Edited By Judit Pál and Vlad Popovici
Interests and Strategies. An Investigation of the Political Elite of the Sub-Carpathian Region in the Age of Dualism (1867–1918)
Aim and methodology
As late as 1890, 84% of the population of Hungary were under the jurisdiction of counties; the county was the scene of their everyday activities and their social lives, with most Hungarians setting up their enterprises and weaving the networks of personal connections within the boundaries of their own counties, and the county also providing the various forums where enfranchised voters could express their political will and communicate their views. The present investigation focuses on the leaders of this local public life. We assume that a knowledge of the selection of the local political elite and of their interests offers the best way to study the interaction between politics on the national (“central”) and local (“particular”) levels.
We aim to build such knowledge by investigating the political elite of a well-defined, smaller region, comprising four counties in the north-east of the Hungarian Kingdom (Bereg, Ung, Ugocsa and Máramaros, now variously in Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania). The region’s varied ethnic and religious composition favours the study of coexistence between different nationalities and denominations, with special regard to the ability to enforce political interests, to the expression of views, to probable conflicts and to differing forms of behaviour. The local political elite can be defined primarily by their positions. At the county level, we regard Lord Lieutenants (főispán), county commissioners (alispán) and members of parliament as belonging to this group, while aware that the circle...
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