In Lieu of a Conclusion: Chasing Proteus—Deadly Existential Threats, the Security Synthesis, the Existential Entities, and the State

  • Shinasi A. Rama


In this final chapter, I focus on a number of issues and findings that are of importance to the subject. I also draw some theoretical and practical implications for policy. The most important finding is that history matters. The past becomes the invisible hand that shapes the existential entity and its security synthesis and that conditions the future as well. History, therefore, is immensely important to the nation-builders. Their failure to understand and appreciate the complex and intense history is at the root of their failure to solve the riddle of nation-building in Kosova. As I have shown here, assuming that the nations are tabula rasa, malleable, and amnesiac is a major fallacy that leads to the inevitable failure. The major lesson is that the indigenous elites have a central role in the interpretation of the security synthesis and, thus, are able to mobilize their existential entity in their support. The other practical lesson but of theoretical significance as well, as this case shows us, is that unless a great power has unchallenged control over the area/region where the ethnic/national conflict takes place, nation-building is an impossible enterprise. The balance of power is a powerful mechanism that determines the fortunes of small existential entities and communities of destiny. Other great powers will intervene, covertly and overtly, to undermine the project and have the opponent become bogged down, bleeding resources and, above all, prestige. Thus, the case of the failure of nation-building in Kosova seems to strongly support the core claims of this book.

Selected Bibliography

  1. Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. 2nd ed. London: Verso, 1983.Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong, John. Nations before Nationalism. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  3. Berlin, Isaah. The Problem of Nationalism: A Dialogue with Stuart Hampshire, chaired by Bryan Magee. The Isaah Berlin Virtual Library (1972): 3.
  4. Brubaker, Rogers. Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  5. Cazaux, Yves. Naissance de Pais Bas. Paris: Albin Michel, 1983.Google Scholar
  6. Deutsch, Karl. Nationalism and Social Communication. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1953.Google Scholar
  7. ———. Nationalism and Its Alternatives. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1969.Google Scholar
  8. Fannon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  9. Geertz, Clifford, ed. Old Societies and New States. New York: Free Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  10. Gellner, Ernest. Nations and Nationalism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  11. Giddens, Anthony. A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism. Vol. 1, Power, Property and the State, 190. London: Macmillan, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. ———. The Nation-State and Violence. London: Routledge, 1985.Google Scholar
  13. Hall, John A. “Nationalism: Classified and Explained.” Daedalus 22, no. 3 (1993): 1–28.Google Scholar
  14. Hobsbawm, Eric J. Nations and Nationalism since 1780. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  15. Hroch, Miroslav. Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.Google Scholar
  16. ———. “From National Movement to the Fully Formed Nation: The Nation Building Process in Europe.” In Mapping the Nation, ed. Gopal Balakrishnan, 78–98. London: Verso, 1996.Google Scholar
  17. Kedourie, Elie. Nationalism. London: Hutchinson, 1960.Google Scholar
  18. Maiz, Ramon. “The Myth of Civic Patriotism: Nationalism and Republicanism in France.” In Federalism Plurinationality and Democratic Constitutionalism Theory and Cases, ed. Ferran Requejo and Miquel Badia. London: Routledge, 2012.Google Scholar
  19. Margalit, Avishai. “The Moral Psychology of Nationalism.” In The Morality of Nationalism, ed. R. McKim and J. McMahan. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1997.Google Scholar
  20. Renan, Ernest. Oeuvres Completes. Tome I. Paris: Calman Levy, 1947.Google Scholar
  21. Schmitt, Carl. The Concept of the Political. Trans. George Schwab. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  22. Seton-Watson, Hugh. Nations and States. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1977.Google Scholar
  23. Smith, Anthony D. National Identity. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1991.Google Scholar
  24. Stalin, Josif. Marxism and the National and Colonial Question. New York: International Publishers, 1935.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinasi A. Rama
    • 1
  1. 1.International Relations ProgramNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations