Nationalism and Communism in the Light of State-Minority Relations in the Balkans
AbstractThe author builds his arguments on the assumption that nationalism and communism both propose the right vision of how society should be organised, both tolerate repression in the name of unity of either the nation or the people, each of them seeking to purge the community of "wrong" elements while envisaging fulfilment of unrealistic aims. Nationalism - in Adam Michnik's words - may indeed be then perceived as the last phase of communism. And yet Gellner's definition continues to hold nationalism as the ongoing attempt to reconcile a political unit with a national one. The author then turns to the actual situation in the Balkans. Aiming for an analysis of both the present and the past of the region, he marks out the following phases of development: the rise of communism, competing hard with nationalist movements; the victory of communism and the emancipation of minorities; the integration of the nationalist idea into communist ideology; and the merger of nationalism with general communist policy. His comparison includes the former Yugoslavia and the now-independent states on the one hand, and Romania, Bulgaria, also the countries of Central Europe (i.e. Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) on the other.
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