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Jean Elisabeth Pedersen

“What is a nation?” Ernest Renan’s famous rhetorical question to an audience at the Sorbonne on 11 March 1882 has remained vital for a wide variety of scholars in fields as diverse as history, literary criticism, sociology, philosophy, and political science. Renan initially posed the question barely ten years after the close of the Franco-Prussian War, which had sparked the establishment of the French Third Republic, the unification of Germany under the leadership of Wilhelm I, and the transfer of the disputed territory of Alsace-Lorraine from French to German control in the months between July 1870 and May 1871. Renan made no overt mention of these events while he was speaking, but he rejected any possible answer to his question that might attempt to base the creation of nations and national identities on shared “race, language, [economic] interests, religious affinity, geography, [or] military necessities.” This explicit refusal constituted an implicit rejection of the entire range of German justifications for the acquisition of the two recently French border provinces.

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Romanticizing Difference

Identities in Transformation after World War I

Nadia Malinovich

critical role that essentialist ideas about the relationship between language and national identity played in determining new political boundaries in Europe after World War I. The notion that a language represents the “soul” or volksgeist of a nation

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Gender, Leadership and Representative Democracy

The Differential Impacts of the Global Pandemic

Kim Rubenstein, Trish Bergin, and Pia Rowe

Introduction The need for effective leadership is heightened during times of national crisis. What is more, the impact and effect of that leadership is not only in the capacity to make wise decisions, but also in the consequences for the

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Rethinking World War I

Occupation, Liberation, and Reconstruction

George Robb and W. Brian Newsome

administration of Belgium. 8 German occupation of western Russia has also evolved into a subject of sustained scholarship, figuring not only in Vejas Liulevicius’s War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity, and German Occupation in World War I

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Marcos S. Scauso, Garrett FitzGerald, Arlene B. Tickner, Navnita Chadha Behera, Chengxin Pan, Chih-yu Shih, and Kosuke Shimizu

idea of a God-given, reasoning human nature ( Jahn 2013: 43–53 ). Despite its seemingly broad respect for all those “human” beings whose exercise of reason grants them theoretical equality, this particular form of Western, liberal identity upholds

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Heidi Hakkarainen

- und Staats-Bibliothek,” Gelehrte Anzeigen , 29 June 1849. 75 Pieter M. Judson, Exclusive Revolutionaries: Liberal Politics, Social Experience and National Identity in the Austrian Empire, 1848–1914 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996), 29

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Introduction

A Focus on the History of Concepts

Eirini Goudarouli

but also to understand the complex role of power and hierarchy in both national and international contexts. Nygård and Strang underline the importance of recognizing the implications of the peripheral self-understanding of a few Nordic intellectuals in

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Boris Maslov

(Britannia, Columbia, Germania, Marianne) points to the ease with which they can be appropriated by the national state as foci of collective identity. 25 The prominence of abstract concepts in poetic texts that aspire to political relevance in this period

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“Amazing Rapidity”

Time, Public Credit, and David Hume's Political Discourses

Edward Jones Corredera

both a powerful source of political foresight and the spring of speculative desires that could ruin individual fortunes and derail the policy making of national banks. 48 As Pocock suggested in his exploration of temporalities in eighteenth

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The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Central and Eastern Europe

The Rise of Autocracy and Democratic Resilience

Petra Guasti

). Plebiscitarianism, or audience democracy, promises to “restore the concept of the people as a meaningful collective identity,” while rendering the passive citizens spectators of the political elite ( Urbinati 2014: 171 ). Each of these democratic disfigurations