The twentieth century has been marked, amongst other developments, by the emergence of new independent states. Indeed, while first waves of national revolutions spread into Europe during the nineteenth century, new states were created in the wake of the breakup of big ensembles during the past century. Such was the case of Eastern and Central Europe: new countries gained independence in a first wave after the First World War and in a second wave after the Communist failure. Furthermore, other national constructions were to be seen everywhere in the world, when decolonization encouraged national moves and aspirations. As Anthony Smith pointed out, despite the assertion of many authors that the Nation-State is in decline, most of the recently established countries actually followed the lines of the classical model of the nineteenth century Nation-State (Smith, 2001).
With this as a starting point, this workshop intends to analyze the process of adoption and adaptation in these countries of a model often considered outdated and to analyze its impact on national minorities’ status. The discussion will follow three main lines. First, it will focus on the way national identity is constructed and imposed by the elite in these “nationalizing states” (Brubaker, 1996). Second, the impact of the state’s identity construction on the place and legitimacy of the “national minorities” living in these states will also be at the center of the discussion. Finally, the way national minorities do respond to the nationalizing dimension of the state will be tackled.