Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World: Walker Connor and the Study of Nationalism

Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World: Walker Connor and the Study of Nationalism

Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World: Walker Connor and the Study of Nationalism

Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World: Walker Connor and the Study of Nationalism

Synopsis

In Ethnonationalism in the Contemporary World , world-renowned scholars employ various aspects of Connor's work to explicate the recent upsurge of nationalism on a global scale. In keeping with the growing awareness that the study of ethnonationalism requires an interdisciplinary approach, the contributors represent a number of academic disciplines, including anthropology, geography, history, linguistics, social psychology, sociology and world politics. The book discusses issues such as identity, ethnicity and nationalism, primordialism, social constructionism, ethnic conflict, separatism and federalism. It also features case studies on the Basque country, South Africa and Canada.

Excerpt

Initially conceived as a Festschrift, this book has become much more than that. It remains au fond a tribute to Walker Connor’s pioneering work, but from this premise it also expands into new directions.

The tribute is owed both to the scholar and the man. Those who have had the good fortune to cross Walker’s path will have recognized in him a great humanity and interest in human affairs. His versatility, sincere wisdom, deep knowledge of and affection for other cultures make Walker a unique kind of cosmopolitan - without the frills normally associated with this term.

Walker, the lover of fine arts, historical heritage and natural beauty, as well as the gifted communicator, will remain imprinted upon us and all those who have encountered him. Having met him in Vermont, Galicia, England, Tuscany, Hungary and Belgium, I have come to cherish his humanity and sincere interest in a great variety of human cultural endeavours. In his natural habitat, a remote mountain home in the woods of Vermont, we saw him driving a huge tractor, snow-shoeing on the hills, and trekking with his family and many friends. Vermont, this most liberal of US states, remains a natural haven for scholars and artists escaping the clutches of big-mall America and small-town mediocrity. There, the pace of life lingers on a fully human scale.

Commencing with the 1967 appearance in World Politics of his landmark essay, ‘Self-Determination: The New Phase’, Walker Connor has exerted a profound influence upon scholarship dealing with nationalism. Connor’s academic output is not characterized by overproduction, but by a commitment to true scholarship. Each of the two outside referees for this volume - neither of whom know Walker personally - lauded his oeuvre. Wrote the first:

Walker Connor is indeed a seminal, lucid, influential and contentious writer in the field … There are … those who know and have been inspired by Walker Connor’s work, and those interested in ethnicity and nationalism who by some failure of education have not yet read Walker Connor. The star quality of Walker Connor is the clarity and accessibility of his writing.

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