Democracy and Nationalism in Post-Communist Europe: Democracy Does It

Twenty two new states have been created and thousands of miles of borders redrawn since the Cold War ended. This remarkably peaceful process has made it possible to think of enlarging the European Union and NATO. Is this the triumph of democracy over nationalism and war?

The World Today
6 minute READ

Anita Inder Singh

Most states, including western democracies such as Britain, France and the United States, were consolidated through war before the process of nation building began. In the aftermath of the Cold War, democracy was expected to be the method by which post-communist states would be made strong and secure. Was this expectation a case of the wish giving birth to the thought?

Perhaps – but it was not unrealistic. A decade after the end of the Cold War most multiethnic countries of post-communist Europe have blazed a trail by consolidating statehood through democracy without war. For democracy can be compatible with nationalism but not with the nation state.

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