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- Hungary and Great Powers, 1918-2000
- CEUS-R 349/549
- László Borhi
Large powers like the United States have had many choices through history to shape their international environment accrding to their national interest. Small powers do not have many choices, in fact they are often forced to serve the national interests of foreign hegemons and their fate in the international arena is completely formed by other powers. The framework used for our analysis of Hungary`s, and in a broader context East Europe`s, place in European politics will be the concepts of continental stability and national self-determination.
Course will start with a discussion of the causes and consequences of the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I. The Treaty of Trianon will be analyzed as a case study of how new international regimes come into being. Further on, the course will discuss patterns of international behaviour in interwar Europe, balancing, alliance formation, Anglo-French, later German—Italian rivalry for mastery in Eastern Europe. Class will discuss the role of nationalism in impeding regional cooperation for security in the face of the German threat. From the late thirties the choices available for small states narrowed, and during the war, disappeared altogether. The second section of the class will focus on Hungary`s entrance into the war on the Axis side: whether this was avoidable or not in the given interantional and domestic environment; Hungary’s attempt in 1943-1944 to extricate itself from the war; the international context of the Hungarian Holocaust. We shall then proceed to discuss the Soviet takeover in Hungary in the context of the origin of the Cold War and the revolutionary-imperial paradigm; the international history of the Revolution of 1956 with special reference to the policy of roll back and liberation; Hungary`s gradual opening to the West from the middle of the 1960s and the relationship between pragmatism and ideology; the international context of the transition of 1989 and finally the search for security in the newly unified Europe in the 1990s. Concepts explored in the course will include: international politics, foreign policy, security, power, ideology, soft power, nationalism, imperialism, colonialism, alliance formation.