The bulk of scholarly literature views nationalism as harmful to democratic transition. Yet Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan indirectly suggest that nationalism may benefit democratization. This study shows that under the right conditions nationalism can benefit democratic transition. Building on the typology of Linz and Stepan and the liberal nationalism tradition of Yael Tamir and David Miller, this study examines the transitions in Estonia and Ukraine. It introduces an important layer, the multinational federal state, into the typologies developed by Linz and Stepan to show that nationalism can prove a useful political tool of mobilization in a multiethnic setting.
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