National indifference and the History of Nationalism in Modern Europe.

Editors: Maarten van Ginderachter, Jon Fox
Published: February 5, 2019
Reference: 262 Pages
ISBN 9781138503489: CAT# Y372310
Series: Routledge Studies in Modern European History

This book covers the contributions to East Central European historiography research showing national interference has the potential to reinvigorate the entire field of national studies as far as exposing and critiquing the teleological slant in much of the literature as unstoppable march of the Nation and challenged the constructivist paradigm to take a much needed empirical and social turn.

As far as historiography of nationalism is concerned, geographical extends its analysis beyond the original setting of national indifference in East Central Europe to incorporate a much wider array of cases from Belgium and France to the former Habsburg territories in Central and Southern Europe and to Poland, Romania, Ukraine and the former Soviet Union.

It was not only a nineteenth-century phenomenon, reducible to a short-lived developmental stage of nationalism. Rather, it survived well into the twentieth century, even into the pos-Second World War age of nationalism. We expand and disaggregate the national indifference paradigm to develop a more flexible and variegated approach that can better account for regional and historical variation.

National indifference scholars who followed Rogers Brubaker’s have focused on vacillating identifications of East Central Europeans that ethnicity and linguistic belonging are in themselves national contructs. Judson in 2006 shows that the nationalist border discourse was “part of a larger strategy to normalize national identities and to eradicate both bilingualism and the alternative loyalties that it represented.”

The book reveals ground-breaking research, the literature on national indifference has not only revolutionized how we understand nationalism, over time, it has also revealed a new set of challenges. For example, Michael Billig assumes that widespread nationalist discourses reflect a widely distributed sense of national belonging. But scholars of national indifference have inverted the correlation between the strength of nationalist discourse and its impact in society. In other words, we are confronted with two conflicting theories, which raises an important methodological question: “What do widespread nationalist discourses tell us about the attitude of broader reaches of society?”

Table of Contents


List of Contributors

Introduction. National indifference and the history of nationalism in modern Europe
Maarten Van Ginderachter and Jon Fox

Too much on their mind. Impediments and limitations of the national cultural project in nineteenth-century Belgium
Tom Verschaffel

From national indifference to national commitment and back: the case of the Trentine POWS in Russia during the First World War
Simone A. Bellezza

Lost in transition? The Habsburg legacy, state- and nation-building, and the new fascist order in the Upper Adriatic
Marco Bresciani

National indifference and the transnational corporation: the paradigm of the Bat’a Company
Zachary Doleshal

Between nationalism and indifference: the gradual elimination of indifference in interwar Yugoslavia
Filip Erdeljac

Paths to Frenchness: national indifference and the return of Alsace to France, 1919-1939
Alison Carrol

Beyond politics: national indifference as everyday ethnicity
Gábor Egry

National indifference, statistics, and the constructivist paradigm: the case of the “Tutejsi” (‘the people from here’) in interwar Polish censuses
Morgane Labbé

Instrumental nationalism in Upper Silesia
Brendan Karch

‘I have removed the boundaries of nations’: nation switching and the Roman Catholic Church during and after the Second World War
Jim Bjork

‘Citizen of the Soviet Union – it sounds dignified’. Letter writing, nationalities policy, and identity in the post-Stalinist Soviet Union
Anna Whittington

Conclusion: national indifference and the history of nationalism in modern Europe
Jon Fox, Maarten Van Ginderachter and James M. Brophy


Editors Bio
Maarten Van Ginderachter is an Associate Professor at the Department of History of Antwerp University. He is the co-editor of Nationhood from below. Europe in the long nineteenth century (with Marnix Beyen, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012) and Everyday nationalism’s evidence problem (themed section of Nations and Nationalism, vol. 24, issue 3, 2018, co-edited with Jon Fox). His monograph The Everyday Nationalism of Workers: A Social History of Modern Belgium will appear with Stanford University Press in 2019.

Jon Fox is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sociology, Politics, and International Studies and Assistant Director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol.

ECWA Editorial Board: Our editorial board or advisory board consists of a group of well published, prominent professors, with academic credentials and a detailed knowledge of their subject area.



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