The Janus Face of Nationalism in the European Union

Nicolas Maslowski (ed), The 17th International Conference of Young Scholars: Crucial Problems of International Relations through the Eyes of Young Scholars: Collective Memory and International Relations (Conference Proceedings) (Prague: TROAS, 2013) pp. 128-152

32 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2014 Last revised: 18 Aug 2018

See all articles by Ralph R. A. Janik

Ralph R. A. Janik

University of Vienna - Section for International Law & International Relations; Webster University - Vienna Campus

Date Written: November 3, 2014

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 idea provided the basis for 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, the fulfillment of peace, and improved living standards. In other words, the tide has turned, and the nation-state has itself become the smaller unit it used to fight against. 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: the transmission of powers has only been taken to the next level with the EU simply replacing the old nation-state.

Keywords: International Relations, Nationalism, European Union, EU, Centralisation

JEL Classification: B30, B31, H7, H70, H77

Suggested Citation

Janik, Ralph R. A., The Janus Face of Nationalism in the European Union (November 3, 2014). Nicolas Maslowski (ed), The 17th International Conference of Young Scholars: Crucial Problems of International Relations through the Eyes of Young Scholars: Collective Memory and International Relations (Conference Proceedings) (Prague: TROAS, 2013) pp. 128-152. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2518366

Ralph R. A. Janik (Contact Author)

University of Vienna - Section for International Law & International Relations ( email )

Schottenbastei 10-16
Vienna, 1010
Austria

Webster University - Vienna Campus ( email )

Berchtoldgase 1
Vienna, 1220
Austria

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