Divided Nations and European Integration

Divided Nations and European Integration

Divided Nations and European Integration

Divided Nations and European Integration


For ethnic minorities in Europe separated by state borders--such as Basques in France and Spain or Hungarians who reside in Slovakia and Romania--the European Union has offered the hope of reconnection or at least of rendering the divisions less obstructive. Conationals on different sides of European borders may look forward to increased political engagement, including new norms to support the sharing of sovereignty, enhanced international cooperation, more porous borders, and invigorated protections for minority rights. Under the pan-European umbrella, it has been claimed that those belonging to divided nations would no longer have to depend solely on the goodwill of the governments of their states to have their collective rights respected. Yet for many divided nations, the promise of the European Union and other pan-European institutions remains unfulfilled.

Divided Nations and European Integration examines the impact of the expansion of European institutions and the ways the EU acts as a confederal association of member states, rather than a fully multinational federation of peoples. A wide range of detailed case studies consider national communities long within the borders of the European Union, such as the Irish and Basques; communities that have more recently joined, such as the Croats and Hungarians; and communities that are not yet members but are on its borders or in its "near abroad," such as the Albanians, Serbs, and Kurds. This authoritative volume provides cautionary but valuable insights to students of European institutions, nations and nationalism, regional integration, conflict resolution, and minority rights.

Contributors: Tozun Bahcheli, Zoe Bray, Alexandra Channer, Zsuzsa Cserg, Marsaili Fraser, James M. Goldgeier, Michael Keating, Tristan James Mabry, John McGarry, Margaret Moore, Sid Noel, Brendan O'Leary, David Romano, Etain Tannam, Stefan Wolff.


John McGarry and Brendan O’Leary

The subject of this book is the development of nations and national homelands divided by sovereign borders within and around the current and prospective frontier of the European Union (EU). No one should assume any inexorable march of the eu, though the short-run and longer-run incorporations of Iceland and Norway respectively are not difficult to foresee. We have avoided the EU’s North African hinterland because we see little likelihood that anywhere from Western Sahara to Egypt will join the eu in the next decades, but we include Balkan spaces and Eurasian borderlands to which the eu might expand in this horizon. It is well known that the final limits of the eastern border of the European Union may lie in the Ukraine, rather than Vladivostok. What is less well known is that upon the accession of Turkey the EU’s maximum feasible stretch of its southeastern border would extend into Kurdistan, a national homeland that is not now a state, though where it will eventually reach within Kurdistan is another matter, most likely not into the “Kordestan” province of Iran. the accession of Cyprus, with its special difficulties that are discussed here, may yet mark the EU’s final southeastern push in former Ottoman lands (see also Anderson 2008b).

Contemporary economic events and crises remind us all that the European Union is capable of institutional collapse, either through the ill-digested expansion of unready member states or through poor political management in and between existing member states. No one doubts that a broken euro will threaten a broken as well as a broke eu. the continuing pattern of extensive federalization and delegation of functions without more democratization at either the member state or the eu level is storing potential crises. the EU’s current difficulties were triggered by the conjunction of a major global financial and economic recession emanating from the centers . . .

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