The conference will tackle the issue of statehood and nationhood in the case of the smaller European countries. According to the prevailing political theory, a modern state came into being through the merging of two principles – the idea of state and the concept of nation. In order to challenge this view this conference will attempt to analyse non-ethnic statehood in two renditions in two different periods of history: as a historical phenomenon at the time of the emergence of the early modern state and as a historical tradition upon which the nation-builders from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries called. The conference thus suggests to take into consideration both the historical facts and historiographical constructs about statehood. While examining the arguments put forward for the existence of a state in the early modern age, the conference will seek to describe those essential elements which found their later appropriation in explicitly ethnic cultural and historical thinking about the older new nations. Yet, in parallel, it will also look at the arguments of the modern nationalists which echoed the non-ethnic past.
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