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Representing an Ethnic Community in a Communist State: Transylvanian Hungarian Intellectuals between Cohabitation and Resistance

[journal article]

Lönhárt, Tamás

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Abstract This study addresses the changing strategies of social inclusion, which the Hungarian elites in Romania pursued after WWII. The establishment of communist rule in Romania involved the members of the Hungarian ethnic minority in very different ways. As early as 1946, inner tensions and debates occurred inside this community, while groups from its elite organized manifestations of resistance against the new rulers. After 1947, the communist leadership of Romania dramatically changed its policies with regard to the ethnic Hungarians, and this caused a great disillusion to those who believed that the collective rights of minorities would be guaranteed in the new political framework. The events of 1956 reshaped the way the cultural elites of that ethnic group related to the communist regime. Later, the manifest nationalistic propaganda of late communism in Romania generated political dissent among the members of a new generation of Hungarian intellectuals. It is in that period that the post-1989 political strategies of this community originate. When the cultural elite of the Hungarian minority had to assume the role of building a representative political structure in the transition to democracy, its representatives continued to a great extent to act like in late communism.
Keywords intellectual; communism; minority; inclusion; political integration; protest; resistance; cultural identity; ethnicity; transition; elite; Transylvania; Romania
Classification General History; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords cohabitation; collaboration; samizdat
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 55-77
Journal Annals of the University of Bucharest / Political science series, 16 (2014) 2
ISSN 1582-2486
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works