Brubaker R. Nationalism reframed. Nationhood and the national question in the new Europe. – Cambridge Uiniversity Press, 1996. - P. 1-25.
Europe was the birthplace of the nation-state and modern nationalism at the end of the eighteenth century, and it was supposed to be their graveyard at the end of the twentieth. If we take 1792, when war and nationhood were first expressly linked and mutually energized on the battlefield of Valmy,1 as symbolizing their birth, we might take 1992 as symbolizing their anticipated death, or at least a decisive moment in their expected transcendence. Chosen by Jacques Delors as the target date for the completion of the ambitious program of the Single European Act, “1992” came to stand for the abolition of national frontiers within Europe; for the free movement of persons as well as goods and capital; for the emergence of a European citizenship; and - with the signing of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1991 - for the prospect of a common European currency, defense, and foreign policy. Just as Europe took the lead in inventing (and propagating) nationhood and nationalism, so now it would take the lead in transcending them; and “1992” served as a resonant symbol of that anticipated transcendence.
Deeper and more general forces, too, were seen as undermining the nation-state and rendering nationalism obsolete. Nationalism, discredited by the “Thirty Years War” of the first half of the century, seemed to have been dissolved in Western Europe by the subsequent thirty years of prosperity – “les trentes glorieueses”, as they are called in France. Moreover, the organization of political space along national lines seemed increasingly ill-matched to social, economic, and cultural realities.2 The nation-state was seen as simultaneously too small and too large: too small to serve as an effective unit of coordination in an increasingly internationalized world, too large and remote to be a plausible and legitimate unit of...