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After World War II, states transformed into 'collective fortresses' in order to protect competing ideological systems. The debate on post-modern statehood heavily built on ideological disputes between liberalism and communism, over the nature of the economic and social system, and the state and government that could sustain such a system. What is an 'ideologically acceptable' state-concept; which tasks and fu- tions should the state fulfil, and how to legitimate not only democratic, but also authoritarian and even totalitarian regimes? These questions were at the very centre of state theory. However, after the fall of communism in Europe and the former Soviet Union, the discourse of state and government scholarship radically changed. The need for a profound shift in the state paradigm was emerging. The time after 1989 seemed to proclaim that the nation-state had lost its raison d'etre as an island of undisputed and unlimited sovereignty. A globalised world order broke open the 'fortress state' that developed within the tradition of European constitutionalism. Given the simultaneous structural changes to the nation-state's foundations, socio-economic and political reforms going hand in hand with new constitutional designs, the 'state in transition' started paving the way towards a new state paradigm, and not only with regard to the states in the process of de- cratic transformation from socialist into liberal constitutional democracies.
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'This book is 'full of profound insights, stimulating reflections and ideas, and creative provocations, such as the authors' continuous scepticism towards the liberal political and state theory'. Defining the multicultural state as the essential political community of the 21st century and redefining the basic concepts of the theory of state to that effect, this book may become a milestone in the history of political and state theory' - Ulrich K. Preuss in the "International Journal of Constitutional Law, 2006, page 576-581. 'It is a great merit of Thomas Fleiner and Lidija R. Basta Fleiner that they identify both internal changes of a personal substrate of contemporary states and the challenges of globalization not only with an astonishing seismological sensitiveness; moreover, they do it in a manner, which distinguishes their book with regard to other works on the theory of the State' - Felix Hanschmann, in "Kritische Justiz", 2005, page 207-213.
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