Assessing the democracy-building process in interwar East Central Europe and the causes of its failure is not an easy task. Indeed, a high level of complexity marked developments across just twenty years. The reconstruction of the key policies, challenges, events, and trends in the region has been the main focus of the chapters of the present book. The authors approached the topic either by analyzing the situation in their respective countries or by stressing transnational and cross-cutting interactions. In so doing, they have persistently highlighted the variety of nuances and interpretations that are still debated by scholars, in the media, and in political arenas. Thus, in the lines that follow this afterward tries to capture some long-lasting regional dynamics (with their far-reaching consequences), which characterized the East Central European painful, and limited, process of democratization in the interwar years. In particular, the roots of the great disorder of East Central Europe at the beginning of the 1920s will be analyzed, focusing on the prosecution of military operations until 1923, the impact of the Bolshevik revolution, the role of insurgent irredentism, and the mutually, persistent, contested borders. Furthermore, the afterword discusses the role of the agrarian parties, the reasons that facilitated the imposition of authoritarian régimes, and the devastating effect of the Czechoslovak partition of 1938-1939 on the minority perceptions and minority policies. In conclusion, the afterword assesses to what extent the failure of the democracy-building in this region was the unavoidable outcome of the political blindness of leaders, which implemented – in one form or another – exclusive rather than inclusive policies, looking at the past, rather than investing in the future.

Afterword

Stefano Bianchini
2020

Abstract

Assessing the democracy-building process in interwar East Central Europe and the causes of its failure is not an easy task. Indeed, a high level of complexity marked developments across just twenty years. The reconstruction of the key policies, challenges, events, and trends in the region has been the main focus of the chapters of the present book. The authors approached the topic either by analyzing the situation in their respective countries or by stressing transnational and cross-cutting interactions. In so doing, they have persistently highlighted the variety of nuances and interpretations that are still debated by scholars, in the media, and in political arenas. Thus, in the lines that follow this afterward tries to capture some long-lasting regional dynamics (with their far-reaching consequences), which characterized the East Central European painful, and limited, process of democratization in the interwar years. In particular, the roots of the great disorder of East Central Europe at the beginning of the 1920s will be analyzed, focusing on the prosecution of military operations until 1923, the impact of the Bolshevik revolution, the role of insurgent irredentism, and the mutually, persistent, contested borders. Furthermore, the afterword discusses the role of the agrarian parties, the reasons that facilitated the imposition of authoritarian régimes, and the devastating effect of the Czechoslovak partition of 1938-1939 on the minority perceptions and minority policies. In conclusion, the afterword assesses to what extent the failure of the democracy-building in this region was the unavoidable outcome of the political blindness of leaders, which implemented – in one form or another – exclusive rather than inclusive policies, looking at the past, rather than investing in the future.
Interwar East-Central Europe, 1918-1941. The Failure of Democracy-Building, the Fate of Minorities.
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Stefano Bianchini
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/761722
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