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date: 24 July 2021

p. 694. The problem of the nation-statelocked

p. 694. The problem of the nation-statelocked

  • Dane Kennedy


The nation-state was both the triumph and the tragedy of decolonization. Its triumph lay in the enshrinement of the principle of national self-determination as the universal norm by which political sovereignty and international relations would be measured and conducted. At the same time, the implementation of the nation-building process often precipitated conflicts between different ethnic, religious, linguistic, and other cultural groups that sought to shape the new nations in accord with their own interests and identities. ‘The problem of the nation-state’ asks why the nation-state was the near universal outcome of decolonization when other options were available, and why was that outcome so problematic?

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