Nationalism is pivotal to any understanding of contemporary politics, but our conception of it as a historical and contemporary phenomenon remains fragmentary and nebulous. In Nations, Identity, Power, George Schöpflin analyzes the contradictions inherent in our understanding of nationalism in order to fashion a new intellectual synthesis.
In particular he questions why nations in the West are able to live with the nation as the legitimate space for democratic institutions, whereas in the post-communist world, especially in Eastern Europe, ethnicity is preeminent. Schöpflin argues that the nation is simultaneously ethnic, civic and structured by the state. Hence the excesses of ethnicity derive from the shortcomings of state capacity and the weakness of civil society, rather than being an inherent evil. If ethnicity is alive and well, what is its role? Here again, his answer is challenging: ethnicity is one of the bases for consent to be ruled by the interventionist and rationalizing modern state.
With due sensitivity to the implicit, the symbolic, and the ways in which power is legitimized, Schöpflin applies his understanding of nationalism to various East and Central European case studies, including Yugoslavia and Hungary. He also compares the role of ethnicity in other states, including Britain.
Overcoming the limits of both liberal and Marxist paradigms, this novel and thought-provoking book brings us several steps closer to understanding the intricacies of the nation-state and the operation of identity politics in the modern world.
|Publisher:||New York University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
George Schöpflin is Jean Monnet Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Nationalism, S. S. E. E. S., University of London. His books include Politics in Eastern Europe, 1945-1992 and Myths and Nationhood (1997).
Table of Contents
|Preface and Acknowledgements||v|
|1.||Introduction: The Nature of the Beast||1|
|Part I.||What is the Nation?|
|2.||Reason, Identity and Power||9|
|3.||Civil Society, Ethnicity and the State: A Threefold Relationship||35|
|4.||Citizenship, Ethnicity and Cultural Reproduction||51|
|5.||Left and Right: Europe in the 1990s||66|
|6.||Commemoration: Why Remember?||74|
|Part II.||Ethnicity and Cultural Reproduction|
|7.||A Taxonomy of Myths and their Functions||79|
|8.||Ideological Thinking and Post-Communism||99|
|9.||Language and Ethnicity in Central and Eastern Europe: Some Theoretical Aspects||116|
|Part III.||The State, Communism and Post-Communism|
|10.||Cultural Diversity and Good Governance: Some General Considerations||128|
|11.||Why Empires Fail||137|
|12.||The Communist Experience and Nationhood||147|
|13.||An Analysis of Post-Communism||170|
|14.||The Rise of Anti-Democratic Movements||189|
|15.||Communism and State Legitimation||208|
|16.||Culling Sacred Cows? State Frontiers and Stability||221|
|17.||The Problem of Ethnic Minorities in Central and Eastern Europe||231|
|18.||Minorities under Communism||241|
|19.||Ethnic Minorities in South-Eastern Europe||253|
|20.||Minorities and Post-Communism: a Political and Sociological Analysis||277|
|Part V.||The Ethnic Factor Reconsidered|
|21.||Englishness: Citizenship, Ethnicity and Class||298|
|22.||Yugoslavia: State Construction and State Failure||324|
|23.||Power, Ethnicity and Communism in Yugoslavia||343|
|24.||Hungary as Kin-State||370|
|25.||Hungary and its Neighbours||378|
|26.||Inter-Ethnic Relations in Transylvania: Rhetoric and Reality||410|
|27.||Human Rights and the Nationality Question in Romania||415|
What People are Saying About This
Aa cornucopia of informed and detailed insight on the politics of identity. [...] Schöpflin's writing is lively and vigorous, if abrasive. Ethnicity, identity, nationalism and nationhood are intriguing topics for study and certainly inform European politics today. Schöpflin has provided a fascinating book that deals with these issues in a thought-provoking, original and insightful manner. It is a great piece of erudite scholarship, which one will return totime and again."
-Times Higher Educational Supplement