Nicaragua: The Imagining of a Nation : from Nineteenth-Century Liberals to Twentieth- Century Sandinistas

Nicaragua: The Imagining of a Nation : from Nineteenth-Century Liberals to Twentieth- Century Sandinistas

Nicaragua: The Imagining of a Nation : from Nineteenth-Century Liberals to Twentieth- Century Sandinistas

Nicaragua: The Imagining of a Nation : from Nineteenth-Century Liberals to Twentieth- Century Sandinistas

Synopsis

At the nexus of politics, sociology, development studies, nationalism studies and Latin American studies, this work takes Nicaragua as a case study to engage and advance upon on Benedict Anderson's ideas on the origins and spread of nationalism.

Excerpt

In the aftermath of the world-historical events of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the advent of capitalism, the long-established dynastic empires which had formed a familiar part of the landscape of the pre-modern world began to fragment and be replaced by the new geo-political and cultural entity of the nation state. By the post-1945 era, this fragmentation process had extended to Africa and Asia as newly independent former colonies struggled to take their place in the world community of nation-states. In its first waves, and helped on its way by the French revolutionary wars, this process swept away age-old restrictive feudal polities ruled over by absolutist monarchies whose legitimacy had rested on the idea of divine right. In their place emerged states over which the nation would exercise sovereignty. An association between the attainment of nationhood and the freedom, liberty and self-determination of peoples was forged, which has led liberation movements to frame their political projects in national terms ever since. Such liberation movements, whether in the North or South, whether of liberal, fascist or socialist persuasion, have all been national and have framed their respective political ideologies through nationalist discourses.

The modernity of the concept of the nation, however, sits uneasily on the immemorial status which nationalism attributes to it. Despite nationalism’s portrayal of the nation as an historic patrimony of a people, the idea of the nation shares a common provenance with nationalism itself in the early nineteenth century. Rather than the idea of a re-awakening of a long-slumbering nation, the role of nationalism, and of nationalists, has often been more fundamental in that nationalists have consciously sought to build the nation through processes of mass communications, mass education, and mass urbanization. It was in the . . .

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