Nationalism in Europe, 1815 to the Present: A Reader

Nationalism in Europe, 1815 to the Present: A Reader

Nationalism in Europe, 1815 to the Present: A Reader

Nationalism in Europe, 1815 to the Present: A Reader

Synopsis

Nationalism has become so integral a part of life in Europe today that it is virtually impossible not to identify oneself with a nation-state, and yet nationalism is historically a modern phenomenon. This reader helps the student to gain an understanding of this important subject by offering:* a substantial and wide-ranging introduction* key texts, including John Stuart Mill and Otto Bauer* a selection of texts from 1861 to the present which emphasize how the understanding of nationalism has changed over time* a comparative European analysis* pieces previously not published in English* a number of lengthy texts to offer students the possibility of studying in depth.As well as providing the central building blocks for informed theoretical discussion, Stuart Woolf also tackles controversial issues such as the difference between the development of nationalism in western and central-eastern Europe and the relationship between nation-state and national identity.

Excerpt

Nations it may be have fashioned their Governments, but the Governments have paid them back in the same coin.

Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes (1911)


I against my brother
I and my brother against our cousin
I, my brother and our cousin against the neighbours,
All of us against the foreigner

Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines (1988)

Nationalism has become so integral a part of life in Europe today that it is virtually impossible not to identify oneself with a nation state: we think of ourselves as Italians, French or English; we have been prepared to fight wars to affirm the independence or rights of our nation against what we regard as the threats of other states or, tragically, other ‘ethnically’ different peoples, such as Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims, Armenians or Azers. To belong to a nation state has become so natural that, on the one hand, almost any people capable of articulating its identity as a nation and its sense of persecution by the existing state demands the right to independence and a territory, while on the other hand nation states build political and legal barriers to exclude all but their own citizens. The passport—in origin a passe-partout issued to protect the traveller—has now become an obligatory document of legal existence, symbol of this dependence of the individual on the nation state, so inconceivable is the concept of ‘statelessness’.

Three different elements have become inextricably superimposed in our understanding of the nation state: the nation, as a collective identity; the state as an expression of political independence; and

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