Nation is state-oriented, whereas nationalism is an ideology which may simply promote one’s own identity against Others. Therefore, theories of nation-building do not explain nationalism. Other theories adopting a materialist approach do, like Gellner’s model in which nationalism appears as resulting from socio-ethnic conflicts, but they ignore the inner mechanism of this ideology. Theories looking at nationalism as an export product from the West also miss this point too. In contrast, a convincing body of theories anchor nationalism in socio-cultural reform. The intelligentsia which undertakes it in order to resist the threat posed by some dominant Other – often from the West, that fascinates them -, eventually develops a nationalist attitude, because it is not willing to imitate the West but strive to restore its culture by incorporating into it prestigious features of the West through the invention of a convenient Golden Age, the cornerstone of nationalism.
This approach finds a parallel in the theories of ethnicity which do not apply the primordialist paradigm but focus on the making of group boundaries. Barth highlights the decisive role of the relationship to the Other and the little importance of cultural contents – compared to the maintenance of group boundaries – in the making of ethnic identities, in such a way that there are more affinities between his theory of ethnicity and theories of nationalism than between the latter and theories of the nation.
However, one can construct an integrated model of nationalism by organising different theories in a sequence. While the ideology-based approach comes first, the creation of a nationalist movement implies the rise of socio-economic conflicts and the massification of nationalism, a process of nation-building.

Renéo Lukic et Jean-François Morel

In contrast to most of Eastern and Central European countries that underwent their post-communist transition peacefully, Croatia had to undergo its transition during wartime. The outbreak of the Serbo-Croatian war in Spring 1991 forced Croatia to build rapidly an army to protect its territory. However, at this time, Croatia was an emerging democracy and after the European Community recognised its independence on January 15, 1992, the parliamentary institutions were unable to exert their authority over the Croatian army (Hrvatska vojska, HV). The Croatian President, Franjo Tudjman, and the political party he presided, the HDZ, dominated the HV by way of political penetration. Tudjman, who led Croatia to independence, benefited from a triple legitimacy (political, constitutional and charismatic) that allowed him to exert his power over the HV, much the same as the legitimacy Josip Broz-Tito enjoyed over the Yugoslav National Army in Communist Yugoslavia. The result is that the civil-military regime in Croatia after 1990 suffered from a democratic deficit. After the death of President Franjo Tudjman in December 1999 and the change of majority in the January-February 2000 elections, the new Croatian leadership, particularly President Stjepan Mesic, tried to establish democratic control over the armed forces. However, this aim clashed with the opposition of the Ministry of Defense and of numerous officers still committed to the HDZ. For these reasons, a democratic civil-military regime in Croatia is not yet a reality. However, Croatia has made some progress toward the establishment of a democratic civil-military regime. By trying to join some international organizations (NATO), or by being compelled to cooperate with others (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Croatia is now in the process of interiorizing the norms concerning the civilian and democratic control of the armed forces upon which these organizations are based. Being a member of the Partnership for Peace (PfP), and wishing to join as soon as possible NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP), Croatia is obliged to move in this direction.