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The initial issue is whether the idea of universal human rights is in conflict with the idea of the nation-state. The gist of contemporary debates are embedded in this alleged or real conflict. As an introductory course the main goal of it is to interpret the concepts of nation, the nation-state in a cultural context. The broadest view is provided by the process of globalisation. The initial question is why the issue of nationhood, nationalism, identity culture, and nation-state has flared up in recent years or decades. Factors of centripetal and centrifugal forces in the nation-state are highlighted. It is a methodological aim to combine realist approach with the aspects of political philosophy.

  1. Contemporary interpretations of the concept of the nation and the nation-state. The meaning of culture, its contexts and contents.
  2. Globalizing factors: modern human rights, limitless economic development, cultural identities. The origins and contents of different human rights claims. Enlightenment and post-modern approaches to rights and culture.
  3. The role of the strengthening and disempowering forces, intentions, cultural identities in state-building. The role of the individual in European culture.
  4. The necessity of nations and nation-states: the renewal of the nation-state in contrast to empire and a global state wishful-thinking.