The formation of nation-states is as much the result of projects regarding land and people, as of military and political struggle. How nationalists imagined the borders of their desired territory, and how they defined the 'nation' have determined the nature of the struggle. 'Spatial Conceptions of the Nation' looks at the various aspects and stages of this process in Greece and Turkey - two states where alternative principles establishing the basis for territory and population continue to compete. In this book, the authors discuss the intellectual and political conditions within which variously demarcated national spaces were imagined. They consider the debates, social forces, and world-historical events that shaped different versions of the national territorial project. Nationalists desire to establish congruence between spatial boundaries of the imagined nation and the actual cartography to be ratified in the inter-state system. As we know, however, this was rarely achieved: rival nationalisms gave rise to separatism and irredentism, expulsions, compulsory exchange and ethnic cleansing of populations, which then shaped the actual cartography. Official histories are often unreliable on the guiding tenet behind the blueprint of the nation-state. In both Greece and Turkey (and in their spatial extension - Cyprus), nationalists continue to struggle with rival conceptions giving priority to religion, ethnicity, or a secular and constitutional principle of historical place. Since the conception of the nation has a variable correlative, the advertised desire for homogeneity within the territory can never be achieved. This book uncovers the alternative paths that could have been taken in the construction and the inhabiting of the nation-state in Greece and Turkey, and expands on concerns that remain topics of unresolved debate in contemporary politics.
Spatial Conceptions of the Nation
Modernizing Geographies in Greece and Turkey