Institutions and their representations of compatriotism: The case of diaspora politics of Slovakia and the Slovak diaspora in Romania

There are several reasons for which and the way in which a state engages its diaspora. Moreover these reasons and interests may change over time due to historical, political, social or economic conditions. The Slovak republic, as a relatively young nation state in central Europe, with almost a third of its population living abroad, has since its formation as an independent state in 1993 set different rules at legislative and institutional level to maintain and preserve the Slovak national identity as an external minority population.

My dissertation research examines an organisational field formed by diaspora institutions in Romania as a host country (or country of residence) and institutions dealing with Slovaks living abroad in Slovakia (country of origin), and their relations and interactions. I focus on the creation and spreading of representations of ‘compatriotism’ in terms of organisational strategy- making and agenda-setting which refers to the process of defining the mission and vision of an organisation, identifying a mandate of priorities and processes how goals will be achieved.

Through these representations, political and institutional representatives interpret the residents or citizens of other countries as the members of one cross-border nation and set different kinds of activities and relations to preserve it on political, media and public agendas.