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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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From “De Facto King” to Peasants’ Communes

A Struggle for Representation in the Discourse of the Polish Great Emigration, 1832–1846/48

Piotr Kuligowski

perfect social unity, and therefore they called for unification of the whole of Polish emigration, but in a way completely different from Czartoryski's camp. The radical leftists from Havre argued that the political principles of the Communes of the Polish

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Jean Terrier

criticized the tendency toward unification that results from the strict application of the majority principle and from the sovereignty of Parliament. Against the state’s injunction to conformity, 27 and against the “worship of state-unity,” 28 the

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Annabel Brett, Fabian Steininger, Tobias Adler-Bartels, Juan Pablo Scarfi, and Jan Surman

revolutions were regarded as the “work of the devil.” The accusation of “pseudo-patriotism” was often made against the Italian unification movements and—entirely in the spirit of the Christian idea of original sin—the possible “seduction” ( Verführung ) of the

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Dealing with an Ocean of Meaninglessness

Reinhart Koselleck's Lava Memories and Conceptual History

Margrit Pernau and Sébastien Tremblay

the Waffen-SS who had been directly responsible for the concentration camps. The commemorations of the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the war in 1995 were marked by Germany's search for a new normality after the unification in 1991, which many

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Against Analogy

Why Analogical Arguments in Support of Workplace Democracy Must Necessarily Fail

Roberto Frega

scientific reasoning. Analogical arguments in science and elsewhere are well attested. Their use is generally intended as an heuristic tool that may be helpful to devise new theories, predict new phenomena, provide better conceptual unification, and lead to

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Heritage (Erfgoed) in the Dutch Press

A History of Changing Meanings in an International Context

Hanneke Ronnes and Tamara Van Kessel

and its surroundings, which were being threatened by the wars of Italian unification. 39 This property was invariably referred to as St. Peter’s heritage, a direct translation of the expression Patrimonium Sancti Petri . To state that this topic

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A Fiction of the French Nation

The Émigré Novel, Nostalgia, and National Identity, 1797–1815

Mary Ashburn Miller

and unification: the texts convey a sense that “all humans possess to some degree the basic quality of sensibilité , which can be stirred by the spectacle of virtue in distress, to produce virtuous and good actions.” 28 Responding to suffering

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Timo Pankakoski and Antto Vihma

unification” and “fragmentation” in contemporary culture, and linked this particularly to modernity: “Modernity fragments; it also unites.” 89 Implications for Contemporary Debates Let us note some central tendencies that arise from the conceptual

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Sovereignty versus Influence

European Unity and the Conceptualization of Sovereignty in British Parliamentary Debates, 1945–2016

Teemu Häkkinen and Miina Kaarkoski

by discussing how the concept of sovereignty was used in political debates during four central historical periods in the European unification process from World War II to the Brexit referendum. In the fi rst of these, the British concept of