By Zaki Laidi

ISBN-10: 0415167183

ISBN-13: 9780415167185

During this provocative and incisive ebook, Zaki Laidi argues that as our international turns into ever greater, our skill to discover which means in it diminishes. With the top of communism got here the top of the intimate alliance among strength and beliefs. No strength in our globalised international can to any extent further declare to supply that means. In melancholy we glance again to outdated types (religious traditions, nationalism, ethnicity) to provide us a feeling of id. yet in a globalised international in an enduring nation of flux, just how powerful are those previous certainties?

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3 If the radical nature of the change introduced by the end of the Cold War seems unquestionable, the perception of the post Cold War as a qualitatively new era today seems singularly over-optimistic. No-one, for example, could interpret the tearing apart of Yugoslavia as beneficial, or see in dismembered Bosnia a sign of a new era preferable to that of Tito’s Yugoslavia. Here too the main ways in which the post Cold War is presented suffer from an optimistic, mechanistic vision of international reality, a vision the Manichean over-simplification into ‘good’ and ‘evil’, inherited from the Cold War, only serves to strengthen.

When this double dyke was pulled down it brought with it in one fell swoop a questioning of the great ideologies and a growing challenge to the superstates as regulators of the international system. If we accept this hypothesis, the post Cold War can no longer be seen as deriving from one single point of rupture, the end of communism, but from two upheavals it set in train: the crisis in teleological systems and the crisis in the international system that had been guaranteed, first and foremost, by the superstates.

The Leagues in Italy are the negation of Italian national unity; the shortcomings of national unity provide the basis for regionalism. The crisis in Italy lies less in a growth of nationalism than in the crisis of national feeling. ‘League-ism’ stems from a reaction to the three symbols of the state, namely parliament, parties and the redistribution of wealth in favour of the South. 4 Second, the tribal confrontation in Afghanistan and in neighbouring Tadjikistan shows in a more bloody fashion how an increasing sense of primary identity is exercised precisely against former or newly created nation-states.

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