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Nationalism involves a strong identification of society and the state. Often, it is the belief that an ethnic group has a right to statehood, or that citizenship in a state should be limited to one ethnic group. It can also include the belief that the state is of primary importance, or the belief that one state is naturally superior to all other states.[1][2] It is also used to describe a movement to establish or protect a homeland (usually an autonomous state) for an ethnic group. In some cases the identification of a national culture is combined with a negative view of other races or cultures.[3] Nationalism is sometimes reactionary, calling for a return to a national past, and sometimes for the expulsion of foreigners. Other forms of nationalism are revolutionary, calling for the establishment of an independent state as a homeland for an ethnic underclass.

Nationalism emphasizes collective identity - a 'people' must be autonomous, united, and express a single national culture.[4] However, some nationalists stress individualism as an important part of their own national identity.[5]

National flags, national anthems, and other symbols of national identity are often considered sacred, as if they were religious rather than political symbols. Deep emotions are aroused.[6][7][8][9] Gellner and Breuilly, in Nations and Nationalism, contrast nationalism and patriotism. "If the nobler word 'patriotism' then replaced 'civic/Western nationalism', nationalism as a phenomenon had ceased to exist."[10][11][12]



[edit] History

Before the development of nationalism, people were generally loyal to a city or to a particular leader rather than to their nation. Encyclopedia Britannica identifies the movement's genesis with the late-18th century American Revolution and French Revolution; other historians point specifically to the ultra-nationalist party in France during the French Revolution.[13][14][15]

The term nationalism was coined by Johann Gottfried Herder (nationalismus) during the late 1770s.[16] Precisely where and when nationalism emerged is difficult to determine, but its development is closely related to that of the modern state and the push for popular sovereignty that came to a head with the French Revolution and the American Revolution in the late 18th century.[13] Since that time, nationalism has become one of the most significant political and social forces in history, perhaps most notably as a major influence or postulate of World War I and especially World War II. Fascism, is a form of authoritarian civic nationalism which stresses absolute loyalty and obedience to the state, whose purpose is to serve the interests of its nation alone.[17][18][19][20]

[edit] Varieties

[edit] National purity

Liberty Leading the People (Eugène Delacroix, 1830) is a famous example of nationalist art

Some nationalists exclude certain groups. They view people who are, in fact, citizens of their nation, as being not really citizens, in some sense, and therefore not protected by the rights afforded "real" citizens. For example, George H. W. Bush said, "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."[21] Sometimes a mythic homeland is more important for the national identity than the actual territory occupied by the nation.[22]

[edit] Civic nationalism

Civic nationalism defines the nation as an association of people with equal and shared political rights, and allegiance to similar political procedures.[23] According to the principles of civic nationalism the nation is not based on common ethnic ancestry, but is a political entity, whose core is not ethnicity. This civic concept of nationalism is exemplified by Ernest Renan in his lecture in 1882 "Where is the nation?", where he defined the nation as a "daily plebiscite dependent on the will of its people to continue living together".[23]

Civic nationalism (or civil nationalism) is the form of nationalism in which the state derives political legitimacy from the active participation of its citizenry, from the degree to which it represents the "will of the people". It is often seen as originating with Jean-Jacques Rousseau and especially the social contract theories which take their name from his 1762 book The Social Contract. Civic nationalism lies within the traditions of rationalism and liberalism, but as a form of nationalism it is contrasted with ethnic nationalism. Membership of the civic nation is considered voluntary. Civic-national ideals influenced the development of representative democracy in countries such as the United States and France.

[edit] Ethnocentrism

Whereas nationalism does not necessarily imply a belief in the superiority of one ethnicity over others, some nationalists support ethnocentric protectionism or ethnocentric supremacy. Studies have yielded evidence that such behaviour may be derived from innate preferences in humans from infancy[24].

In the USA for example, non-indigenous ethnocentric nationalist movements[clarification needed] exist for both black and white peoples. These forms of "nationalism" often promote or glorify foreign nations that they believe can serve as an example for their own nation, see Anglophilia or Afrocentrism.

Explicit biological race theory was influential from the end of the 19th century. Nationalist and Fascist movements in the first half of the 20th century often appealed to these theories.[clarification needed] The National Socialist ideology was amongst the most comprehensively "racial" ideologies: the concept of "race" influenced aspects of policy in Nazi Germany. In the 21st century the term "race" is no longer regarded by many people as a meaningful term to describe the range of human phenotype clusters[clarification needed]; the term ethnocentrism is a more accurate and meaningful term[25].

Ethnic cleansing is often seen as both a nationalist and ethnocentrist phenomenon. It is part of nationalist logic that the state is reserved for one nation, but not all nationalist nation-states expel their minorities.

[edit] Expansionist nationalism

Expansionist nationalism promotes expansion into new territories, usually with the claim that the existing territory is too small or is not able to physically or economically sustain the nation's population. One example of this is Adolf Hitler's territorial demands.

[edit] Left-wing nationalism

Left-wing nationalism (occasionally known as socialist nationalism)[26] refers to any political movement that combines left-wing politics with nationalism. Many nationalist movements are dedicated to national liberation, in the view that their nations are being persecuted by other nations and thus need to exercise self-determination by liberating themselves from the accused persecutors. Anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninism is closely tied with this ideology, and practical examples include Stalin's early work Marxism and the National Question and his Socialism in One Country edict, which declares that nationalism can be used in an internationalist context, fighting for national liberation without racial or religious divisions. Other examples of left-wing nationalism include Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement that launched the Cuban Revolution ousting the American-backed Fulgencio Batista in 1959, Ireland's Sinn Féin, the Awami League in Bangladesh and the African National Congress in South Africa.

[edit] Territorial nationalism

Nationalist slogan "Brazil, love it or leave it", often used during the Brazilian military dictatorship.

Territorial nationalist assume that all inhabitants of a particular nation owe allegiance to their country of birth or adoption.[27] A sacred quality is sought in the nation and in the popular memories it evokes.[28] Citizenship is idealised by territorial nationalist[28] A criterion of a territorial nationalism is the establishment of a mass, public culture based on common values and traditions of the population.[28]

[edit] Ultra-nationalism

Ultra-nationalism often leads to conflict within a state, as well as between states, and in its extreme form leads to war, secession, or genocide.[29][30]

Fascism is a form of authoritarian ultra-nationalism[17][18][19][31] which promotes national revolution, national collectivism, a totalitarian state, and irredentism or expansionism to unify and allow the growth of a nation. Fascists often promote ethnic nationalism but have at times promoted cultural nationalism, including cultural assimilation of people outside a specific ethnic group. Fascism stresses the subservience of the individual to the state, and the need to absolute and unquestioned loyalty to a strong ruler.[32]

[edit] Criticism

Critics of nationalism have argued that it is often unclear what constitutes a 'nation', or why a nation should be the only legitimate unit of political rule. A nation is a cultural entity, and not necessarily a political association, nor is it necessarily linked to a particular territorial area - although nationalists argue that the boundaries of a nation and a state should, as far as possible, coincide.[33] Philosopher A.C. Grayling describes nations as artificial constructs, "their boundaries drawn in the blood of past wars". He argues that "there is no country on earth which is not home to more than one different but usually coexisting culture. Cultural heritage is not the same thing as national identity".[34]

Nationalism is inherently divisive because it highlights differences between peoples, emphasising an individual's identification with their own nation. The idea is also potentially oppressive because it submerges individual identity within a national whole, and gives elites or political leaders potential opportunities to manipulate or control the masses.[35] Much of the early opposition to nationalism was related to its geopolitical ideal of a separate state for every nation. The classic nationalist movements of the 19th century rejected the very existence of the multi-ethnic empires in Europe. Even in that early stage, however, there was an ideological critique of nationalism. That has developed into several forms of anti-nationalism in the western world. The Islamic revival of the 20th century also produced an Islamic critique of the nation-state.

At the end of the 19th century, Marxists and other socialists (such as Rosa Luxemburg) produced political analyses that were critical of the nationalist movements then active in central and eastern Europe (though a variety of other contemporary socialists and communists, from Lenin (a communist) to Józef Piłsudski (a socialist), were more sympathetic to national self-determination)[36]. Most sociological theories of nationalism date from after the Second World War.

In the liberal political tradition there is widespread criticism of ‘nationalism’ as a dangerous force and a cause of conflict and war between nation-states. Nationalism has often been exploited to encourage citizens to partake in the nations conflicts. Such examples include The Great War and World War Two, where nationalism was a key component of propaganda material. Liberals do not generally dispute the existence of the nation-states. The liberal critique also emphasizes individual freedom as opposed to national identity, which is by definition collective (see collectivism).

The pacifist critique of nationalism also concentrates on the violence of nationalist movements, the associated militarism, and on conflicts between nations inspired by jingoism or chauvinism. National symbols and patriotic assertiveness are in some countries discredited by their historical link with past wars, especially in Germany. Famous pacifist Bertrand Russell criticizes nationalism of diminishing individual's capacity to judge his or her fatherland's foreign policy.[37]William Blum has said this in other words: "If love is blind, patriotism has lost all five senses."[38][page needed]Albert Einstein stated that "Nationalism is an infantile disease... It is the measles of mankind." [39]

The anti-racist critique of nationalism concentrates on the attitudes to other nations, and especially on the doctrine that the nation-state exists for one national group to the exclusion of others. This view emphasises the chauvinism and xenophobia that have often resulted from nationalist sentiment. Norman Naimark relates the rise of nationalism to ethnic cleansing and genocide, including the Armenian Genocide, the Nazi Holocaust, the deportation of Chechens and Crimean Tartars under Stalin, the expulsion of Germans from Poland and Czechoslovakia at the end of the Second World War, and the ethnic cleansing during the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s.[40]

Political movements of the left have often been suspicious of nationalism, again without necessarily seeking the disappearance of the existing nation-states. Marxism has been ambiguous towards the nation-state, and in the late 19th century some Marxist theorists rejected it completely. For some Marxists the world revolution implied a global state (or global absence of state); for others it meant that each nation-state had its own revolution. A significant event in this context was the failure of the social-democratic and socialist movements in Europe to mobilize a cross-border workers' opposition to World War I. At present most, but certainly not all, left-wing groups accept the nation-state, and see it as the political arena for their activities.

Anarchism has developed a critique of nationalism that focuses on its role in justifying and consolidating state power and domination. Through its unifiying goal it strives for centralization both in specific terrotories and in a ruling elite of individuals while it prepares a population for capitalist exploitation. Within anarchism this subject has been trated extensively by Rudolf Rocker in Nationalism and Culture and by the works of Fredy Perlman such as Against His-Story, Against Leviathan and "The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism".

In the Western world the most comprehensive current ideological alternative to nationalism is cosmopolitanism. Ethical cosmopolitanism rejects one of the basic ethical principles of nationalism: that humans owe more duties to a fellow member of the nation, than to a non-member. It rejects such important nationalist values as national identity and national loyalty. However, there is also a political cosmopolitanism, which has a geopolitical program to match that of nationalism: it seeks some form of world state, with a world government. Very few people openly and explicitly support the establishment of a global state, but political cosmopolitanism has influenced the development of international criminal law, and the erosion of the status of national sovereignty. In turn, nationalists are deeply suspicious of cosmopolitan attitudes, which they equate with eradication of diverse national cultures.

While internationalism in the cosmopolitan context by definition implies cooperation among nations and states, and therefore the existence of nations, proletarian internationalism is different, in that it calls for the international working class to follow its brethren in other countries irrespective of the activities or pressures of the national government of a particular sector of that class. Meanwhile, most (but not all) anarchists reject nation-states on the basis of self-determination of the majority social class, and thus reject nationalism. Instead of nations, anarchists usually advocate the creation of cooperative societies based on free association and mutual aid without regard to ethnicity or race.

[edit] See also


[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Smith, Anthony D. (1993). National Identity. Reno: University of Nevada Press. p. 72. ISBN 0874172047. 
  2. ^ Ernest Gellner and John Breuilly, Nations and Nationalism, "In brief, nationalism is a theory of political legitimacy, which requires that ethnic boundaries should not cut across political ones.", p. 1, Cornell University Press, 2009, ISBN-13: 978-0801475009
  3. ^ Thomas Blank and Peter Schmidt, National Identity in a United Germany: Nationalism or Patriotism? An Empirical Test with Representative Data, in Political Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 2, (2003)
  4. ^ Hutchinson, John and Smith, Anthony D., ed (1994). Nationalism. Oxford Readers. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 4–5. 
  5. ^ Anthony D. Smith, Nationalism, p. 17-20, Polity, 2002, ISBN 978-0745626598.
  6. ^ Billig, Michael (1995). Banal Nationalism. London: Sage. ISBN 0803975252. 
  7. ^ Gellner, Ernest (2005). Nations and Nationalism (Second ed.). Blackwell. ISBN 1405134429. 
  8. ^ Canovan, Margaret (1996). Nationhood and Political Theory. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. ISBN 1840640111. 
  9. ^ Miller, David (1995). On Nationality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198293569. 
  10. ^ Ernest Gellner and John Breuilly, Nations and Nationalism, p. xvii, Cornell University Press, 2009, ISBN-13: 978-0801475009
  11. ^ Richard D. Ashmore, Lee J. Jussim, David Wilder (2001). Social identity, intergroup conflict, and conflict reduction; Volume 3 of Rutgers series on self and social identity. Oxford University Press. pp. 74,75. ISBN 9780195137422. 
  12. ^ Istvan Hont (2005). Jealousy of trade: international competition and the nation-state in historical perspective. Harvard University Press. p. 144. ISBN 9780674010383. 
  13. ^ a b "Nationalism". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  14. ^ Smith, Anthony D. (1998). Nationalism and Modernism: A Critical Survey of Recent Theories of Nations and Nationalism. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415063418. 
  15. ^ Iain McLean, Alistair McMillan, Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, "French Revolution ... It produced the modern doctrine of nationalism, and spread it directly throughout Western Europe...", Oxford, 2009, ISBN 9780199205165.
  16. ^ T. C. W. Blanning (2003). The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture: Old Regime Europe 1660-1789. Oxford University Press. pp. 259,260. 
  17. ^ a b Laqueuer, Walter." Comparative Study of Fascism" by Juan J. Linz. Fascism, A Reader's Guide: Analyses, interpretations, Bibliography. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1976. Pp. 15 "Fascism is above all a nationalist movement and therefore wherever the nation and the state are strongly identified."
  18. ^ a b Laqueur, Walter. Fascism: Past, Present, Future. Oxford University Press, 1997. Pp. 90. "the common belief in nationalism, hierarchical structures, and the leader principle."
  19. ^ a b "Goebbels on National-Socialism, Bolshevism and Democracy, Documents on International Affairs, vol. II, 1938, pp. 17-19. Accessed from the Jewish Virtual Library on February 5, 2009. [1] Joseph Goebbels describes the Nazis as being allied with countries which had "authoritarian nationalist" ideology and conception of the state "It enables us to see at once why democracy and Bolshevism, which in the eyes of the world are irrevocably opposed to one another, meet again and again on common ground in their joint hatred of and attacks on authoritarian nationalist concepts of State and State systems. For the authoritarian nationalist conception of the State represents something essentially new. In it the French Revolution is superseded.".
  20. ^ Koln, Hans; Calhoun, Craig. The Idea of Nationalism: A Study in its Origins and Background. Transaction Publishers. Pp 20.
    University of California. 1942. Journal of Central European Affairs. Volume 2.
  21. ^ Madalyn O'Hair, Can George Bush, with impunity, state that atheists should not be considered either citizens or patriots? : The History of the Issue,
  22. ^ Smith, Anthony D. 1986. The Ethnic Origins of Nations London: Basil Blackwell. pp 6–18. ISBN 0-631-15205-9.
  23. ^ a b Nash, Kate (2001), The Blackwell companion to political sociology, Wiley-Blackwell, p. 391, ISBN 0631210504 
  24. ^ Bar-Haim, Yair; Yair Bar-Haim, Talee Ziv, Dominique Lamy, Richard M. Hodes (2008), "Nature and Nurture in Own-Race Face Processing", Psychological Science 17 (2): 159–163, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01679.x, 
  25. ^ Timothy G. Reagan (2005), Non-Western Educational Traditions: Indigenous Approaches to Educational Thought and Practice, Routledge, pp. 4–5,  ISBN 0805848576, ISBN 9780805848571
  26. ^ Political Science, Volume 35, Issue 2; Class and Nation: Problems of Socialist Nationalism
  27. ^ Middle East and North Africa: Challenge to Western Security by Peter Duignan and L.H. Gann, Hoover Institution Press, 1981, ISBN 0817973923/ISBN 978-0817973926 (page 22)
  28. ^ a b c Encyclopaedia of Nationalism by Athena S. Leoussi and Anthony D. Smith, Transaction Publishers, 2001, ISBN 0765800020/ISBN 978-0765800022, (page 62)
  29. ^
  30. ^ Connor, Walker (1994). Ethnonationalism: The Quest for Understanding. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 29.,M1. 
  31. ^ Koln, Hans; Calhoun, Craig. The Idea of Nationalism: A Study in its Origins and Background. Transaction Publishers. p. 20.
    University of California. 1942. Journal of Central European Affairs. Volume 2.
  32. ^ Roger Griffin, Fascism, Oxford University Press, 1995, ISBN 978-0192892492.
  33. ^ Heywood, Andrew (1999). Political Theory: An Introduction (Second ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 97–98. ISBN 0333760913. 
  34. ^ Grayling, A.C. (2001). The Meaning of Things. Applying Philosophy to Life.. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 78–79. ISBN 0297607588. 
  35. ^ Heywood, Andrew (2000). Key Concepts in Politics. London: Macmillan Press. pp. 256. ISBN 0333770951. 
  36. ^ Cliff, Tony (1959). "Rosa Luxemburg and the national question". Marxists Internet Archive. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  37. ^ Russell Speaks His Mind, 1960. Fletcher and son Ltd., Norwich, United Kingdom
  38. ^ Blum in his book Rogue State
  39. ^ Einstein
  40. ^ [ "The Expulsion of 'German' Communities from Eastern Europe at the End of the Second World War"]. EUI Working Paper HEC No. 2004/1. 2004. pp. 4. Retrieved 20 December 2009. 

[edit] Further reading

[edit] General

  • Breuilly, John. 1994. Nationalism and the State. 2nd ed. Chicago: Chicago University Press. ISBN 0-226-07414-5 .
  • Brubaker, Rogers. 1996. Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-57224-X .
  • Greenfeld, Liah. 1992. Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-60319-2
  • Hobsbawm, Eric J. 1992. Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43961-2 .

[edit] Reference works

[edit] External links


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