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The article tackles the question of the decline and revival of statehoods in Europe, in a broad historical context. This analysis is based on the history of political systems, philosophy and politics of memory across Europe, rather than on the politological concept of ‘failed states’. The phenomenon of consecutive diminishment and rebirth of states remains a constant feature of European politics and history, beginning with the collapse of the Roman Empire, through to the Partition of Poland in the eighteenth century (as an exemplary event), to the Soviet Union, and the civil war in former Yugoslavia. Kąkolewski points out the parallel phenomena of integrative and disintegrative processes taking place after many decades and having a potential of shaking state structures that initially seemed to be solidly integrated – as, for example, in Scotland or Catalonia. The European Union is the most recent example of this pattern: founded upon voluntary limitation of its Member States’ sovereignties, its has encountered disintegrative nationalist movements occurring in many parts of Europe.
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