The Early Struggles

Norman Birnbaum

in After Progress

Published in print July 2002 | ISBN: 9780195158595
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849352 | DOI:
The Early Struggles

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As democratization in politics spread, the new space opened for public participation was occupied, often, not by the descendants of the Enlightenment but by their sworn enemies. The struggle to extend the rights of citizenship became a struggle as to who could, legitimately, claim citizenship in ethnically and nationally mixed states. Where formal citizenship was attained, the legitimacy of its exercise was as promptly challenged. Socialism had to contend for supremacy with movements that derided and hated its universalism, offered alternative paths to social solidarity, and appealed to just those social groups the socialist parties could not, somehow, encompass: the urban middle classes, the upper and lower classes, and the peasantry. The new European nationalism was, as Eric Hobsbawm has pointed out, a direct consequence of the democratization of politics.

Keywords: democratization; politics; Enlightenment; rights; citizenship; socialism; nationalism; Eric Hobsbawm

Chapter.  8845 words. 

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