Fostering National Identity but Not Nationalism

By Schmemann, Serge | International New York Times, September 27, 2014 | Go to article overview

Fostering National Identity but Not Nationalism


Schmemann, Serge, International New York Times


Scotland's referendum on independence posed some difficult questions about the meaning of Europe.

Was the Scottish independence referendum an exercise in resurgent nationalism threatening the European Union? Or was it the recognition by a small nation that it could enjoy the benefits and security of a transnational union directly, and not as part of a "great" British nation?

The debate has been lively since the Scots voted 55 percent to 45 percent against dissolving their 307-year-old union with England. Some commentators have pointed to the strong showing of the Scottish separatists as another manifestation, different but nonetheless alarming, of a revival of nationalism across Europe that has spawned populist and anti-European Union, anti-immigration parties like the U.K. Independence Party or the National Front in France. Yet the Scots, like the Ukrainians, or the Catalans, are in many ways the opposite of the anti-European Union forces. Many of their activists were inspired by the example of a country like Slovakia, which broke away from a larger state but now enjoys the free-trade benefits of the European Union and membership in NATO.

Still, "nationalism" has some troubling echoes in Europe. The 20th century demonstrated what nationalism gone wild can wreak, and post-Soviet national conflicts like the Balkan wars in the 1990s or Vladimir Putin's aggressive irredentism today have revived old fears.

In the wake of World War II, Jean Monnet, later hailed as the architect of the European project, concluded that only European unity would preclude another cataclysm. "Make men work together," was his mantra. "Show them that beyond their differences and geographical boundaries there lies a common interest." Yet the same Western governments that saw the European Union as the solution for centuries of tribal bloodshed have not been consistent in their attitudes toward supranational groupings elsewhere. They cheered the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia into 22 separate countries, but condemned efforts by Abkhazians and Ossetians to break out of Georgia.

The fact is, nationalism -- as national history, language, culture, myth and faith -- is an integral part of people's identity, for good or ill. It can bond people in noble endeavors like resistance to tyranny, and it can foster xenophobic hatred of the "other. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Fostering National Identity but Not Nationalism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.