This book was born out of the doctoral thesis which I wrote at St. Hilda's College of Oxford University. I am most grateful to the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University and particularly to my supervisor Neil MacFarlane. It would have been impossible to complete this project without his guidance and inspiration. I have also benefited from insightful comments of Andrew Hurrell and Margot Light. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Dulverton Trust, which has provided me with funding during my stay in Oxford and made it possible for me to benefit from one of the most stimulating of academic environments. While working on my dissertation, I spent three fruitful months at Deusto University in Bilbao, which had welcomed me warmly and allowed me to use its extensive materials for researching Basque nationalism. I spent many hours discussing Basque politics with students and professors at Deusto and I am forever grateful to them for sharing their knowledge and personal experiences. I also spent much time in Georgia, which is my home country and which has inspired my quest for understanding the role and power of nationalism.
Through the course of my studies I met many people who have influenced my thinking greatly and to whom I am much indebted. I would like to thank in particular Stephen Jones and Erica Benner who taught me at Mt. Holyoke College and London School of Economics respectively. I am forever indebted to my Georgian friend and professor Alex Rondeli whose influence and support made me the person I am. I would also like to thank the CEU Press and its reviewers and editors who have helped to improve this work. I owe a great debt to my mother, who is the person who ensured that this book would indeed be completed and to my husband Stewart.