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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 14: The crisis of the European project: a new political destiny for partitions?

Stefano Bianchini


The chapter first summarizes some key issues related to the enhanced ethno-national dimension of the European nation-states, unable to cope with the implications of the post-Cold War context and state stabilization, especially in contexts where minorities and diversities prevailed. Then, the narrative focuses on the role of the EU, its “golden age”, and the effectiveness of conditionality, which lasted for a decade. This was an important period because an alternative to the parochialism of the nation-state was envisaged and partially pursued to the benefit of democracy, citizens’ and minorities’ rights, peoples’ mobility, and cultural syncretism. Beginning in 2005, however, the EU crisis has deeply affected the attractiveness of the project, encouraging a renationalization of domestic and foreign policies, which have weakened the perspective of integration, while new partition demands have emerged not only in the Balkans, but also within EU member-states.

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