Redescribing the Nation : Anti-Semitism as a tool of nation-building in the Hungarian Numerus Clausus debates, 1920-1928
Häkkinen, V. (2018). Redescribing the Nation : Anti-Semitism as a tool of nation-building in the Hungarian Numerus Clausus debates, 1920-1928. Journal of Language and Politics, 17(5), 655-675. https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.18011.hak
Published inJournal of Language and Politics
© John Benjamins
Boosting national spirit through projection of otherness is not a new phenomenon, at least in authoritarian regimes. Yet the role of anti-Semitism in the Numerus Clausus debates in the Hungarian parliament in 1920 and 1928 is worth deeper analysis, as it bore a peculiar role in the Hungarian interwar counterrevolutionary nation-building. The Numerus Clausus law of 1920 set ethnic quotas to university enrolment; the explicit argument for this was countering the Jewish ‘over-representation’ in Hungarian society. However, in 1928 the law was amended, abolishing (in principle) the said quotas; this time the arguments favoured national consolidation, where segregation was to be moderated. In both cases, the national elites construed and made use of nation-centred political rhetoric, but used it for differing ends in different times. This article shall analyse the debates of the Hungarian Parliament concerning the Numerus Clausus laws, especially from the viewpoints of nation-building and rhetoric of exclusion. ...
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Co.
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