Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation




Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Department of Political Science


John Hulsey

John Scherpereel

Maura Hametz


What factors must a stateless nation possess in order to gain political autonomy? This question is explored through the perspective of Carpatho-Rusyns, an East Slavic stateless nation with a largely unknown, yet rich and distinct, history and culture. Throughout modern history, the Rusyns have made three significant attempts to gain political autonomy and become a semi-independent entity. I argue that stateless nations that possess high levels of the elements of political opportunity structure, cultural maintenance, and economic functioning are more likely to succeed in their efforts to gain political autonomy than those stateless nations who do not. Each of these factors interact with each other to produce a level of success or failure during the autonomy movement. I begin by providing a historical background of Carpatho-Rusyns. I then examine the concepts of state and nation, diaspora relations, and autonomy. I follow with an examination of each of the three periods in which Rusyns made a significant attempt to gain political autonomy and analyze their level of success through their levels of political opportunity structure, forms of cultural maintenance, and economic functioning. Each of these periods have a different level of success or failure depending on the value of each factor and their subfactors.



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