Emergence of nation states and problematic political concepts in four ‘waves’: From the French revolution to the end of the cold war

Ahmet Sözen


In this paper, the concept of sovereignty and other related important problematic concepts such as nation, people and self-determination, that are closely, in fact organically, related to the concept of a nation state, and the problems associated with them will be analyzed in different ‘waves’ (historical processes) of the emergence of nation states. It is argued that the concept of sovereignty and other related concepts were in each ‘wave’ abused first by the monarchist leaders and later by the nation states, great powers and the international community. The author makes some modest recommendations for the international relations and international law literatures about how to establish and maintain peace in the new world order in the twenty-first century, given the current context consisting of a fragmented international society and that of several ethnic conflicts, such as the ethnic violence in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, and Chechnya.

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