Regional cleavages in Romania. Perceptions of development, regional identities and regional movements

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Conduction period: January 2019 –

Short presentation of the research

The national policy of Hungary is interested in strengthening ethnical and national identity of Hungarian minority communities in the Carpathian Basin and in developing an institutional structure (Hungarian citizenship, ethnic parties participating in local public life, etc.) serving this goal. Hungarian elites in Transylvania are determined to maintain ethnic parallelism and the so called “Hungarian Minority Society”. These strategies influence several social fields from integration strategies to education policy, or electoral behavior.

Therefore, the identity structure of ethnic groups in Romania seems more monolithic then it is. For example, regional differences and cleavages are covered up, although in certain situations they could have political mobilization capacities and could even section majority or minority nation-building and boundary-construction strategies.

The goal of the research is the professional and objective analysis of regional cleavages. This is extremely actual, since in the past decade several political decisions and events occurred (regional-political association of mayors, centenary festivities, the Resist movement etc.) which could amplify regionalizing claims in Romanian, or at least could lead to reflexive approach to national identity.

Research design

In our opinion, the topic is complex and can be studied through the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods:

  • Qualitative research focusing on the study of regional movements and their perception – semi-structured interviews with political leaders and members of regional movements in Banat and Transylvania
  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis concerning regional identities and stereotypes, development perceptions – focus-group discussions concentrated in five localities and quantitative research based on questionnaires representative to both the Romanian and Hungarian population in Romania.
  • Discourse analysis on the relationship between regional identities and stereotypes, perceptions of development and democracy

The research is a joint collaboration of the Bálványos Insitute and the Szekler Institute for Public Policies (Székelyföldi Közpolitikai Intézet) in Sfântu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyörgy).

Publications, presentations and press releases on this topic

Publications:

  • Kiss Tamás, Csata István şi Toró Tibor: Regional barometer 2019. Development idealism, regional identities, perception of corruption, concept of democracy and anti Hungariana in Romania. Cluj – Sf. Gheorghe, Szekler Institute for Public Policies – Bálványos Institute, 2020

Presentations:

  • Tusványos 2019: Regional identities, development hierarchies and perception of corruption in Romania (Kiss Tamás, Toró Tibor, Székely István Gergő)

Press releases:

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