Of Dominions and Successor States: The western afterlives of Austria-Hungary
The post-imperial transitions in the central and eastern European space are part of a wider moment of transitions across the globe. This paper connects two seemingly different contexts, that of Britain and East/Central Europe. Unlike the Habsburg empire, Britain retained and strengthened its imperial power. However, it underwent a process of transformation marked by the emergence of self-governing “dominions”. The paper has two aims. First, it analyses the parallels between the imperial transformations in east/central Europe and the British empire in the early 1920s with an emphasis on the parallels between “dominions” and “successor states”. Second, by focusing on personal correspondence, memoranda and published surveys it examines how British commentators and political actors understood and conceptualised the transformations in the Habsburg imperial space and what lessons did these events teach them for the problems of imperial unity and cohesion faced by the British empire.