Revolution, modus vivendi or sovereignty? The political Thought of the Slovak national movement from 1861 to 1914

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Revolution, modus vivendi or sovereignty? The political Thought of the Slovak national movement from 1861 to 1914

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About the book


This study, the first of its kind in English, presents an overview of Slovak intellectual history in the 19th century, including the debates surrounding the memorandum of 1861, the political stagnation of the 1880s, characterized by an increasingly Russophile orientation, and, finally, Czechoslovakism as the way to common independence with the Czechs. The selected portraits of six intellectuals and politicians should be seen as a prism through which Slovak intellectual history appears in its various facets. The narodovci (the pioneers of national awakening) tried to strengthen the Slovak nation in its attempts to secure the autonomy of its language and culture, and prevent assimilation by the Hungarians – which was a political issue. Some took part in the 1848 revolution, pursuing the goal of an autonomous Slovak district within the Habsburg Empire, while others opted for a modus vivendi with the ruling Hungarians. A third possibility was sovereignty, a common independent state with the Czechs. An introductory chapter deals with the political problem of assimilation and group rights in 19th-century Slovakia. The analytical chapters focus on the intellectual discourse of the time, specifically on the influence of Western political ideas such as liberalism, constitutionalism, cultural rights and nationalism. A further focus is on Slavic political ideas, such as the Slavic Renaissance, Slavic mutuality and Panslavism. The volume is addressed to students of history, politics and political theory, and offers a unique insight into the political past of a young EU state, whose recent language laws have drawn repeated international criticism. The author hopes that her analysis will help improve understanding of current Slovak politics.
The author

About the author

Josette Baer, PD Ph.D., is a lecturer in political theory, with a focus on Slavic intellectual history, at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. She is the author of Slavic Thinkers, Preparing Liberty in Central Europe and Politik als praktizierte Sittlichkeit and has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, such as Democratisation, East European Thought and Swiss Political Science Review.

The author of the foreword, PhDr Dusan Kovac DrSc, is a historian at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia, and the author of numerous studies on Slovak history and historiography.


„[…] Baer’s Revolution, Modus Vivendi or Sovereignty? is essential to an understanding
of the Slovak nation’s long and difficult struggle, especially in the twentieth century,
for national identity, sovereignty, democracy, and orientation toward the west rather than
toward Russia. Based primarily on the extensive writings of Slovak theorists themselves as
well as on what others had to say about them, her work provides the truest possible picture
of what influential nineteenth-century Slovak nationalist thinkers had to say about, and
what they did for, the making of the modern Slovak nation.” (Slavic Review, 4/2011)

„Die auf slawische Geistesgeschichte spezialisierte Politikwissenschaftlerin Baer hat Pionierarbeit geleistet, als sie die Lebensgeschichten von sechs Vordenkern eines slowakischen Nationalismus im 19. und in den Anfängen des 20. Jahrhunderts für ihr Buch eruierte. Als erste ausländische Forscherin hat sie akribisch Material zu diesem Thema direkt in slowakischen Archiven gesichtet. Revolution, Modus Vivendi or Sovereignty ist von Gewinn sowohl für den, der eine geschlossene Darstellung der von Baer behandelten Epoche sucht, als auch für den, der etwas zu einzelnen Biographien nachschlagen will.“ (Osteuropa, 1/2012)

“[…] Baer makes a unique contribution by opening up, especially to the anglophone audience, the social and political philosophy of a significant part of Europe, based on meticulous analyses of original Slovak texts.“ (Slavonic and East European Review, Oktober 2011)
Additional Information

Additional Information

Delivery time 2-3 Tage / 2-3 days
Author Josette Baer
Number of pages 250
Language English
Publication date Aug 24, 2010
Weight (kg) 0.3530
ISBN-13 9783838201467