How does nationalism emerge and how does it evolve? Why does national mobilisation occur in a certain place and not elsewhere, in a certain period and not at other times? Why does nationalism sometimes come about on legal, peaceful ways, and sometimes illegally and with violence? The author addresses these questions within the European context: firstly, because nationalism came to light in Europe, with the advent of nation-states, and here revealed itself through periodic outbreaks over the last two centuries; secondly, because it is important to understand nationalism's future role in European political integration. Will nationalisms fade away, or will they be sustained by the diminishing sovereignty of the old state forms?
Pietro Grilli di Cortona teaches Political Science and Comparative Politics at the Third University of Rome.