Central European Border Settlements and Interwar Ireland: a Transnational Study of the North- Eastern Boundary Bureau and the Boundary Commission

  • Lili Zách
Keywords: Irish border, plebiscites, transnational history, Central Europe, Partition


In the aftermath of the Great War, the birth of new independent small states in East-Central Europe was closely followed in Irish nationalist circles due to the possibility of Partition in Ireland. Newspaper editorials, journal articles and diplomatic accounts illustrate that post-war Ireland had an open attitude toward the settlement of borders on the Continent as the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was similarly controversial. This paper aims to investigate how contemporary Irish commentators perceived the question of boundary settlements in Central Europe in order to provide an insight into the transformation of political space in both Ireland and Central Europe. After providing a brief background to the Irish boundary question, this paper touches upon the most important points in historiography with regard to border settlements in the post-World War I era.. It also discusses Irish Partition history in detail, concentrating on the North-Eastern Boundary Bureau (NEBB) and the Boundary Commission, and the importance of Central European precedents in their work. Moreover, this paper also proposes to provide an insight into the Irish interest in the minority problem in European borderland regions after 1925 in order to illustrate the outward-looking attitude to Irish nationalists, even in relation to borders and minorities.


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