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Ethnic Rift in the Context of Post-Communist Transformation: The Case of the Slovak Republic

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The article analyzes ethnic issues in the Slovak Republic by interpreting them in an enlarged framework of policy domains, as one dimension of problems that arise from an uncompleted political transformation. It argues that the uncertainty of language usage can be seen as resulting from a gap in the legal regulation on the usage of minority languages. Conflicts about the funding of minority culture can be interpreted as a deficit in institutionalizing autonomy of cultural activity. The controversy about the relevance of the Slovak language in Hungarian language schools can be traced back to difficulties of creating a post-authoritarian school system and education policy. The territorial redivision and autonomy question may be described as a problem of how to integrate a territorial into an administrative reform connected with differing opinions on the scope of decentralization. These arguments are detailed and buttressed by empirical evidence. Understanding ethnic issues as embedded in transformation problems is seen as a particular interpretation strategy that may support a rapprochement of perspectives.

Affiliations: 1: Research Group on European Affairs, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Germany


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