Essay An Ethnic History of Europe Since 1945

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An Ethnic History of Europe Since 1945 Ethnicity, the rise of nationalism, the formation of new nation-states in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and the peaceful split of Czechoslovakia have become central topics for politics and scholarship in the 1990s. Studies on ethnic conflict, nation building, and particular ethnic and minority groups in Europe abounded throughout the last decade. However, a cohesive book that provides a systematic and general picture of minority existence so far has been missing. Panikos Panayi's An Ethnic History of Europe since 1945 (published in New York, 2000) tries to fill this gap for the post-war period. As the author correctly states, so far: "no single author has…show more content…
The third section centering on the author's definition of ethnicity discusses the politicization of cultural differences underlying his definition of ethnicity. The last section is dedicated to the role of the state in recognition of minority existence of minorities, and briefly describes the role of modern media in their inclusion or exclusion. The author's approach, including indigenous as well as migrant minorities, provides for a challenging intellectual comparison leaving the reader with the question of what the merits, but also the limits, of comparison are. The binding element offered by Panayi is ethnicity that sets dispersed, localized, or immigrant minorities (the three categories he uses) apart from majorities in a world of nation-states. Thus, at the outset of the book one expects to learn where the author places himself within the camps of scholars who have passionately argued from the mid-1980s on about the essence of ethnicity and nationhood. The reader is surprised from the outset that Panayi does not bother with contextualizing his concept of ethnic groups and nations within these debates. Instead we learn that "ethnicity, nation, nationalism, nation state and minority each [...] have a precise meaning which have become confused by [...] over-use in the media and social science discourse" (p. 3-4). However, the
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