Federalism in Central and Eastern Europe

Federalism in Central and Eastern Europe

Federalism in Central and Eastern Europe

Federalism in Central and Eastern Europe

Excerpt

At the eve of the war, during the last stages of which this book is being published, Federalism became highly fashionable among all kind of blue-printers, those who believed in the capacity of constitutional forms to solve all the fundamental issues of social life, as well as those who were on the look-out for new descriptions for rather old-fashioned political concepts. The second group of ideologists had their hey-day during the first stage of the war, as was very natural in the conditions in which it was started. They may be left to the criticism of historical experience. But in order to controvert what I believed to be the delusions of more progressively-minded blue-printers, I wrote, in the first months of 1940, an analysis of the general problems as well as of the experiments made with federal constitutions in Central and Eastern Europe. Part of this work was embodied in the book Russia and Her Western Neighbours which I published, in 1942, conjointly with Prof. G. W. Keeton.

In the autumn of 1941, Prof. Keeton and Dr. Schwarzenberger suggested me to make a more thorough study of the problems of Federalism in Central and Eastern Europe. By that time, interest in the various types of blue-prints had receded into the background. Once the U.S.S.R. had entered the war and, thus, the complete defeat of the "New Order" was secured, the inadequacy of the post-1919 patterns that had dominated most discussions on war-aims during the first phase of this war became obvious, and the real problems of the post-War order began to dominate the scene. What I have tried to contribute to the study of these problems is an analysis of the problems of democratic devolution arising from variety in social and cultural outlook, and of the limits within which such variety might be integrated by federal organisation. For an Austrian who has devoted much interest to the problems of the U.S.S.R. it was only natural that the problem of the multi-national state should occupy a central place in this study. I have restricted the detailed analysis--as distinct from the general discussion--to those countries in the political life of which I have had the opportunity to participate, and with the political experience and literature of which I have some acquaintance. It is for this reason that no special chapter is devoted to the problems of Yugoslavia, although that country . . .

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