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History DerailedCentral and Eastern Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century$
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Ivan Berend

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520232990

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520232990.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

The Political System

The Political System

Democratization versus Authoritarian Nationalism

(p.235) Chapter 6 The Political System
History Derailed

Ivan T. Berend

University of California Press

This chapter illustrates that arising out of the region's legacy of autocratic regimes, authoritarian systems became the rule in Central and Eastern Europe. Fundamental nationalism penetrated politics and became the leitmotiv of foreign policy. Central and Eastern Europe became a hotbed of hostile, fundamental nationalism. Ottoman rule in the Balkans remained autocratic right to the end: notwithstanding efforts to recentralize the empire and transform its superstructure, it remained essentially unchanged, and the decline became unstoppable. Authoritarian power, fundamental, violent nationalism, and the expansion of the nation-state at the expense of its neighbors characterized the politics of the Balkans. Autocratic Russian rule had a strong impact on Central and Eastern Europe. Nationalism was a leading concept even for Polish socialism. Nationalism was the triumphant political mainstream that legitimized authoritarian regimes. The workers' struggle for political rights and better working conditions established them as an important political force.

Keywords:   authoritarian systems, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, fundamental nationalism, Ottoman rule, Balkans, Russian rule, Polish socialism, democratization

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