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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 11: The peculiarities of the Czechoslovak partition

Stefano Bianchini

Extract

This short chapter describes the impact of ethno-nationalism in Czechoslovakia and its role in the history of the country from 1918. When communism collapsed, the still unsettled national relations between the two main components of the federation led the new leadership to consider state partition as more attractive. This belief stemmed from the radically different strategy in transitional policies that the two main parties in the Czech and Slovak republics aimed to carry out. The implementation of partition was pursued without consulting the population, even without exploring this option during the 1992 multiparty election campaign. In the end, partition took place peacefully, although without a referendum, which was considered by the parties involved to be a form of direct democracy, able to affect the importance of democratic representation.

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