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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 15: How partitions affect the nature of democracy in Europe today

Stefano Bianchini


This chapter provides rich insights into the complex relations between partition desires and democracy. It discusses the role of referendums and the contrasting views of governments on the subject, from the United Kingdom to Russia. Moreover, it discusses the expectations of nationalist leaders to achieve ethnic unification under the EU umbrella, against the hopes of the EU founding fathers, or even outside the EU, by changing borders (and raising alarm in the neighboring countries). All these aspects are visible in the current developments of intra-European relations. They are also mixed with the concerns of far-right parties, uneducated people, and all those who fear the national identities might be threatened by Schengen mobility, Erasmus and the common currency. Their views, ethno-nationalist in substance, are in contrast with the radical societal changes under way and the increasing diversities of society, which demands new forms of representation and, accordingly, a more effective content of democracy. In addition, the chapter includes comments on the role of multiculturalism or, better, the “plural monoculturalism” that was installed into the migrants’ organization. The impact on democracy of recent migration flows and terrorist attacks is also discussed.

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