This book deals with one of the most important and misconstrued aspects of politics in Central Europe, namely the politics of ethnicity. It attempts to elucidate the issues involved and, most importantly, to counter stereotypical images of the region and the nature of inter-ethnic relations in the countries under consideration. In particular, in order to clarify these themes, the main part of the book focuses upon the nature of identity and inter-ethnic relations in the Central European region of Silesia. Although Silesia is terra incognita to most of the English-speaking world, it is an area that for centuries has been contested by German, Polish, Czech, Prussian, and Austrian elites, often with scarcely a thought as to the wishes of the inhabitants themselves. The author and contributors hope that after having read this volume, the reader will be better informed of both the region in general and Silesia in particular.

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