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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 9: Multilevel partitions, globalization, and the metamorphosis of the nation-state

Stefano Bianchini


The chapter focuses on the post-Cold War scenarios, which are marked by globalization and peoples’ mobility that seem to affect European identities. A wave of neo-nationalism, although the programs of the neo-nationalist parties differ considerably from each other, is pressurizing either a “return to sovereignty” against the EU integration or independence for stateless nations. These demands actually suggest a “return” to the supremacy of ethnicity in nationhood and statehood, by rejecting any form of diversity, even if this is patently in contrast with the increasing diversification of the post-modern societies. This behavior, however, is widely shared in Europe by policy makers, diplomats, the media and part of the population, even though there is a liberal belief that the Western civic nationalism represents a powerful shield against the ethnic homogeneity and its authoritarian political culture.

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