Hungarian and Slovak national narratives with a focus on the shared boundary

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Balogh, Péter
Gyelnik, Teodor
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The use of national narratives plays a major role in putting into perspective and interpreting a group’s collective identity and self-perception. Hence, it profoundly influences and affects the relationship towards the ‘Other’ that is usually situated in a strictly separated position. Studying the national narratives of the two East Central European countries, Hungary and Slovakia, contributes to a better understanding of their relationship. Apart from historical narratives, this includes their interpretations of collective identities, and of borders and dividing lines between them. Our study is based on a content analysis of intellectual exchanges, as well as popular and pseudo-scientific narratives and beliefs. Our comparative analysis reveals the similarities and differences between national logics and identity-interpretation. We find that, on the bi-national level at least, the prevailing national narratives are often mutually exclusive and remain the source of tensions. While the latter were quickly overshadowed by the rise of a common enemy, the (Muslim) migrants last year, this is most likely a temporary development. Further, on the local level there are many examples of more inclusive narratives as well as signs of peaceful co-existence. Therefore, local narratives should inform and contribute to modify national narratives, which can in turn facilitate improved bilateral relations as well as successful cross-border interactions.
határmenti térség - Magyarország - Szlovákia , határok - magyar-szlovák , narratív identitás , nemzeti identitás
Bottlik Zs; Gyelník T; Ocskay Gy (szerk.) Changes in the representation of a borderscape: The case of the Mária Valéria bridge. Budapest: CESCI, 2017. pp. 61-83. (ISBN:978-615-00-0910-0)