Fickle Nationalism: Slovakia’s Shifting Ethno-Linguistic Borders

  • Alexander Maxwell


The borders of ethno-linguistic identity have a geographic dimension: a linguistic community extends over a certain region on the globe. While changing state frontiers affect ethno-linguistic concepts, one might do well to distinguish the political ‘frontiers’ of a state or administrative unity from ethno-national or ethno-linguistic ‘borders’. Understanding the history of changing political frontiers requires a certain mastery of detail, since war and revolutions may create new lines on the map, erase others of long tradition, or transform administrative frontiers into those of an independent state. The history of ethno-linguistic borders, however, poses even greater difficulties: the study of ethno-linguistic borders delves into political imaginations both collective and individual.


Political Actor Slovak Republic Early Nineteenth Century Slavic Language Eastern Border 
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