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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 6: The second post-war period: new borders, ethnic cleansing and the “double dimension” of the national question

Stefano Bianchini


The chapter begins with the militarily radical turning point marked by the Battle of Stalingrad. It reconstructs the agreements among the allies about the future peace settlements and the effects of the Soviet expansion toward Central Europe. Furthermore, the chapter discusses the highly controversial dynamics that characterized the nexus between the liberation from the Nazi-Fascist occupation and the Soviet second incorporations of the Baltic republics as well as the establishment of the Socialist Camp. Then, the reader is introduced to the painful post-World War II territorial settlements marked by the German partition, wide transfer of territories in the East, forced migrations and a new wave of ethnic cleansing. Special importance has been ascribed to the establishment of socialist federations, and particularly to the Yugoslav devolution, also in consideration of Tito’s attempt to create a Balkan federation before the Cold War imposed an apparent stabilization. The chapter’s narrative continues by juxtaposing the efforts for consolidating borders (as with the Ostpolitik and the Helsinki accords) with the turbulent events that affected the national relations between countries of the Socialist camp or within Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, despite the ideological legitimization of the “national roads to socialism”.

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