Rozpad państw wielonarodowych w Europie Środkowej i Wschodniej w latach dziewięćdziesiątych XX wieku. Przyczyny i skutki

Jan Rychlík


In Central and Eastern Europe all multinational states – Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union – failed, because they had no strong unifying idea and their citizens of different nationalities had no common identity unifying them with the state rather than with their nation. After the World War I Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire disintegrated for the same reason. The successor states of Austria-Hungary declared themselves as the nation-states, but in fact they were only smaller copies of deceased Austria-Hungary. They were multinational states based mainly on the language proximity of the particular nations (Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in Yugoslavia, Czechs and Slovaks in Czechoslovakia) and in addition, they had also strong national minorities. It became soon clear that the language proximity is not enough to form the new common identity which would bridge the people of different nationality in the new succession states. The succession states lasted only for roughly two decades. It is true that Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia became victims of the Nazi German aggression, but it is highly likely that in the longer period they would disintegrate anyway. After the war both Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were restored. According to the Soviet example, Yugoslavia chose the federative model which Czechoslovakia adopted in 1968, too. However, the federation based on national principles proved to be unstable. The limits of federation became soon too narrow for the smaller nations in the federations. After the fall of Communist dictatorship in these countries at the end of 1989, there was no power and no idea to keep these multinational states. The idea of democracy could not span different nations within one state if there was no other spanning idea and common identity. This was the reason why Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia defi nitively disintegrated in the nineties. However, the process of disintegration of multinational states should not be seen as something negative per se because throughout history the states come and go. More important than maintaining existing states are the relations between the new successor states.

Słowa kluczowe: Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Soviet Union, disintegration