Ethno-nationalism is at the centre of debates on the involution of the political sphere in Europe and in the western world. Some political analysts interpret this phenomenon as a re-edition of the nationalism of the XIX century and the first half of the XX.
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“Political science must be relevant, it does not involve studying butterflies.” Attempting to discover the theory of reality is what the Florentine political analyst Giovanni Sartori, who died on April 1st
He was the narrative voice of the “second modernity”, the one unmoored from its “solid” foundations and no longer tethered to mass heavy industry, a voice that was always in search of a revenge against extreme inequity and blind consumerism.
This essay was published by our Italian magazine Reset n.97, Sept.-Oct. 2006
The historical events that marked the years 1989-1990, the fall of the Berlin Wall and with it the Communist bloc, paved the way for radically new perspectives in schools of thought and the collective imagination. The famous statement made by former American President George Bush Sr. announcing the “end of the Cold War” and the birth of a “new world order” provided this perspective with an official seal of approval. The entire world expected a radical change in international relations. Hopes were expressed, optimistic forecasts were made; the “end of history” was even announced with the definitive triumph of liberalism and democracy. In Third World countries there was hope that the West would renounce the “logic of war” that had characterised its relations with the rest of the world, applying more inspired policies now motivated by the values of Enlightenment, those of “liberty, equality and fraternity.” Many members of the modern elites of these countries believed that the West, having won the Cold War, would encourage democratic change in the Third World. Some even stated that the West would certainly demand, as a starting point for all forms of cooperation with Third World governments, a real democratisation of political and social life as well as honest and real respect for human rights etc. Therefore, as far as people in the Third World were concerned, the West’s future relations with their countries would essentially have depended on making “new foreign policy” choices, continuing to manoeuvre within the framework of the same logic of war, or proceeding instead towards a real “reconstruction” of their own policies and strategies in order to allow relations with the South to be set within what was called the “post-Cold War” period.What has happened to those aspirations? In what way did the West perceive its future relations with the Third World in general and the Arab-Islamic world in particular? As far as politics are concerned, one must add that in the West, aspirations have now been replaced by scenarios created by professors of “strategic studies.” The observer preferring not to fall prey to the uncontrolled prejudices and reactions of fanatic and xenophobic right-wing environments, European and American, can satisfy all his curiosities by drawing on the self-proclaimed authoritative ideas of these professors.