Nationalist Violence in Postwar Europe

Nationalist Violence in Postwar Europe

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This book argues that nationalist violence in developed countries is the product of unresponsive political elites and nationalists blocked from attracting supporters through legal channels. Political elites are prone to ignoring a regional polity when their clout in that region is negligible and they do not rely on the region's support to maintain their positions of power. Conversely, when nationalists cannot make inroads through legal channels, incentives for violence are ripe. Thus, when nationalists in postwar Europe found elites unresponsive, it was state repression that helped radicals build a new group of support around militant action. The larger this new constituency legitimizing violence grew, the longer the conflict lasted. The book elucidates this complex dynamic through a deft combination of theoretical modeling, statistical methods and comparative case studies from the Basque Country, Catalonia, Corsica, Northern Ireland, Sardinia and Wales.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 32 b/w illus.
  • 113916225X
  • 9781139162258

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. The argument; 3. An empirical approach to nationalist violence in postwar Western Europe; 4. The Basque country vs Catalonia: prior mobilization and differences in responsiveness; 5. Northern Ireland vs Wales: the power of institutions; 6. Corsica vs Sardinia: prior autonomy and differences in responsiveness; 7. Conclusions, limitations, and extensions.
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Review quote

'What a timely book! As we watch terrorism unfold throughout the world, De la Calle offers an explanation grounded in the intersection between nationalism and violence. His nuanced account draws on data and history from Western Europe and Canada, but his arguments and findings illuminate countries and contexts well beyond his cases. His is a masterful piece of social science.' Margaret Levi, Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, California 'De la Calle has taken a new step in the study of domestic political violence. His book is analytically rigorous, strongly comparative, and rich in history. It is highly original in its argument about the interaction between central and regional elites as the main determinant of the emergence of nationalist terrorism in developed countries.' Ignacio Sanchez-Cuenca, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid 'When will prosperous democracies face the challenge of violent nationalist unrest? When central elites have the luxury of ignoring regional demands and regional elites can't improve their position through normal democratic politics, argues Luis de la Calle. The combination of theoretical clarity and empirical precision makes Nationalist Violence in Postwar Europe a key contribution to the study of conflict and nationalism.' Stathis N. Kalyvas, Yale University, Connecticut
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