Nationalism: Theories and Cases

Nationalism: Theories and Cases

Nationalism: Theories and Cases

Nationalism: Theories and Cases

Synopsis

This highly original contribution to studies of nationalism focuses on its ideological foundations, tracing its historical beginnings and charting its varied manifestations in world politics today. Its broad theoretical and empirical inquiry explores the dynamics of nationalism and its theories and also considers the role of 'the nation' in political processes taking place beyond states. In addition to a wide-ranging review of traditional approaches to nationalism, this book is unique in its broad geographic and historical scope and in the appraisal of these approaches in contemporary international politics, including developments such as the increased role of non-state actors, regional integration, trans-national movements and diasporas. A key element of the book is its case studies which range from the rise of national movements within the old Empires to contemporary ethnic conflicts, and which allow for a clearer understanding of the politics of nationalism, how its theories can be applied and which urge some searching questions about 'new' forms of ethno-national mobilization. Key Features
• Only book to cover both historical and contemporary theories of nationalism
• Reviews classical theories of nationalism
• Shows nationalism to be integral to all political changes and demonstrates its relevance to democracy and globalisation
• Uses examples and case studies to demonstrate application of theories of nationalism in world politics
• Links classical and 'new' nationalism - continuities and discontinuities between the 'old' and current understandings of nationalism are highlighted

Excerpt

This book presents nationalism as an omnipresent thought in politics, in the minds of ordinary people, politicians and observers of politics, and in international relations. I began my study of nationalism with the exploration of post-communist transitions when it struck me that nationalism was at least as important as were the economy and democratisation, if not mutually dependent. When, as a doctoral student, I presented my proposal to explore the close relationship between democracy and nationalism, I was told by a member of the committee who were to approve it, that I was too sanguine about nationalism. Later, at some conference, I was told by a distinguished scholar that I did not understand the poetry of ethnicity. After another few years of studying and writing about nationalism and following the developments not only in Eastern and Central Europe but elsewhere, and researching into the relationship between nationalism and European integration, I have become less sanguine about nationalism and guardedly acknowledge the meaning of poetry that ethnicity may offer to people.

When in the early 1990s I visited a village on the Slovak– Ukrainian border, I found sun-bleached somewhat battered remnants of the communist era in the form of a hammer and sickle and the Soviet flag on top of the community hall, alongside the new bright Slovak flag. When I asked an old man why they don’t take them down, he looked up, shrugged his shoulders, waved his . . .

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