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Conflict and Diversity in East European Nationalism, on the Basis of a Romanian Case Study

Written by Caius Dobrescu, this article apperead on the third issue of Vol. 17 of East European Politics & Societies in August 2003. 
 
Nationalism in Eastern Europe cannot be conceived apart from the inner conflicts of modernity at large. In one and the same country, it is widely conditioned by divergent in-grown historical traditions, educational backgrounds, interests, value systems, and principles. Nationalism in this area of the world has been and still is generated at the intersection between often irreconcilable Western intellectual influences and the intricacies accumulated in the local development processes. This study analyzes the main sources of conflict and diversification in the history of Romanian nationalism. Its conclusion is that the dynamics of defining nationhood imply so many centrifugal determinations and so many disagreeing but influential actors that it can be best understood as structurally open. This creates an unexpected prospect for integrating nationalism, seen as inherently fragmented, dispersed, and self-conflicting, in a process that might lead to a full-grown social, political, and cultural pluralism.

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