Game of Mirrors: Centre-Periphery National Conflicts  book cover
1st Edition

Game of Mirrors: Centre-Periphery National Conflicts

ISBN 9781138740228
Published May 31, 2021 by Routledge
370 Pages

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Book Description

This title was first published in 2000. Nationalism and the national question have represented a problem since the early years of the 19th century. Understanding these phenomena represents a challenge for political science, because "the nation" is not a natural phenomenon, rather it is the consequence of nationalism. Attempts to reduce nationalism to one or several factors have been unsuccessful; it has multiple factors that are variable in space and time. Nationalism is a problem of beliefs and conscience linked to the historical action of nationalist groups. A second difficulty derives from the distinction between nationalism of the dominant and nationalism of the oppressed. The majority of political theorists now believe that these centre and periphery nationalisms are different and therefore adversaries. Using first-hand experience of Basque separatism as a starting point, the author adds to it with the main manifestations of this phenomenon around the world.

Table of Contents

Contents: Centre and Periphery: The centre (1): the nation-state; The centre (2): types and origin of nation-states; The periphery: ethnic groups and their mobilisations; Peripheral nationalisms (1): identity and ideology; Peripheral nationalisms (2): organization and international context; Centralist nationalisms; The transformation of the conflict (1): western nationalisms and the welfare state; The transformation of the conflict (2): European construction; Other nationalisms: break up of states, pan-nationalisms, non-territorial and a-national ethnic movements. Nationalism and Violence: Nationalism and political violence: state violence and response violence; Nationalisms and violence: case studies; Peripheral nationalisms and violence (1): identity and ideology; Peripheral nationalisms and violence (2): organization and context; The reaction of the centre: anti-terrorist state nationalisms; Negotiations and the end to violence; Bibliography.

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Francisco Letamendia, University of the Basque Country, Spain


Letamendia's book is noteworthy for its insightful analysis of nationalism and the nationalist question...The book provides a very interesting theoretical exploration of the nationalist phenomenon, firmly underpinned by a range of facts, examples and case studies.’ The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest ’The great strength of this book is the global scope of the casea and analyses. Although the author achieved prominence as the defence lawyer at the infamous Burgos trials, the coverage of the book goes far beyond the Basque Country and even Europe...The cases are also dealt with in depth rather than skimmed over to support arguments: a fact which considerably enhances the chapters on nationalist political violence, an area subject to too few comparative impressive piece of scholarship...’ Regional and Federal Studies