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What does self-determination mean today? The resurgence of nationalism and European integration in question

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The paradox of nationalism today in Europe is that while there is ever more demand and opportunities for nationalism it has become more divisive than ever before. Nationalism now divides the nation rather than uniting it. For this reason, its capacity to offer an alternative to the status quo is severely limited. In the past collective self-determination was predicated on the presumption of a defined people who were resisting external domination and sought to bring about a new polity. The world today, especially in Europe, has made this more difficult, if not impossible. There is now an entirely new context for nationalism and the appeal to self-determination in the name of 'the people' is no longer able to achieve the same results. The politics of self-determination, as reflected in separatist movements, runs up against the problems of democracy and cultural pluralism, which tend to frustrate the capacity of nationalism to achieve its aims. The argument given in this paper is that the rise of nationalism is de-stabilising for Europeanisation but does not endanger it.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 2019

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  • Global Discourse is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented journal of applied contemporary thought operating at the intersection of politics, international relations, sociology and social policy. The Journal's scope is broad, encouraging interrogation of current affairs with regard to core questions of distributive justice, wellbeing, cultural diversity, autonomy, sovereignty, security and recognition. All issues are themed and aimed at addressing pressing issues as they emerge. Rejecting the notion that publication is the final stage in the research process, Global Discourse seeks to foster discussion and debate between often artificially isolated disciplines and paradigms, with responses to articles encouraged and conversations continued across issues.

    The Journal features a mix of full-length articles, each accompanied by one or more replies, policy papers commissioned by organizations and institutions and book review symposia, typically consisting of three reviews and a reply by the author(s). With an international advisory editorial board consisting of experienced, highly-cited academics, Global Discourse publishes themed issues on topics as they emerge. Authors are encouraged to explore the international dimensions and implications of their work.

    All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and double-blind peer review. All submissions must be in response to a specific call for papers.

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