Nation Against State: A New Approach to Ethnic Conflicts and the Decline of Sovereignty

In This Review

Nation Against State: A New Approach to Ethnic Conflicts and the Decline of Sovereignty

By Gidon Gottlieb
Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1993
148 pp. $14.95
Purchase

Both realism and the Westphalian system of sovereign nation-states have come under considerable attack recently, in both theory and practice. The author argues that traditional notions of state sovereignty are no longer tenable in an age of rapid movements of capital, information and people. His most imaginative suggestion for dealing with the problem of ethnic conflict is the concept of state plus nation, in which national homelands can overlap with existing states in a multitiered system of sovereignty. While this is an intriguing concept, the book might have pondered whether official sanction for a Russian nation, embracing ethnic Russians in the Soviet successor states, would not serve the traditional imperialistic purposes of a Russian nationalist like Vladimir Zhirinovsky, or whether international recognition of a Hungarian nation including parts of Slovakia and Romania would be conducive to regional stability. In the end, it may be hard to do better than the old-fashioned liberal protection of individual rights. Nonetheless, the book presents new and interesting ways of looking at some old problems that have suddenly resurfaced.

More Reviews on Political and Legal From This Issue

Browse All Capsule Reviews

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue