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In this thesis, I seek to answer one of the central questions in Bram Stoker’s Dracula: who is entitled to hold hegemony in Europe, and more importantly, based on what claim? The novel treats race as the primary decisive factor in answering this question, but also links race to policies of language, national identity, and civilizational progress. The novel approaches this question through a normative English subjectivity, such as that of Jonathan Harker’s travel narrative, which juxtaposes English modernity and rationalism to the, supposedly, racially decadent Transylvanian locals. On the other hand, the novel presents Dracula as a cruel, authoritarian leader constructing an ideology of Székely (Sekler) racial purity based on militaristic achievements and an ancient Hunnic origin. The novel argues that these ideas are morally reprehensible, hence it deems these ideas a despicable, dangerous monster. Ultimately the novel is ideologically confused: it both positions the Dutch and America as potential leaders of a future of indefinite Western hegemony, and, strangely, appreciates some aspects of Dracula and his Transylvanian home. The first chapter deals with Harker’s travel narrative and the English’s claim to power based on modernity, while the second chapter analyzes its counter text, Dracula’s lecture on Transylvanian history, a rhetorical speech promoting the racial status of his Hun-Székely background. Lastly, the third chapter elaborates on the novel’s indecisiveness to the hegemony question and how its treatment of Dracula with both fear and fascination reflects tendencies in nineteenth-century Anglo-Irish Gothic literature.

Keywords: Dracula, Stoker, Transylvania, Székely, race, hegemony, language, national identity, modernity

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The Soviet Union was not part of the international sports circuit during the Interwar period. After the Bolshevik October Revolution, the newly formed communist state focused on developing its own political structures, which also affected sports in the Soviet Union. After the Second World War, the policy of isolation was given up and the Soviet sports management targeted the Olympic Games as a platform to demonstrate the superiority of the communist system by planning to win the Olympic medal tally. The Soviets considered fencing a class-hostile, ‘bourgeois sport’ and did not promote it among civilians during the Interwar period. This radically changed as soon as the Soviet political and sports leadership decided to participate in the Helsinki Olympic Summer Games of 1952. The 21 medals that the Olympic fencing competition had to offer became interesting for the medal ranking. Against the backdrop of the Cold War, knowledge and experience in fencing became highly relevant for the USSR. The geopolitical relations had changed after the Second World War; now, the Soviet Union was ruling over Central and Eastern Europe, and Hungary became one of its satellites. Hungary had a long fencing tradition and dominated international and Olympic fencing competitions, especially in saber, during the Interwar period. By the end of 1951, a delegation of Hungarian elite fencers and coaches was brought to Moscow to prepare Soviet fencers for the 1952 Olympic Games. Based on this exchange and its follow-up sessions in the first half of the 1950s, the success of the Soviet fencing team progressed quickly, and in the course of the 1960s, the Soviets took over the Hungarian hegemony in the Olympic discipline of fencing.

Keywords: Hungary, Soviet Union, fencing, Hungarian elite fencers, 1951 Moscow joint Soviet-Hungarian training camp, Olympic Game

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This paper examines the emergence of sport as a tool of the European Union’s (EU) soft power, due to its popularity and cost-effectiveness. Public diplomacy is gaining momentum and is increasingly used by state and non-state actors as means to influence the behaviour of others. The EU is developing its sport policy, laying the foundations for what could become a formal sport diplomacy strategy in the future. Using a qualitative methodology combining content analysis, case studies and interviews, this paper studies the benefits of an EU sport diplomacy strategy and the form it should take. It argues that for the EU to gain a comparative advantage over other state and non-state actors, it should adopt a hybrid sport diplomacy strategy that is based on soft and smart power and reflects its norms, values, and unique structure. Key actions it should consider are collaborating with international (sport) organisations and developing grassroots projects. This thesis also provides recommendations for a future EU sport diplomacy strategy.

Keywords: European Union, sport diplomacy, soft power, strategy, grassroot

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Full-fledged nations have had, and continue to have, the possibility to strengthen their national identity by participating in international sports competitions, such as the Olympic Games, and can use positive results in the international sports arena for national self-assertion. Globalization has opened up even more possibilities for nations to participate in international competitions. Ethnic and national minorities, classified as ethnies in the sense of Smith (see references), are excluded from these possibilities. Athletes and teams of ethnic and national minorities can only participate in international competitions if they join the sports ranks of the majority nation. However, another strategy is observed among ethnic and national minorities in order to make use of sports as a tool of soft power to strengthen internal cohesion and to team up with international sports organizations, like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). It turns out that among ethnic and national minorities, unique sports are to be found that form a substantial attribute of their identities. In this paper, this sports strategy of ethnies will be illustrated with two case studies, namely autochthonous sports that have originated from the Basque minorities in Spain and France and the Frisian minority in the Netherlands.

Keywords: sports, ethnic and national minorities, ethnie, Basque sports, Frisian sports, soft power, globalization

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In this article, we analyze the health condition of minority Hungarians in Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, and Ukraine using data from a transnational survey conducted in 2018-2019. The study’s main focus is on assessing the subjective health status and behavior of adult Hungarians in each region, identifying key social determinants, and investigating whether minority Hungarians’ health indicators are more similar to their respective countries or Hungary. Proxies for physical health, such as chronic illnesses, medication use, and hospitalizations, show marginal variations across regions. Age, financial status, living in rural areas, and living alone after marriage are linked to the onset of chronic diseases. Physical activity and healthy eating habits vary among regions, influenced by age, education, and marital status. Smoking rates range from 25% to 33%, with gender and age playing significant roles. Alcohol consumption patterns are affected by gender, education, income, and urban residence. In terms of mental health, we utilized the PHQ-8 depression scale, and have observed a higher prevalence of depression among minority Hungarians compared to their host countries and Hungary. Relationships and social interactions play vital roles in mental health outcomes. The subjective assessment of health reveals variations among regions, with social factors such as age, gender, education, and living arrangements influencing self-perceived health.

Keywords: self-perceived health, socioeconomic status, health disparities, minority Hungarians, comparative research

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