Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Ethnic Nationalism and the Right of Self-Determination: Some (Self-)Citations

Below, in “Ethnic Nationalism and the Basque Challenge”, I suggested that “the Basque version of ethnic-nationalism – like every version of ethnic-nationalism – is a form of racism”. This remark, somehow stripped of the clause between dashes that makes it clear that I am precisely not claiming that Basque nationalism is unusual in this regard, is apparently the source of some chagrin among certain Basque bloggers. Trans-Int, which is essentially devoted to the empirical details of contemporary European politics, is probably not the place to try to demonstrate the general proposition involved here: i.e., to formulate the point a bit differently, that ethnic nationalism invariably involves racist premises. I have, however, tried to demonstrate this proposition in other settings, as well as to identify the sources of the present revival of the ethnic nationalist ideology in Europe and to cast some light on the tenuous and ambiguous connection of ethnic nationalism to the principle and/or “right” of self-determination as contained in UN law. Whereas I have published what I consider to be (relatively) compact and systematic presentations of my analysis of these matters in German and French, unfortunately I have yet to publish a similar text in English. I am working on correcting that. There are, however, a couple of English texts available in which I touch on the same set of issues. Anyway, for those who might be interested and have any of the relevant languages, here are the references:

In German:

“Zwei Begriffe der Selbstbestimmung”, in Klaus-Gerd Giesen, ed., Ideologien in der Weltpolitik (Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2004);

In French:

« Sur un nouvel ethno-nationalisme », in Les temps modernes, no. 623 (février-mars-avril 2003).

And here are the links for two essays available on-line in English in which I touch upon the question of ethnic nationalism:
“Anti-Semitism and Ethnicity in Europe” (Policy Review, October-November 2003)

“Kosovo and the ‘Jewish Question’” (Monthly Review, February 2000).

In the Kosovo essay, see, in particular, the section titled “The Trouble with Minority Rights”; and in the “Anti-Semitism and Ethnicity” essay, that titled “A 'Law of Ethnic Groups'”.
I'll be back to writing about other matters besides myself tomorrow probably.