James W. Peterson
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Jacek Lubecki
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Empires and peripheries
Security and defense realities of East-Central Europe
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Chapter 2 examines pre-communist histories of Visegrád countries in search of historical sources of their strategic cultures. Central to the chapter’s inquiry is the fact that all four countries in the modern/early modern age were conquered and peripheralized by larger imperial entities. Hungary and Czech lands (Bohemia) were subjected to Habsburg rule; Poland was partitioned by Russia, Prussia and the Habsburg empire; and Slovak lands were doubly peripheralized within the framework of the Hungarian Kingdom and as a part of the Habsburg empire. However, each of the entities in question had a different past prior to imperial subjugations, each experienced the subjugation differently, and each emerged in 1918 as sovereign entities with distinctive memories of the past and under different structural conditions. Still, all of the countries in question succumbed to Nazi and Soviet imperialism during the Second World War, albeit the subjugation came in different forms and under different circumstances.

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Defense policies of East-Central European countries after 1989

Creating stability in a time of uncertainty


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