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Moravian Political Parties: The story of almost forgotten regionalist attempt in the Czech Republic

September 14, 2015

Author: Vít Hlousek, Masaryk University, Czech Republic

 

ABSTRACT

The paper deals with history and political impact of „Moravist“ or Moravian political representation. The movement that started already during the 1968/1969 period to rise claims of Moravian political autonomy or “home rule” and that was transformed after 1989 into the full-fledged political party to compete for chairs in Czech diet and Czechoslovak federal parliament presents an interesting example of failed attempt in regional and later on even ethnic mobilization in the history of recent Czech politics. The paper will focus on development of the Movement for Autonomous Democracy – Society for Moravia and Silesia and the parties and movements that followed after the disintegration of the movement in mid-1990s. Second aim of the paper is to analyse and evaluate strategies employed by Moravian regionalist parties in regard to valorisation the issue of regional minority claims. Original appeal of the Movement for Autonomous Democracy was based on claims for territorial autonomy lost during the communist period. Later on, together with marginalization of political relevance of Moravian parties and politicians (loss of parliamentary relevance after 1996), clear trend towards radicalization could be observed. The new generation of Moravian activists reframed actually the minority claims from territorial / regionalist context to the language of oppressed national minority distinctive from and suppressed by the Czech majority. This “invention” of separate Moravian “nationality” was by far the most original, though unsuccessful, attempt how to mobilize along the cleavages of ethnic politics in the Czech Lands after 1989.

 

Download the full paper: Hlousek Zagreb 2015 paper Moravia2