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State and Nation in Multi-ethnic Societies

Uri Ra'anan, Maria Mesner, Keith Armes and Kate Martin, eds.
Manchester University Press, 1991

Ethnic and national sentiments and aspirations have replaced ideology as the chief force in international politics and this phenomenon is likely to characterize the next century. This pioneering work provides an examination of the origins of ethnic conflict and suggests a conceptual framework for addressing the problem. It reassesses overlooked approaches to ethnic conflict resolution which apply directly to states threatened with disintegration, such as the USSR and Yugoslavia.

The contributors include such distinguished scholars and practitioners as Elie Kedourie, George Urban, Theodor Hanf, Uri Ra'anan, Gerald Stourzh and Robert Hefner. They reevaluate the pioneering approaches of Karl Renner and Otto Bauer to the resolution of the 'nationalities problem' in the multinational Austro-Hungarian Empire. These concepts are tested as possible responses to contemporary disintegrative phenomena which beset states not only in Eastern Europe, but also in Asia, Southern Africa, and Western countries such as Canada, Spain and the UK. By applying these ideas to current arenas of ethnic strife, the authors develop new structures for consideration by policy-makers.

State and Nation in Multi-Ethnic Societies should be required reading not only for students and scholars of international relations, but also decision-makers in the executive and legislative branches of government, journalists and general readers wishing to understand a salient feature of the international scene. It is an indispensable guide to evaluating the resurgence of national self-assertion, a factor affecting every aspect of international security and diplomacy.

Order it!

Table of Contents

Peter Berger

Part One: Concepts
Nation and state: order out of chaos
Uri Ra'anan
Reducing conflict through cultural autonomy: Karl Renner's contribution
Theodor Hanf
The political feasibility of Austro-Marxist proposals for
the solution of the nationality problem of the Danubian monarchy
Alfred Pfabigan

Part Two: History
Problems of conflict resolution in a multi-ethnic state:
lessons from the Austrian historical experience, 1848-1918
Gerald Stourzh
Attempts to achieve a German Czech Ausgleich in Habsburg Austria
and the consequences of its failure
Zdenek Karnik
National conflicts and the democratic alternative in
the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and its successors
Peter Sipos

Part Three: Contemporary applications
The end of the multinational Soviet Empire?
Uri Ra'anan
The 'Yugoslav question': past and future
Dusan Necak
The social construction of national identities:
the case of Catalonia as a nation in the Spanish state
Joan Estruch
State and nation in the United Kingdom
Richard Parry
The Canadian conundrum: two concepts of nationhood
Berel Rodal
Between race, class, and culture: social divisions in
South Africa's political transition and their policy implications
Lawrence Schlemmer
State, nation and ethnicity in modern Indonesia
Robert W. Hefner

What's wrong with 'nationalism'? What's right with the 'balance of power'?
A conversation
Elie Kedourie and George Urban

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