project overview

Transformation - Nationalstaaten in Europa

2007 at Merz Akademie.
Practical part of my master's thesis which is about the transformation of the
european nation states and the evolution of the European Union.

The work was awarded in the "Best of Unpublished German Book Design 2007"
competition and will be on display at international book fairs in Beijing,
Frankfurt, Zürich and others.


Today most people seem to take the belonging to a certain nation for granted.
It is a membership, we automatically receive by birth and which it is quite hard to
resign from – alike the own appereance or certain traits it seems to be predetermined
and an essential element of our identity. In terms of these facts, it is hard to
conceive that this part of our awareness, which comprises so many cultural, ethnic or
political values and emotions, has only existed for about 300 years. However more and
more people think that in times of an increasing globalised society, nation states are
prejudical and therefore are about to be doomed. If you belive in the statements of
some sociologists, the future lies in huge so called transnational confederations of
states like the European Union, because they can assimilate to the effects of
globalisation in a much better way.
Therefore political and economical representatives propagate a stronger fusion between
the european member states in favour of a united Europe. Meanwhile the population fears
a loss of their national identity – it could dissolve in one european identity with an
absence of long grown, important national attributes and a disappearance of the versatile
cultural values of Europe. It seems that the feedback to Europe by the citizens is
quite little. One up to date indication for that is the failure of the referendum in the
Netherlands and France, where the population refused to accept a European constitution.

The thesis discusses these topics. Today, nobody can tell for sure where the obvious
transformation of the nation states and the evolution of the European Union will lead to.
I am trying to analize the current situation by including optimistic and critical concepts.
Therefore the terms „nation“ and „nation state“ are examined in the first instance
including the historical context in which they developed. Furthermore the thesis reveales
the basic phenomenon of cohesions in nations, and how they make an appearance. All these
cognitions finaly lead to the next part of the thesis which deals with the effects of
the globalisation on the nation states. One possible and interesting theory proves the
creation of global networks which assemble on the nation state but operate territorial
independently. The last part of the thesis is about the European Union. A short historical
overview leads to the issue, why the European Union hits that little approval among the
citizens. It adresses the problem, by looking at different antagonists of the European
idea or globalisation in general. At the end of the thesis, some possible solutions for the
current dillema the EU faces are shown.

My practical work displays the current situation by illustrating the fears and chances of
the emerging „global community“. Therefor several information-graphics, a photographic and
artistic approach along with the thesis are combined in one book. My intention was to be
as neutral as possible, so the readers can form an opinion on their own.

project overview