Michel Dormal currently teaches political theory at the University of Trier and is working on a research project on the history of nation-building and democratisation in Luxembourg, sponsored by the Fonds National de la Recherche (Luxembourg). His research interests include critical theory, democratic theory, and political violence. He recently published Terror und Politik (Münster: LIT-Verlag, 2009).
Political Representation and Imagined Community: The Case of Luxembourg
Article first published online: 11 DEC 2012
Journal compilation © 2012 Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism
Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism
Volume 12, Issue 3, pages 498–516, December 2012
How to Cite
Dormal, M. (2012), Political Representation and Imagined Community: The Case of Luxembourg. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 12: 498–516. doi: 10.1111/sena.12001
- Issue published online: 11 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 11 DEC 2012
- National Research Fund of Luxembourg (FNR)
Discussions of nation-building often focus on political elites, who are considered the makers of new communities. This article seeks to sketch out a different approach. It suggests thinking of representative relations as the site of a negotiation of collective identity. Drawing on recent discussions in political theory, the first part of the article discusses conceptual implications of this assumption, arguing that representation should be analysed in terms of its symbolic structure. The second part offers a historical case study of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. It explores how processes of political democratisation and imagination of national community were deeply interconnected in the period from 1890 to 1939. The article illustrates how the representative politisation of social conflict may trigger nation-building.