Nations without States: A Historical Dictionary of Contemporary National Movements

Nations without States: A Historical Dictionary of Contemporary National Movements

Nations without States: A Historical Dictionary of Contemporary National Movements

Nations without States: A Historical Dictionary of Contemporary National Movements

Synopsis

Russians are suppressing the Chechen; Ibo nationalism may yet tear Nigeria apart. With the end of the Cold War, any of the world's stateless peoples could be in tomorrow's headlines. This book provides an essential guide to the stateless nations suppressed or ignored during the Cold War. In more than 200 national surveys, the volume highlights the historical, political, social, economic, and diplomatic evolution of many of the currently emerging nations without states. Including nations from all continents--from the Chechen in Eastern Europe, to the Ibo in Africa, and the Quebeckers in North America--the book addresses the current nationalist resurgence by focusing on the most basic element of any nationalism, the nation itself.

Excerpt

Over the last century, perhaps no subject has inspired the passions that surround nationalism and national sentiment. Nationalism, in its most virulent forms, has provoked wars, massacres, terrorism, and genocide. The majority of the world's stateless nations have embraced nationalism but seek greater autonomy or independence through peaceful methods. Although the nationalist resurgence has spawned numerous conflicts, nationalism is not automatically a divisive force, as it provides citizens with an identity and a sense of responsibility and involvement.

An offshoot of the eighteenth-century doctrine of popular sovereignty, nationalism became a driving force in the nineteenth century, shaped and invigorated by the principles of the American and French revolutions. The first wave of modern nationalism culminated in the breakup of Europe's multinational empires after World War I. The second wave began during World War II and continued as the very politicized decolonization process that engulfed the remaining colonial empires as a theater of the Cold War after 1945. The removal of Cold War factionalism has now released a third wave of nationalism, of a scale and diffusion unprecedented in modern history.

The conflicts resulting from this latest nationalist upsurge have reinforced the erroneous beliefs that nationalism is synonymous with extremism and separatism and is confined to the historical "hot spots" in Europe and Asia. One of the basic premises of this volume is that the nationalist resurgence at the end of the twentieth century is spreading to all corners of the world and is set to mold the world's political agenda for decades to come.

The revival of nationalism is not limited to any one continent, nor is it a product of any particular ideology, geographic area, or combination of political or historical factors. The latest wave of nationalism affects rich and poor, large . . .

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