Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe
Edited by Brian Jenkins, Spyros A. Sofos
Routledge – 2004 – 304 pages
The resilience of nationalism in contemporary Europe may seem paradoxical at a time when the nation state is widely seen as being 'in decline'. The contributors of this book see the resurgence of nationalism as symptomatic of the quest for identity and meaning in the complex modern world. Challenged from above by the supranational imperatives of globalism and from below by the complex pluralism of modern societies, the nation state, in the absence of alternatives to market consumerism, remains a focus for social identity.
Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe takes a fully interdisciplinary and comparative approach to the 'national question'. Individual chapters consider the specifics of national identity in France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Iberia, Russia, the former Yugoslavla and Poland, while looking also at external forces such as economic globalisation, European supranationalism, and the end of the Cold War.
Setting current issues and conflicts in their broad historical context, the book reaffirms that 'nations' are not 'natural' phenomena but 'constructed' forms of social identity whose future will be determined in the social arena.
'Required reading for all politicians, journalists and organizations whose work involves coming to terms with the strength and complexity of nationalism, racism and ethnicity in the new Europe … An essential addition to the reading list of any course which deals with these topics.' - Roger Griffin, Oxford Brookes University
'In sum Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe can be viewed as a successful interdisciplinary treatment of a highly topical issue. The explanations are successful and each single article conveys well-founded knowledge.' - Dorle Drackle, Nationa and Nationalism, Volume 3
'…the broad overview of historical traditions of national identities in Europe assembled here especially with a view to the section on Eastern Europe makes it worthwhile introductory reading.' - Imke Sturm, Humboldt University, Berlin
Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe provides the reader with a detailed and intriguing overview of the role(s) of nationalism in Europe and the issues that will continue to stoke the fires of nationalism into the twenty-first century. Readers should certainly look for further volumes of this series and include this one on their shelves.' - Erich Frankland, University of Oklahoma.