The Enduring Promise of Multinationalism: Hans Kohn’s Habsburg Legacies

The Enduring Promise of Multinationalism: Hans Kohn’s Habsburg Legacies

By Adi Gordon

These are interesting times to reflect on nationalism. After more than half a century in which nationalism was considerably tamed by the memory of World War Two, by intergovernmental organizations, and through various aspects of globalization, the current decade has witnessed a clear rise of nationalism in the United States and abroad. Part of the new nationalist tide is the prevalent sense of its inevitability. It seems de rigueur nowadays to ridicule as naïve the anticipation of (even hope for) gradual transition into a post national future, in which nationalities are secondary to other allegiances. Nations, it is claimed, have always existed, and nationalism (and even ethno-nationalism) is simply part of human nature. But is it so?

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