State Identities and the Homogenisation of Peoples

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 15, 2002 - History - 351 pages
Why are forced displacement, ethnic cleansing and genocide an enduring feature of state systems? In this book, Heather Rae locates these practices of 'pathological homogenisation' in the processes of state building. Political elites have repeatedly used cultural resources to redefine bounded political communities as exclusive moral communities, from which outsiders must be expelled. Showing that these practices predate the age of nationalism, Rae examines cases from both pre-nationalist and nationalist eras: the expulsion of the Jews from fifteenth century Spain, the persecution of the Huguenots under Louis XIV, and in the twentieth century, the Armenian genocide, and ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia. She argues that those atrocities prompted the development of international norms of legitimate state behaviour that increasingly define sovereignty as conditional. Rae concludes by examining two 'threshold' cases - the Czech Republic and Macedonia - to identify the factors that may inhibit pathological homogenization as a method of state-building.

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State formation and pathological homogenisation
The other within Christian Europe statebuilding in early modern Spain
Statebuilding in early modern France Louis XIV and the Huguenots
Pathological homogenisation and Turkish statebuilding the Armenian genocide of 19151916
Ethnic cleansing and the breakup of Yugoslavia
Evolving international norms
On the threshold the Czech Republic and Macedonia

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Page 3 - The state is invisible; it must be personified before it can be seen, symbolized before it can be loved, imagined before it can be conceived.

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About the author (2002)

Heather Rae is Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the Graduate Studies in International Affairs Program, Australian National University.

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