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Liquid Nationalism and State Partitions in Europe

Stefano Bianchini

This timely book offers an in-depth exploration of state partitions and the history of nationalism in Europe from the Enlightenment onwards. Stefano Bianchini compares traditional national democratic development to the growing transnational demands of representation with a focus on transnational mobility and empathy versus national localism against the EU project. In an era of multilevel identity, global economic and asylum seeker crises, nationalism is becoming more liquid which in turn strengthens the attractiveness of ‘ethnic purity’ and partitions, affects state stability, and the nature of national democracy in Europe. The result may be exposure to the risk of new wars, rather than enhanced guarantees of peace.
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Chapter 4: The implications of the political debate between Lenin and Wilson: geopolitics and self-determination

Stefano Bianchini

Extract

This chapter examines the political and strategic competition that opposed Lenin and Wilson when both dealt with the idea of self-determination of peoples between 1917 and 1923. The chapter therefore describes their views about the rights of the peoples in Europe (including potential implications worldwide) and the most important differences in their approaches. In addition to focusing on their theoretical elaboration, the chapter describes the effects of their political programs in Russia, Central Europe and South-East Europe. This comparative approach offers the reader a unique narrative about events that, ultimately, remained out of the winners’ control and far from their original projects of territorial adjustments after WWI. In particular, the chapter describes the effects of the Russian civil war in Europe, the Polish–Soviet and Polish–Lithuanian wars, the establishment of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and, finally, the impact of the Greek–Turkish war.

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