Thursday, November 13, 2014

Janik: The Janus Face of Nationalism in the European Union

Ralph R.A. Janik (Univ. of Vienna - Law) has posted The Janus Face of Nationalism in the European Union (in The 17th International Conference of Young Scholars: Crucial Problems of International Relations through the Eyes of Young Scholars: Collective Memory and International Relations, pp. 128-152, 2013). Here's the abstract:
The unprecedented growth of the modern state has been deeply connected with nationalism understood as the idea that a specific territory should be composed of people sharing a distinct history, language or culture: In the period which can roughly be demarcated as ranging from the Peace of Westphalia until the two world wars, this was the main generally agreed upon concept which provided the basis for a seemingly unlimited growth of the public sector and the regulation of aspects hitherto seen as outside the ambit of the state at the expense of individual liberties and the regional and municipal administration. Beginning with the formation of the European Union, however, there has been a substantial attempt at transforming the meaning and impact of nationalism. Instead of being an essentially modern, progressive concept, it is often portrayed as backward, an obstacle in the path towards further integration and the fulfilment of peace and improved living standards. In other words, the tide has turned, the nation-state has itself become the smaller unit it used to fight against in earlier times. At the same time, however, the arguments and the general attitude in favour of further integration in the EU clearly resemble those that were asserted during the rise of the nation-state. Thus, it seems that history is substantially repeating itself as the transmission of powers has only been taken to the next level with the EU simply having replaced the old nation-state.