At the dawn of the third millennium, the most important form of political organization in the twentieth century, the nation-state, is coming under a great deal of pressure from restive ethnic groups that reside within its boundaries. The fourteen original essays in this volume analyse some of the challenges to the nation-state, and to modernity itself, posed by the revival of ethnic identities and ethnic conflicts. Issues such as multiculturalism, language policy, politicized religious fundamentalism and ethnic protest are examined theoretically from philosophical, political and sociological perspectives. These theoretical considerations are presented both in special theoretical essays and in the context of case studies pertaining to three types of states: industrialized, liberal states in Western Europe, settler states in America, Africa and the Middle East, and post-colonial states in Asia and Africa. Contributors to this volume come from leading universities in Israel, Europe and North America and from several academic disciplines: history, philosophy, political science, sociology and geography.