Nation vs. People
The book is provoked by the recent tragedy of Bosnia and the clash within a paradigmatic multicultural society. It offers theoretical responses both to the challenge of Bosnia and to the global challenge of how to reconcile two facts of the modern world and the threat that stems from this: the existence of 200 states, and their commitment to their own integrities, and the existence of 8000 ethnic groups and their devotion to keep their identities alive. The question the book raises is whether nation (state) and democracy are the proper and only answers to these challenges. Presenting conceptual controversies about two of the most discussed and disputed concepts of the present day, the author insists on totally new notions of nation and people (ethnic group, narod, folk). He maintains that ethnicity and nationality have hitherto been defined mainly in terms of culture and politics in anthropology and political science. Both concepts are however basically societal phenomena and therefore fall primarily within the subject domain of sociology. By combining a theoretical analysis with experience from Bosnia, the book provides definitions of concepts such as ethnic group and nation, and thereby ensures a new perspective and analytical tool for an international audience of academics and officials in international institutions and organizations. While the book is written in an academic style, it is nevertheless accessible to a broader audience: professors willing to test their own views and students keen to meet new approaches, academics eager to face new theoretical challenges and politicians ready to apply new emerging expertise, international practitioners capable of learning from life and local activists able to make up new theoretical responses to global issues.
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