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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 13: Between partitions and state failure: the ethnic key of polity in the experience of Bosnia-Herzegovina

Stefano Bianchini


This chapter explains in detail the implementation of the ethnic key of polity in the experience of post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina. Specific emphasis has been placed on the negative role played by the Western external players while influencing the state-building construction. Moreover, the chapter focuses on the failure of liberal ideas as they suggested an institutional ethnic division of the country, with the hope of avoiding further cultural, institutional and mental fragmentations. The lack of respect for minority rights, the high costs of the administration, and the persistent, conflictual relations among the ethno-national elites all contribute to depressing the popular expectations for a better future, while the institutions increasingly show their ineffectiveness and unpreparedness in adjusting to the EU rules for membership.

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