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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 7: Post-Cold War conflicting principles: post-Socialist sovereignty, ethnic states and territorial integrity

Stefano Bianchini


The chapter focuses on the processes that led to the reshaping of the European maps with the unification of Germany and the partition of the three Socialist federations. The impact of the German unification on the ethno-national projects nurtured in Europe has been described particularly in relation to the South-East European collapse, the Moldavian and the Caucasus partitions between 1991 and 1992. The conflicts that followed and the EU attempts to regulate the borders’ stability, as well as the respect of minority rights, are described together with the gradual strategy of the EU enlargement and the US/ NATO intervention in the Balkans, despite the growing frustrations recorded in Russia. The narrative continues by discussing other examples of partitions, including Cyprus, Georgia and ultimately Ukraine, while new aspirations for independence are marking the political life of some Western countries, especially Spain, Belgium and the United Kingdom, with unprecedented multilevel potential partitions that may affect the EU, following the example of “Brexit”.

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