The Decline of the Nation State attempts to explain the historical and contemporary causes that have given rise to the current explosion of nationalist movements in Western Europe. The text also discusses the course these movements may take in the future. The current world political order, as maintained by the separation of and frequent antagonism between sovereign nation states, is increasingly inadequate given the profound social, economic and technological transformations which have occurred in recent years. The nation-state is no longer the axis of political systems. The formative process of nation-states was fundamentally flawed by the only partially successful attempt to obliterate the cultural diversity of premodern social and territorial structures in order to subsume them into the dominant national culture. This error had important historical consequences, as is evident in the present explosion of nationalism throughout Europe promoted by the numerous nationalities or regions which previously were unable to establish their own nation-states. Existing nation-states are currently undergoing a process similar to the one that caused the disappearance of traditional social forms and territorial entities - monarchies, pays d'etat d'election - which were subsumed into broader political structures. The goal of contemporary nationalist movements to create their own nation-states may therefore constitute an anachronistic aspiration and historic error. The crisis of the nation-state, as a form of general and universal juridico-political organization, and its replacement by supranational structures, is fraught with its own dangers. The latter purports to construct a supranational Europe. However, this new Europe cannot be established in opposition to the nations and regions, rather it must form a kind of consensual melting pot resulting from the mixture of the complex social and cultural traditions of the different communities constituting European society.
Part 1 Nation and the bourgeois revolution: building of the modern nation and state - a process of conflict; the doctrinal genesis of the modern nation; nation, nation-state and nationalism. Part 2 Nation and the working class: the national question in Marx-Engels and in the second international nation and nation-state on Marxism-Leninism; contemporary society and its crisis; the reconstruction of the nation within the context of the transformation of society; juridoco-political restructuring of nations.