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The articles presented in this issue of Forum Historiae examine the ideas and concepts of “nation,” national existence, national history and national art in the writings of influential intellectuals active in a variety of fields—historians, literary critics, artists and art critics, and a philosopher—in Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and their successor states throughout the 20th century. The cases assembled here provide an opportunity to reflect on what qualities were thought to constitute a “nation” in the minds of intellectuals within differing political climates, on the aspiring visions of “national peculiarity” and regional variants of contemplation of the “national character.” The answers to these questions could contribute to our understanding of the establishment and maintenance of communitarian relations based on social practices which are informed by nationalist history and cultural narratives. The case studies presented here offer readers a window into the intellectual’s relationship to the ruling powers and their direct efforts to legitimise or delegitimise regimes, national ideologies and policies as well as the construction of narratives detailing nation-states’ deeply historical origins and the character of national art and literature.