Maps of Remembrance. Maps of Remembrance. Máté Zombor y. Space, belonging and politics of memory in eastern Europe

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1 Máté Zombor y Máté Zombor y This book shows that the world of nations is characterized by a certain spatial dynamic which participates in the production and maintenance of national belonging, as opposed to the static and ahistorical spatial representation currently prevalent in eastern Europe. The immobility and stability of the world of nations is interpreted from the perspective of these spatial movements of deterritorialization and uprooting, and thus there arise the two different problems of the homeland and of being at home. Among the spatial practices through which the individual and the community inhabit space as national home, social remembering is of crucial importance. The author elaborates on the spatial-corporeal dimension of memory practices by applying the concept of localization and analysing the strategies of various individual and governmental actors in drawing social-geographical space. This theoretical framework enables to study the construction of cultural belonging as a reaction to the spatial dynamic of nationalism. Maps of Remembrance Space, belonging and politics of memory in eastern Europe Maps of Remembrance The spatial problem of national belonging is investigated through the struggles of post-1989 memory politics in Hungary. The maps of remembrance of national identification are drawn both by the state and by individuals whose Hungarian belonging, at some point in the twentieth century, was questioned by force. The Trianon Peace Treaty, the expulsion of those of German origin after the Second World War, and the collapse of the bipolar world order are socio-historical events the memory of which forces those affected to reconstruct their Hungarian belonging. Whether dealing with state commemorations or individual life stories, the author seeks the answer to the question of how national belonging becomes natural in cases where the homeland becomes doubtful. How is it possible to be at home after having been expelled? To the reader interested in sociological and cultural issues, this volume presents the findings of a research which takes an original look at the relationships between nationalism and space, between memory and spatial practices, and between the state and the individual. 12 I S B N mate_borito_eng2_barcode.indd 1 20/04/ :22

2 MÁTÉ ZOMBORY Maps of Remembrance

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4 MÁTÉ ZOMBORY Maps of Remembrance Space, belonging and politics of memory in eastern Europe Budapest, 2012

5 The publication of this book was supported by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary and the Hungarian Translators House. Originally published as Az emlékezés térképei. Magyarország és a nemzeti azonosság 1989 után, L Harmattan, Budapest, Translated from Hungarian by Richard Robinson Academic proofreader: Anna Lujza Szász Máté Zombory, 2011 Richard Robinson L Harmattan, 2012 AnBlokk Association, 2011 L Harmattan France 7 rue de l Ecole Polytechnique Paris T.: L Harmattan Italia SRL Via Bava, Torino Italia T. / F.: ISBN Publication of Publisher L Harmattan and AnBlokk Association. L Harmattan Könyvesbolt 1053 Budapest, Kossuth L. u Tel.: Graphic design: Krisztina Csernák Cover: Judit Ferencz Printed and bound by Robinco Kft.

6 5 Contents Introduction Nationalism and Spatiality The Nation-state as a Territorial Ideal Spatial Social Imaginaries Intranational Space Territorialization Spatial Movement, Dynamic Spatiality Homelands and Homes Spatial Dynamics and National Belonging Between Place and Memory: the practices of localization Space and the Culture of Remembering Spatial Practices Spatial Practices of Remembrance National Localization The Return to Europe: state politics of memory and Hungarian belonging.. 85 Disdainful Imperial Gazes Hungarian National Cartography The Dynamics of the Map: from Europe to Europe The Location of the Nation on the Map: between East and West Border Changes on the Map: getting left out of Europe National Cartography and the Future Redrawing the Map Summary The Nation as Imaginative Laboratory Identity and Politics Individualization The Politics of Belonging Government of the Self The Laboratory of the Self Self as the Other The Imaginative Laboratory of the Nation

7 6 Remarks on Methodology Drawing the Border of the Hungarian Nation post-1989: state and individual localization The Life Story Interview The Museum of the Self: national-ethnic belonging and the memory of expulsion Ethnic Belonging as the Nurturing of Cultural Heritage In the Middle of the War The Destruction of Swabian Culture Home as a Place of Absence Identity as Politics Working for the Peace of the Village A Museum in the Parental Home Summary Hungarian Homelands: national belonging beyond the border Hungary s Diaspora Politics The Beyond the Border Discourse The European Programme for the Reunification of the Nation Reunification of the Nation through the Institutionalization of Hungarian Hungarian Relations Boundary-Drawing within the Nation Hungarian Homelands outside Hungary Citizenship: None This Homeland That Homeland Clipping the Edge of the Decaying Willow This is our Motherland, Slovakia Re-drawing Forgotten Maps Summary State-free Nationalism, Natural National Resistance Alternative National Homes Respect for Nature N in the Equation Acknowledgements Appendix Bibliography

8 7 Introduction Nations are not given by nature and they do not last forever; they are created by history and by society. This has been demonstrated by scholarly critiques of nationalism in recent decades using a wide variety of approaches, methods, and examples. They have proved what the national is actually like, as opposed to how it seems to be, even to itself. The statement the nation is a construction, which became a slogan, never stood its ground per se, because the issue was how this construction is carried out. The classic question was about how nations took shape historically, and how they are maintained through their current practices. This question referred primarily to the nation s unity and continuity, and inevitably had to take into account the contradiction that a historically formed sociocultural construction appears to be eternal and self-evident. Another, later wave of critiques of nationalism cast doubt on the exclusivity, continuity and unity of national belonging, pointing out social and cultural functions of belonging that were not national, or that deviated from the dominant national form. The social arrangement of space thus becomes a problem in its own right in nationalism research, in the context of the issues of globalization, migration, cities with multi-national populations, virtual belongings, and even the communications revolution. Regarding nationalism, we now face the embarrassing contradiction that in spite of decades of in-depth and intensive scholarly critique, national belonging continues to be able to operate as natural in everyday practices. It is, then, worth investigating how it is represented as natural in life s various fields. How are the meanings which ascribe national belonging into the sphere of nature produced? How are they organized, how are they consolidated? In what way does the nation become evident in discourse? Many answers have been made to this question in the context of the nation s temporality, emphasizing the role of a wide variety of everyday, commemorative

9 8 scholarly or institutionalized practices in producing the identity of the ancient and current nation. This branch of nationalism research developed together with memory research, which aimed to investigate the practices of the social arrangement of time, through which the past accommodates to the present in such a way that it provides the image and feeling of a permanent given. However, nationalism research has overlooked the spatial practices through which the individual and community inhabit the place they live in as if things had naturally been thus since the beginning of time. How does this national relationship between individual and space come into being, and how is it maintained? How does national spatial attachment become obvious? What are the roles of the state and the individual in this process? These are the questions to which I shall seek the answer, in connection with the divergent forms of spatiality, and the arrangement of territoriality. I shall investigate national belonging as a spatial problem. The key to understanding the spatial practices in question is provided by memory research. Beyond the fact that in the construction of the nation the past and memory continue to have special importance, similarly to the technology of arranging time, we can reveal the spatial practices of memory. The reconstruction of the past locates not only in time, but also in space. I shall show how this happens through an analysis of post-1989 Hungarian memory politics. I shall examine the Hungarian case as if from without. That is, I am interested not in the meanings of the nation, of the struggles within the nation-state for a monopoly over the criteria for belonging to the nation, but in cultural concepts, regardless of party or side, which appear united regarding the Hungarian nation-state. This unity is of course not some internal Hungarian constant, but operates as derived from the institutional and power relations of the nation-state, is defined historically and enforced governmentally. The external perspective makes it possible to take into account the global context of nationalism. An investigation of national belonging that deals only with internal identities and national uniqueness is incomplete, because of ignoring the fact that to identify with the nation is also to identify with the world of nations. Nationhood is represented as global, even though culturally it is far from universal or uniform. A critique of natural national belonging is not directed at the true nature of the nation, but at the practical implementation of national-ethnic categories in quotidian life. The question is: what role does the representation of space in memory play such that it produces national belonging as a natural factor.

10 9 The structure of the book This volume contains three theoretical and three empirical studies. In the first chapter, Nationalism and Spatiality, I deal with the particularities of spatial representation of the nation currently prevalent in eastern Europe, I show that the world of nations, though portrayed as static and ahistorical, is characterized by a certain spatial dynamic, which participates in the production and maintaining of national belonging. The immobility and stability of the world of nations can be interpreted from the perspective of these spatial movements, and thus there arise the two different problems of the homeland and of being at home. The question arises as to which procedures make a place a homeland, to what extent it becomes homely. In chapter two, Between Place and Memory: the practices of localization, I discuss the extent to which social memory can be considered as totality of the practices constructing space, and the relationship between space and man. I survey the theoretical approaches of memory research, seeking a path to the spatial-corporeal relations of remembrance. In the case studies I shall, through an investigation into the spatial practices of memory, demonstrate the production and maintenance of national belonging. Chapter three is a case study presenting the post-1989 memory politics of the Hungarian state (The Return to Europe: state politics of memory and Hungarian belonging), in which I examine how the Hungarian state produced national-spatial belonging after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. I analyze the official state commemorations between the regime change of 1989 and the country s accession to the EU: the August 20 (St Stephen s day) celebrations in which the prime ministers and heads of state of the Republic of Hungary narrated the history of the nation. This is the first empirical analysis, because the context of the case studies defines the reading, which would be extremely difficult if for instance they followed a sociohistorical chronology. In order to analyze individual identity strategies, we must know the procedures of state normalization. In addition, I have decided that, in order to emphasize the interrelatedness of the case studies, theoretical clarification of individual identity strategies will follow the first analysis; the political problem of individual constraints and possibilities is thus raised not compared to the general theoretical conception, but in its socio-historically embedded version. Accordingly, the theoretical framework applied during the analysis is in chapter four (The Nation as Imaginative Laboratory) supplemented with the problem of individual identity. In this study I deal on the one hand with the way individual identity strategies can be examined in the context of state normalization, and then I discuss the main questions of research methodology, and the details of recording and analyzing biographical interviews.

11 10 In chapter five (The Museum of the Self: national-ethnic belonging and the memory of expulsion) I analyze the individual localization strategies in life story interviews in a context in which individual national and ethnic belonging comes into conflict with the identification endorsed by the state s memory politics. The narrators, who were expelled from Hungary because of their German origins, returned, and in their recollections face the fact that the stigmatizing German identity robs them of Hungarian belonging, and of the possibility of identifying themselves as non-guilty Germans. The question is, how it is possible to return home in every sense of the word: to return and be at home in a place from which one has been expelled. Chapter six is also an analysis of biographical interviews, conducted with Hungarians living in Slovakia (Hungarian Homelands: national belonging beyond the border ). In this case the memory politics of the Hungarian state and the discourse addressing Hungarians beyond the borders which defines it confront the interviewees with the constraint both of remaining Hungarian and of rejecting the distancing and disdainful national identification coming from the mother country. How, in the midst of this, can one be at home as a Hungarian outside Hungary? Finally, chapter seven contains summarizing remarks (State-free Nationalism, Natural National Resistance).

12 11 1. Nationalism and Spatiality If, for example, someone tells us why he dislikes his homeland, his confession will inevitably be an expression of his love for it and his desire to act on this love, while earnest, passionate affirmation of loyalty to one s country usually betrays loathing, suggesting that this country has caused one much pain, worry, despair, deep doubts, and paralyzing helplessness, and the crippled desire for action must retreat into enthusiastic expressions of loyalty. Péter Nádas: A Book of Memories Nationalism is not what it seems, and above all it is not what it seems to itself. 1 This declaration, which originates with Ernest Gellner, considered the pioneer of nationalism research, is a fine example of the general suspicion enshrouding the subject. For Gellner, as for other researchers in the area, the most suspicious characteristic of nationalism was that the nation appears as natural and eternal, as an entity which is there, like Mount Everest. 2 Accordingly, theories and approaches that have since become classical have attempted to show the true nature of nationalism as opposed to what it states about itself, i.e. the nation, and which is nothing less than a sociological self-deception, a vision of reality through a prism of illusion. 3 Following Gellner, since the 1960s 4 nationalism has become a legitimate research topic, a situation made possible by the view that the nation is a consequence of nationalism, rather than the reason for it. The subject of this examination is not which nations are nationalistic, to what extent and why, but rather the mechanism by which nationalism creates nations. In actual fact nationalism is not some characteristic typically viewed as bad, an essential feature of the nation, or more precisely of certain nations, but a social process which is responsible for creating the nation thus this latter is a construction. Although in the literature, in contrast to this constructionist viewpoint the primordialists are often mentioned, according to whom nationhood is a natural state, in sociological research these latter by definition do not exist, since together with their subject of research they would eliminate themselves. It can then be said that some degree 1 Gellner s work Nations and Nationalism was first published in References here will be to the 1996 edition. Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996), Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, He first dealt with nationalism in one of the chapters of Thought and Change (1964), which then served as the basis for his major work in 1983.

13 12 of constructionism is indispensible for a scholarly examination of nationalism which investigates this social construction from various approaches. For example, when did nations form, and historically from what point can we speak of nationalism. This is the classic issue of nationalism research, inspired by the suspicion that nations are represented as ancient, and as being as old as the human race. The issue of temporality has been the subject of many critiques. On the one hand, it has been shown that nationalism is the product of a specific historical period, and attempts have been made to discover the historical-social conditions for nation construction. 5 Interestingly, this modernist approach also has its counterpart in early nomenclature: in the view of the so-called perennialists 6 the nation exists permanently, unscathed by history and time. The phantom camp of like-minded primordialists and perennialists is nothing less than a perfect example of how a nascent area of scholarship attempts to delineate its borders in a legitimate fashion. 7 On the other, to probe the issue of the temporality of the nation, research has been conducted into the processes by which the sacred time of the nation becomes a social reality, as the past is given a national meaning. This branch of nationalism research developed in close relationship to memory research. Posing this question is able to resolve the paradox that from the viewpoint of historians the nation is objectively (i.e. actually) a modern phenomenon, while for the nationalists, it is subjectively an ancient one. 8 At the center of interest in memory research are indeed the social techniques for the organization of time. The issue of the formation of national traditions, the national institutionalization 5 The central theme of the Warwick debate organized between Gellner and his former student Anthony D. Smith was to what extent nations can be considered a modern phenomenon. As Gellner put it: do nations have navels? His view was that nations are entirely a product of the needs of modern industrial societies, while Smith held that modernity is only half the story, because nations formed from the symbolism and traditions which provided cultural cohesion for earlier premodern ethnic communities. tripod.com/gellnerpage/warwick.html, and also Anthony D. Smith: The Ernest Gellner Memorial Lecture. Memory and modernity: reflections on Ernest Gellner s theory of nationalism. 6 See Anthony D. Smith s typology on research into nationalism: The Nation in History. Historiographical Debates about Ethnicity and Nationalism, (Hanover: University of New England, 2000), Another method is to create a canon of classical writers on the subject. The list of early theories usually beings with Ernest Renan and Herder. See for instance Anthony D. Smith, Nationalism and historians, in Mapping the Nation ed. Gopal Balakrishnan (London, New York: Verso, 1996), Anderson identifies three paradoxes in nationalism. Besides objective modernity vs. subjective antiquity, scholars see a further paradox that nationality is, as a socio-cultural concept, formally universal ( in the modern world everyone can, should, will have a nationality ), as opposed to the particularity of the concrete manifestation of nationhood (every nation is unique); also, in a political sense nationalism is effective and dominant, yet it is philosophically weak, having no great thinkers. Benedict Anderson, Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism (Londond New York: Verso, 2006), 5-7.

14 13 of the past through museums, archives, scholarship and public education, the temporality of national commemorations and so forth all presume techniques which are accomplishments of history, but which organize the time of society such that its backbone is formed by the national narrative. Yet in this narrative the nation appears as an ancient, often permanent quality, which is able to assert itself only through its own state and if it does not assert it is because it is being oppressed: this is the narrative figure of the sleeping beauty 9 awaiting her awakening. In the eastern European version for instance, communism oppressed the nations, which after the disintegration of the Soviet bloc could breathe once more, and this is supposed to explain the xenophobia and ethnic conflicts present in the successor states. This unveiling branch of nationalism research, which counterposes the national idea to that of objective reality, has further enriched the series of paradoxes in nationalism research with the equally confusing contradiction that in spite of the prolonged, diverse and intensive critique of the temporality of nationalism, the idea of the nation continues to operate as an atemporal and natural entity in everyday life. In vain have several researchers used various methods to show that the myths [of nationalist ideology] invert reality 10 ; it seems that objective criticism counts for nothing in the face of these myths. The question arises as to what makes these myths attractive, what is their role, and how do they operate in everyday life? If it is scientifically proven that national belonging is a social phenomenon and not a natural one, how is it then possible that it operates as natural in everyday practice? Rather than the objective criteria for the development and operation of nationalism, I shall investigate the processes by which it seems to itself. From this point of view the question is not what the nation really is, but rather how it becomes real or natural. To put this another way, the emphasis is shifted from the sociological reality of the nation to the reality of thinking, feeling and acting in terms of the nation. Thus there is no purpose to a definition of the nation, since we acknowledge that the nation is a classification category, whose use in a given historical and social context is to be explained, together with its resulting meaning and role in society. 11 In stead of seeking a perfect definition, I shall focus on various 9 On this see for example Gellner: Nations and Nationalism, Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, On this see for instance:bourdieu, Pierre, Identity and Representation: Elements for a Critical Reflection on the Idea of Region, in Language and Symbolic Power by Pierre Bourdieu, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991), , Rogers Brubaker, Rethinking Nationhood: nation as an institutionalized form, practical category, contingent event, Contention 4/1 (1994): 3 14., Daniele Conversi, Reassessing current theories of nationalism: Nationalism as boundary maintenance and creation, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 1/1 (1995): , Verdery, Katherine. Whither Nation and Nationalism? Daedalus

15 14 actors struggles for definition; instead of the objective criteria of nationhood I shall examine the process of objectification; and instead of the normal forms of nationalism I shall look at the prescription and enforcement of nationalism as a norm, and so forth. The nation, then, is a system of cultural representation which can be characterized by a given view of the world and modes of intervention, and which excludes other visions, and in many cases competes with them. In any case the issue relates to the discursive processes of cultural representation in which the nation operates as a category of identification. When examining nationalism one must be aware that the constructing of the nation also means the production of the world of nations. Every nation is located among other nations. The global diversity of nationalism however makes it impossible to conduct an exhaustive examination; indeed, there has been no theory of nationalism which could be universally applicable. A further difficulty is that national representation can also take on various forms, as transnationalism research and postcolonial criticism has shown. I shall narrow the examination of nationalism and spatiality to the territoriality of the nation-state. Nation-state-based cultural representation can be investigated as the various applications of a dominant norm, which is enforced in many various ways (symbolically, institutionally, by violence etc.) primarily but not exclusively by state and governmental agents. Gellner defined nationalism as a not total and not universal, but dominant norm, which legitimizes political units in the modern world: the natural and only form of rule is the (territorial) state organized on national grounds, claiming the principle of one state, one culture. His work aimed to disclose the objective conditions for this norm. 12 He interprets nationalism as a new way of relating to culture, which is necessarily brought about by the modern form of the division of labour typical in the industrial society, as opposed to the agrarian societies earlier in history. Homogeneous, or rather homogenized culture makes it possible for signs to flow independently of context, which is indispensible in the modern industrial order characterized by a high degree of employment mobility and constant innovation. Gellner thus gives a structural explanation for the development of nationalism in the form of the transition to the modern division of labour. Since he views cultural homogeneity as a functionally necessary condition for industrial society, and not as a normative ideal, he considers social division, exploitation and xenophobia within 122 (1993): , Ruth Wodak, Rudolf de Cillia, Martin Reisigl, and Karin Liebhart, The Discursive Construction of National Identity (Edinburgh University Press, 2009). 12 See Ernest Gellner, Nationalism and the Two Forms of Cohesion in Complex Societies, Proceedings of the British Academy 68 (1982): and Ernest Gellner, The Coming of Nationalism and its Interpretation: the Myths of Nation and Class in Mapping the Nation edited by Gopal Balakrishnan, (London: Verso, 1996):

16 15 the nation-state as dangers threatening society (a characteristic he terms entropyresistance). 13 However rather than an operational disturbance of the nation-state, this is a practice of homegenization, which includes the internal differentiation and reproduction of the cultural other. To paraphrase Gellner s celebrated example 14 I am looking for the answer how today s Kokoschka-like world of cultural belongings is (or fails to be) repainted as a Modigliani-like scheme. Gellner s homogenization means more than just the state-sponsored education system s production of viable and usable human beings, indeed even the success of this undertaking is to be questioned. I shall consider the homogenized cultural representation of space organized by the nation-state principle, this Modigliani-style picture as a normative ideal, whose fullscale implementation and enforcement is never possible, moreover the (historically and socially determined and variable) application of the norm raises the issue of the possibility of resistance. Ac cording to this ideal nation-states share out the surface of the Earth, the borders of nations coincide with those of states, the population is settled, belonging is national and singular. Although this norm appears as universal, it has developed historically and is implemented and institutionalized by varying degrees and methods throughout the world. The norm of the congruence of state, nation and territory has been institutionalized to a considerable extent in the European continent, though we should not overlook the fact that the territorial norm of the nation-state is prescribed in the context of the cultural representation of space. This means that we must also take into account the possibility of differing national and cultural belongings. In the first part of the chapter I shall attempt a theoretical reconstruction of the normative ideal of society s commonplace imaginary world in which the state, the nation and territory are congruent. In this scheme the world of nations is static and ahistorical, and organization by territory appears to be natural and right. In the second part of the chapter I shall explore the spatial dynamic of the cultural logic of nationalism. Partly this will touch on the processes covered by the notion of deterritorialization, which cast light on the representation of the nation (which 13 On this see Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, 66 ff. 14 Consider the history of the national principle; or consider two ethnographic maps, one drawn up before the age of nationalism, and the other after the principle of nationalism has done much of its work. The first map resembles a painting by Kokoschka. The riot of diverse points of colour is such that no clear pattern can be discerned in any detail. Look now instead at the ethnographic and political map of an area of the modem world. It resembles not Kokoschka, but, say, Modigliani. There is very little shading; neat flat surfaces are clearly separated from each other, it is generally plain where one begins and another ends, and there is little if any ambiguity or overlap. Cited in Liisa Malkki, National Geographic: The Rooting of Peoples and the Territorialization of National Identity Among Scholars and Refugees, Cultural Anthropology 7/1 (February 1992),

17 16 in the territorial ideal of the nation-state is static, unhistorical and natural), and show it to be problematic. Also I will deal with the spatial dialectic which can be understood as the uprooting resulting from the application of the territorial norm of the nation-state and as a response to this by national representation. By recognizing the spatial dynamic of nationalism the national home, or the homeland as the space for belonging is divested of its self-evident meanings. I shall deal with this in the third part of the chapter. If the construction of national belonging is not defined exclusively by the territorial norm of the nation-state (deterritorialization), that is, if this norm is applied in a field of cultural belongings, and if the consistent application of this very norm uproots, then we shall have to think of spatial national belonging as a re-formation, a continuous production, as a making homely of the homeland. Spatial Social Imaginaries The Nation-state as a Territorial Ideal In the nation-state doctrine prevalent today the nation is a political community; that is to say it is a category designating the framework for the government (in the modern imagination self-government, sovereignty of the peuple) of some human population, which is indivisible from state institutionalization. In the tradition of the Englightenment the freedom to participate in politics is divided equally between the members of the political community of the nation (as regards suffrage and electability, governing and being governed). The modern form of the political community, the nation, is in this sense can be seen as a response to the disintegration of the feudal, dynastic political framework. It is often said that according to the concept of the French revolution the nation is the peuple put in a position of political power and sovereignty. The issue of space is expressed as state territory; if someone chooses it as their living place, they share in the political rights and obligations deriving from membership of the nation. In this theory the nation lives in some territory, and that would tie up the issue of spatiality: the territory is a condition for the political community of the nation insofar as every nation has to have territory, on which the distribution of the members of the nation is indifferent, and living on the territory is necessary to exercise political freedom. Moreover however the state exercizes control and surveillance on those who live on the territory enclosed by its borders, so for instance not just anyone can choose to live there. In this Foucauldian sense territory is an abstract function of power, which is characterized by a certain form of exercising of power.

18 17 So far in this investigation of the problem of space we remained within the limits of politics defined by the modern nation-state. The next state in this train of thought, however, will prove to be a breach in this respect. For one thing, the political community of the nation presumes cultural conceptions which in the modern nation-state order were considered pre-political ; for another, politics has now become detached from the framework of the nation-state, and areas previously considered apolitical have become politicized. The notion of identity politics clearly demonstrates how in the modern industrial nation-state order, apolitical facts such as career, cultural belonging or sexuality have become politicized, that is the state organization of politics (as the self-reflection of society) is coming unravelled. For the moment let us continue to focus on the modern social order, more precisely with the cultural conceptions that form the basis of the political. It can easily be seen that territory is never a pure abstraction (and neither is the nation), because it is always made concrete as the state territory, that is, it gains geographical location and extent, not to mention its history or the development of the social relationship between territory and population. To return to the French example, many aspects of spatiality are self-evident. Thus it seems obvious for instance that the French peuple has only one, defined part of the planet in which to exercise political self-representation just as does every nation, though a different place. It also appears obvious that this is made possible precisely by this territory, which was inherited from the dynastic state by those who lived there previously (and do they alone constitute the peuple?). And if to all this we add the Hexagone, a synonym for France (the territory of the state resembles a hexagon) it becomes clear that countless cultural conceptions form the basis for (or surround) the abstract notion of territory in what is thought to be a purely abstruse political interpretation of the nation. The metonymic replacement of the state territory with a regular geometric shape does nothing less than makes the territory natural, constructing it as regular and whole. I shall deal with these self-evident conceptions shortly. I referred to the French example in order to show that the exercising of the modern political community, the nation, is founded on cultural conceptions, even in France, held to be a shining example of the état-nation. This pre-political interpretation is made possible by the notion of social imaginaries. 15 Charles Taylor writes: This approach is not the same as one that might focus on the ideas, as against the institutions of modernity. The social imaginary is not a set of ideas; rather, it is what enables, through making sense of, the practices 15 Charles Taylor, Modern Social Imaginaries, Public Culture 14/1 (2002):

19 18 of a society. 16 The social imaginaries are cultural conceptions enabling the operation, practices of modern society (including the social form of territoriality, of the public sphere or of the self-governing people), which conceptions relate, in both the descriptive and prescriptive sense, on how people connect to one another before they form a political community. Taylor deals with the unwritten (Western) code of counter obligations and rights in the spirit of which the social contract is made. The point is not that successful governance (that political opposition should not lead to the breakup of the nation-state), has need of, in addition to the institution of political citizenship, as a kind of basis for it, a formed cultural community. 17 In this sense a purely political attachment never even existed. In other words the social imaginary is not simply the sum of community norms, but primarily, to use Taylor s words, that of their ontic components or that of the notions and conceptions which make it possible to implement the norms. In the work I have cited by Taylor he deals with social space only in the sense of the relations between individuals. He discusses three secular spaces apart from politics, which are essential in the modern social order. The public sphere (Habermas), society (whose members look on it as being beyond politics, organized in the [market] economy), and society as a peuple. This latter he sees as a metatopical agency which departs from the immediately local; related to it is the notion that its existence precedes and even lays the foundation for the politically organized society. To return to the French example, individuals already related to one another as members of the peuple before they formed a political community as a nation. The adjective metatopical refers to the fact the members of society consider each other members of the same people without being in immediate communication, gathered together in some territory. Taylor does not go into where the borders of the people may be. Where are its members, in their physical reality? In terms of the relationship between land and people it is also possible to identify social imaginaries. In what follows I shall deal with the modern (nation-state principle) social imaginary and its spatial dimension I shall term territorialization. 16 Taylor, Modern Social Imaginaries, 91, emphasis in the original. 17 On this see, for instance, György Schöpflin, Nationhood, Modernity, Democracy in Regio: Minorities, Politics, Society 6/1 (2006): As Schöpflin puts it: From this perspective the idea of the civi contract as being the determinant of the nature of the modern state was always a legend, a selfserving narrative. 9.

20 19 Intranational Space One peculiarity of the cultural representation of space organized by the nationstate principle is that territorialization remains non-represented, and in this context the problem of space arises in a special, restricted form. I shall examine this restricted spatial problem according to three interrelated criteria: as the just division of territories among the nations; as the family of nations ; and as the overlooking of a nation s own nationalism. According to the territorial ideal of the nation-state every territory must belong to some nation-state (and thus to a nation), and each territory may belong to only one nation. The relationship between territory and nation is defined by exclusive ownership, which is the basis for the sovereignty of the nation-state. At the same time every person must belong to some nation, that is to say he must have national identity but only one. The world seems to be naturally divided up between nations, which, organized as states, have control over their own delimited territories. In this vision the problem of space arises exclusively as a question of control over the national territory, as the just division of the available land surface between the nations. In this imaginary the problem rears its head when a young or potential nation stakes a claim to statehood, that is, the sovereign control over its own territory, or when a body representing the nation puts forward a claim to territorial revision. Participants in such conflicts regularly refer to the principle of national self-determination. This principle rests on the concept that every nation strives for statehood, for territorial independence, and when it has gained it, nationalism evaporates, since there is no longer any need for it. Brubaker terms this the architectonic illusion, 18 in which satisfying territorial claims and granting state self-determination can bring national conflicts to an end. The history of Europe in the twentieth century provides countless examples to show there is no just division of territory between nations; the drawing of borders with reference to self-determination is always arbitrary, and furthermore maintaining the border entails continuous strife, even conflict. In its restricted form the problem of national space cannot be resolved. The principle of national self-determination rests on a social ontology which sees the territorially separated nations as substantial and permanent entities, which have a propensity to statehood, and which identifies this propensity as nationalism. A further difficulty in the just division of territory is that since the nation is a disputable political 18 Rogers Brubaker, Myths and Misconceptions in the Study of Nationalism, in John A. Hall (ed.) The State of the Nation: Ernest Gellner and the Theory of Nationalism, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1998),

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