Dear readers, Living without the notion of borders had been self-evident in Europe for hundreds of years. Passports, as we know them today, were introduced in 1920 and meant to be dismissed later. At the time, borders separated cultural, linguistic, religious or geographical spaces but they were never political. In contrast, we perceive national borders as normal in the modern world – just like the fact that some people need a visa to travel to other countries, while others do not. As the last year has shown: Nationalism, accompanied by a desire to recreate and control borders, is still widespread. Nevertheless, states, such as passports, are a construct. We are all tempted to link our cultures to states. However, border regions such as Alsace demonstrate that cultural and national borders are not necessarily congruent. In conversation with 42, developmental psychologist Ulrich Schmidt-Denter explains that psychological stability correlates positively with social identification and national pride. However, these psychological and social factors become problematic if the construct of the nation is glorified and misused with the objective …
“It is not enough to say that it is illegal to be racist, that it is illegal to spread racial hatred. We need to make it absolutely clear that racism is not socially acceptable.”
Interview with Prof. Dr Julie Smith (Baroness Smith of Newnham), Director of the European Centre at the Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University, and a Fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge.
“Identitarian ideology is ultimately characterized by ethnic nationalism.”
„Each nation is entitled to its own flourishing in the garden of mankind, and nations can overlap and fertilise each other.”
Interview with Dr Edward Kanterian, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Kent
“The United Nations provide an established, structured, and institutionalised forum which emanates from the basic assumption of state egalitarianism”
Nationalism and Law: Interview with Prof Dr Heike Krieger, Faculty of Jurisprudence, Public Law, and Law of Nations, Freie Universität Berlin.
“With the Thirty Years’ War, a constant reflection about the question what makes a modern state began –how is it organised and what can it do for the wellbeing of its citizens.”
Interview with Prof. Dr. Marie-Thérèse Mourey
“By attacking modern art, the National Socialists attacked the concept of modernity as such.”
Dr Silke von Berswordt-Wallrabe, art historian and chairwoman of the foundation Situation Kunst in Bochum, Germany
“The right-wing rhetoric often seeks to polarise.”
Prof. Dr Fabian Virchow, University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf
“Although not all nations are old, nationhood is.”
Prof. Dr Azar Gat, Tel Aviv University.
“Opening up towards strangers requires a stable identity.”
Prof. Dr Schmidt-Denter, University of Cologne