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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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Concluding remarks

Stefano Bianchini


The book emphasizes the growing tension between transnational, globalized and nomadic social actors and reluctant social strata who feel more comfortable living under exclusive and close societies. Under these circumstances, partition might be seen as a way to preserve the “solidification of soil and blood”, typical of the nation-state, although within new borders. Nevertheless, policies aiming to build new walls can be highly costly in economic and political terms. The implementation of such a policy, substantially epitomized by the fences against migrants and asylum seekers along the borders, and the suspension of the Schengen treaty in a number of EU member-states, clearly envisages a worrying collapse of one key value of the integration process. As a result, the nature of democracy is affected by the clashing dynamics of integration and disintegration, while the content of democracy is changing, with expanding demands for equality of treatments, and access to rights, including recognition of pluralities, and the development of syncretism. This is a really tense societal dynamic. The result may be exposure to the risk of new wars, rather than enhanced guarantees for peaceful perspectives.

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