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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 5: Irredentism, Hitler and the “New European Order”

Stefano Bianchini


As a consequence of the conflicting events that marked WWI until 1923, this chapter focuses on the frustrations of the defeated countries and Italy, facing the peace settlements that ultimately prevailed. The Italian “invention” of “irredentism” and the intensification of demands for the peace treaties to be amended to the benefit of Hungary and Bulgaria spread uncertainties and tensions even before Hitler seized power in Germany in 1933. The chapter describes the limits of the nation-state peace arrangements between the two world wars, the nationalist rhetoric that grew Europe-wide under those circumstances, and the controversial approach to minority rights, particularly in Central Europe and the Balkans. The narrative then focuses on the ethno-national Nazi politics of partitions, its brutal implementation between 1938 and 1943 including the Holocaust, racism, ethnic cleansing, and mass deportations. The redesigning of the European map during WWII and the role of USSR before and after the Munich agreement are also illustrated in detail.

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