Between Realpolitik and Idealism: The Slovak-Polish Border, 1918-1947

Between Realpolitik and Idealism: The Slovak-Polish Border, 1918-1947

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Title: Between Realpolitik and Idealism: The Slovak-Polish Border, 1918-1947
Author: Jesenský, Marcel
Abstract: My doctoral dissertation examines the delimitation of the Slovak - Polish border in the interwar period and the impact of the cession of the parts of the Slovak districts in Orava and Spiš to Poland on the relations between Czecho-Slovakia and Poland, Czechoslovakia and Poland, and Slovakia and Poland. The Tešín question dominated the border delimitation and the relations and the Orava and Spiš questions and the delimitation of the Slovak - Polish border received much less scholarly attention. While acknowledging the complexity of the issue under consideration, this work attempts to make small contribution towards filling existing gap in historiography. The majority of research work occurred at the diplomatic archives in Prague, Paris and Warsaw (Archives of the Foreign Ministry, Archives diplomatiques and Archiwum Akt Nowych). Some primary research also took place in Bratislava, Warsaw, Washington and Ottawa. This work seeks to interpret primary sources in an innovative way which demonstrates influence exerted by the Orava and Spiš questions on the relations between Czecho-Slovakia and Poland, Czechoslovakia and Poland, Slovakia and Poland, Slovaks and Poles, Slovaks and Czechs, and Czechs and Poles. Effectiveness of the Orava and Spiš questions to carve out their own constituencies and to communicate the message of their populations were limited or enhanced by contemporary configuration of international and internal factors. The Orava and Spiš border delimitations in the Slovak-Polish border and their consequences for the Slovak-Czech-Polish relations, remain largely neglected by the scholars in the English and French historiographies. The Orava and Spiš border delimitations play an important role in understanding of Slovak-Polish-Czech relations and international relations in the interwar and post World War II periods. The questions posed by examining the Orava and Spiš border delimitations are as relevant in Schengen Europe as they were almost a century ago.
Date: 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/22796
Supervisor: Keshen, Jeffrey
Faculty: arts
Degree: PhD

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