The authors in this collection of essays address the largely neglected but significant economic aspects of the national question in its historical context during the course of the twentieth century. There exists a large gap in our understanding of the historical relationship between the 'national question' and economic change. Above all, there is insufficient knowledge about the economic dimension of the historical experience with regard to the former multi-national states, such as the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia; and equally too little is known about the economic component of national tensions and conflicts in bilingual Belgium or Finland, or the multilingual Spain or Switzerland. At the same time as emphasis is placed on the complex relationships between the economy and society in individual European countries, questions of state, identity, language, religion and racism as instruments of economic furtherance are at the centre of the contributors' attention.
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