In This Review

Nations Without States: Political Communities in a Global Age
Nations Without States: Political Communities in a Global Age
By M. Montserrat Guibernau I Berdun
Blackwell, 1999, 208 pp.

Old nations that have long been integrated into larger Western states, such as Catalonia, Wales, Scotland, and Quebec, have recently reemerged seeking political recognition and autonomy. Guibernau dissects the sources of this rising substate nationalism and its future significance in world politics. His account first cites the well-known reasons for these movements: globalization, the proliferation of transnational identities, and the diffusion of political authority away from the nation-state. In western Europe, the relationship between the transfer of authority upward to regional political institutions and the transfer of political identity downward to smaller ethnic and cultural communities is also a familiar account. But the author then goes further and speculates that the future will see not a reshuÛing of nations and states to achieve a closer fit but an emergence of more ambiguous and layered political communities. He also offers interesting speculation on the character of a "post-nation-state" that transforms traditional concepts of sovereignty and territory. What is less clear from the book is whether this story is unique to Europe or part of a wider global process.