A century ago, the end of the First World War ushered in an era of national self-determination, as the land empires of Europe collapsed and new nation-states took their place in Central and Eastern Europe. Today the notion of the nation-state is resurgent in the region’s political discourse: we witness a renaissance of the rhetoric of national sovereignty in a populist backlash against the project of European integration. What lessons can we draw from the arc of the past century? What role will the idea of the nation-state play in determining Europe’s future?
Timothy Snyder is the Levin Professor of History at Yale University and IWM Permanent Fellow. He is the author of The Road to Unfreedom, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.
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