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Back to Paper Details
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Redefining the Nation. Citizenship policies, classificatory struggles and discourses crosscutting the idea of national reunification in Hungary and Romania

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Citizenship
National Identity
Nationalism
Identity
Qualitative
Tamás Kiss
Babeş-Bolyai University
Tamás Kiss
Babeş-Bolyai University
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Abstract

My paper investigates the extra-territorial aspects of the Hungarian and the Romanian nation building. Both Hungary and Romania experienced border changes and have extended communities of co-ethnics in neighbouring countries. Both states tried to redefine the national community and to include in it transborder co-ethnics following 1989. The most important tool of redesigning the nation has been citizenship legislation, as both countries offer extra-territorial citizenship for ethnic kin. However political processes conducting to this end were quite different. In Hungary the official redefinition of the Hungarian national community was preceded by embittered classificatory struggles on the very nature of the Hungarian nation. In Romania kin-state activity and citizenship policy have been consensual issues. Our study focuses on internal debates respectively compares Hungarian and Romanian survey results on the attitudes towards kin-state policies. We also outline three powerful transnationally produced discursive frameworks, which could cross-cut the idea of national reunification. These frameworks are employed differently in the two countries.