“Since the end of the 18th century nationalism has played an important role in the history of Europe” syas Luc Boeva

News / 04.12.14

Since the end of the 18th century nationalism has played an important role in the history of Europe. Its protagonists, assembled in national movements, were involved in the construction of nations and national identity, contributing both to the constitution and the dissolution of states. Also today, it remains a complex phenomenon that exerts an important influence on the cultural and political evolution of Europe.

Nationalism is the object of sustained and intensive research. However, although national movements are in fact pre-eminently transnational, researchers often remain unaware of results from studies of other national movements. Case studies are therefore often carried out without a contextual or comparative dimension. Moreover, theory formation is unsufficiently based on the results of comparative empirical research. The fact that comparative studies tend to be complicated, the language barrier and the unavailability of controlled and systematically presented data all contribute to the research problem. And there has not been any coordinated effort on a European level to collect sources on national movements, to conserve and disclose them for research.

That is why NISE (National movements and Intermediary Structures in Europe) was established in 2008, providing an interdisciplinary research, heuristic and archival platform for sustained cooperation at European level between academics as well as research and heritage organisations from all over Europe (including CMC). The main objective of the organisation is to enable comparative and transnational studies of national movements. Mapping out institutional and personal relations between them enables researchers to study political and cultural transfers.

NISE collects, checks and structures data about the intermediary structures (political parties, organisations, societies and the people involved) of national movements in Europe. This information is linked in an English-language database with four other kinds of information: archival, bibliographical, institutional and contextual. The data are harvested as a result of projects, conferences and workshops, migration from other databases etc. NISE also accompanies the collection, conservation and disclosure of the historical and current archival and printed sources from and about national movements. The organisation disposes of various publication series, including the online journal Studies on National Movements-SNM.

For more information, see www.nise.eu

Article of Luc Boeva, NISE Coordinator and Member of the Scientific Advisory Council of Centre aurits Coppieters.