovakia. The analysis focuses on the positions of the main parties of the ethnic majorities and the Hungarian minority parties in the two countries. In both cases, the parties representing the Hungarian minorities have favoured territorial autonomy along ethnic lines, but this demand has been rejected by the parties of the ethnic majority. Against the historical legacy of unstable borders, the parties of the ethnic majority argue that territorial autonomy or federalisation might be a first step for a revisionist agenda and separatism. Instead, supported by the European integration, the parties have been able to agree on decentralisation as a half-hearted compromise.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:March 2013
Deposited On:09 Jan 2014 10:00
Last Modified:16 Feb 2018 18:59
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0140-2382
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2013.749667
Official URL:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01402382.2013.749667#.Us0llMUlOkw
Related URLs:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/01402382.2013.749667

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