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Notes on Central Europe from Sociological Perspective

Author(s): Jiří Musil

Journal: Central European Journal of Public Policy
ISSN 1802-4866

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 8;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Central Europe | social and structural analysis | historical sociology | structural features of Central Europe | development of Central Europe

The following article is an attempt to establish whether the Central Europe of the 20th century is indeed a specific, internally homogenous socio-cultural macro-region. Two mutually complementary approaches were used. One is an analysis of the measure of homogeneity of countries referred to as central Europe by means of selected structural features in two periods of the 20th century. The other is a measurement of the level of interaction among individual Central European countries in three periods during the 20th century. The other analysis, dealing with the intensity of interactions, was limited to the investigation of trends of mutual trade exchange. Central Europe was represented in these analyses by the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and Poland. The results of both approaches applied indicate that in terms of certain structural features, Central Europe has always been a relatively homogenous and specific European macro-region. However, the level of this structural homogeneity has changed according to historical, especially political, conditions. This historical variability was validated also by partial analysis of the interaction. Central Europe continues to exist as a unique and rather loosely structured macro-region of Europe. Although this not a significant bearing, numerous surveys show it is not negligible, either. The region obviously achieved the highest level of homogeneity and intaraction in the latter half of the 19th century and the 1910s.

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