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Leslie Waters: Borders on the Move: Territorial Change and Ethnic Cleansing in the Hungarian-Slovak Borderlands, 1938–1948
Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 11:00


Borders on the Move explores the ways in which border and regime changes affected societies at the local level in the Hungarian-Slovak borderlands in the World War II era. Examining the effects of redrawing the Czechoslovak-Hungarian border in 1938 and 1945, it shows how borderland residents lived transnational lives due to the multiple changes of sovereignty they experienced in the mid-twentieth century, including navigating multiple sets of national laws, bureaucracies, state languages, economic policies, and standards of political and national loyalty. From the perspective of state power, these territorial transformations prompted ethnic cleansing and wealth redistribution campaigns in order to consolidate control of the disputed territory. These actions transformed the borderland into a zone of exception, where rule of law was not always applied, and where regimes tested strategies of surveillance and violence before implementing them more widely.


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