Minorities, Diasporas and the Subversives: Transterritorial Control over the Slovene Emigrants during the Interwar Period

Basic Info


The aim of the research is to analyse the issue of the extraterritorial control over the emigrants from borderlands of Slovene ethnic territory and the responses on it. Both states of the emigrants’ origin as well as their putative homelands advanced jurisdictional claims over them. The former controlled them because of their citizenship, the latter, however, exercised surveillance due to their ethnocultural characteristics. The research will try to link the extraterritorial control with the emigrant transnational activism and with the arrangement of ethnic relations in the place of emigrants’ origin. It will also attempt to place the problem in the Central European framework. The issues which concerned the Central European area could be observed on the Slovene territory, namely the shift of the state borders, the problem of ethnic minorities and sharpening of ethnic relations linked to it.

The surveillance over the communities of emigrants from the Julian March and Prekmurje will be analyzed more in detail. The research will deal with control that was carried out in the countries in which the emigrants founded their most numerous settlements. Therefore, it will tackle the control over the Julian March’s emigrants in Argentina and Yugoslavia and over the emigrants from Prekmurje in the USA and Argentina.

Diasporic engagement in form of denouncing the fascist repression over the Julian March’s minorities was characteristic for the emigrants from this region. Consequently, the Italian control consisted of subduing these type of activities together with the authorities of the host states. Argentina and Yugoslavia were willing to help Italy in silencing the aspirations of these communities. The Yugoslav control over the Julian March’s emigrants repressed those who opposed the Yugoslav regime (most strikingly during the king’s Alexander dictatorship). On the other hand, Yugoslavia strove to form a loyal diaspora which would be imbued with the Yugoslav ideology. The research will analyze the suppressive aspect of the Yugoslav control in comparison with the Italian one over the Julian March’s communities in Argentina. Furthermore, the research will study the issue of shaping the diaspora at the intersection of Yugoslav aspirations and emigrant autonomous transnational activism.

The emigrants from Prekmurje found themselves at the crossroads of Yugoslav and Hungarian diplomatic aspirations. Yugoslavia aimed at convincing the emigrants that the annexation of the region was just. In contrast, Hungary underlined the unfairness of the Trianon treaty and aimed at affirming the emigrants in their Vend identity. According to Hungarian politics, Vends were completely different from Slovenes. The research will contrast the endeavours of diplomacies with the activities of emigrants. Furthermore, it will aim to find out how the emigrants reacted on them and how they perceived their identity.