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Nation State or State Community? Alternatives from Inter-war Europe

April 26th, 2011

The Keynote takes a closer look at Paul Schiemann’s ideas on the relationship between nation states and state communities. Rather than apply ‘nation’ to minorities of like language and culture, he favoured ‘national community.’ Instead of the ‘state’ he spoke of ‘state community.’ This best described the situation where minorities and majority people shared the same territorial space. Having, as it were, ‘uncoupled’ nation from state he wished to determine the spheres of authority respectively of the national community and state community. Central government, he insisted, should restrict its authority to areas relevant to the overall state community– namely, the security of the shared territorial space, its economic well being and the welfare of its inhabitants.

Prof. Dr. John Hiden is Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Glasgow Baltic Research Unit an is integral to two major research projects currently being carried out in CEES under the leadership of Dr David Smith. With Smith he was awarded AHRB award MRG-AN 10102/APN16232 “Ending Nationalism? The Quest for Cultural Autonomy in Inter-War Europe”, and he is also co-researcher on a project on the Baltic question during the Cold War funded by the Estonian Science Foundation. A jointly authored study, with Smith, of the German minorities in the inter-war Baltic States will be published in due course. Professor Hiden continues to be involved in research supervision.

Prof. Dr. David Smith, Professor of Baltic History and Politics, teaches at the University of Glasgow. His Research Interests are contemporary history, politics and international relations of the Baltic States, Nationalism and national identity in CEE and the Former Soviet Union, Regionalism in the Baltic Sea Area, International politics of the Former Soviet Union and the International influences on processes of post-communist transformation in Central and Eastern Europe, with particular reference to issues of democratisation, minority rights and ethnic conflict regulation.