The Multi-National State in Modern World History: The Chinese Experiment

in Frontiers of History in China
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The paper seeks to grasp the conditions under which the idea of the multi-national state developed in twentieth-century China. Although the idea of multiple nationalities was taking hold at the beginning of the twentieth-century in Europe—especially in Eastern Europe, it first found institutional expression in the Chinese Republic declared in 1912. While the grounds for the emergence have to do with the transition from empire to nation-state in many countries of the world, the idea in China also drew from imperial Chinese conceptions of an imperial federation. Moreover, the impact of the multi-national state in China was long-term and we can find an important dynamic of Chinese politics in this formation.

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