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.