The Nation in History: Historiographical Debates about Ethnicity and Nationalism
October 2000, Polity
In a wide-ranging analysis of the work of historians, sociologists, political scientists and others, he argues that there are three key issues which have shaped debates in this field: first, the nature and origin of nations and nationalism; second, the antiquity or modernity of nations and nationalism; and third, the role of nations and nationalism in historical, and especially recent, social change.
Anthony Smith provides an incisive critique of the debate between modernists, perennialists and primordialists over the origins, development and contemporary significance of nations and nationalism. Drawing on a wide range of examples from antiquity and the medieval epoch, as well as the modern world, he develops a distinctive ethnosymbolic account of nations and nationalism.
This important book by one of the world's leading authorities on nationalism and ethnicity will be of particular interest to students and scholars in history, sociology and politics.
Foreword by Yosef Kaplan vii
1 Voluntarism and the Organic Nation 5
Organic and Voluntarist Nationalism 6
Cultural Determination and the Political Ideal 10
Ethnic and Civic Nations 15
Cultural Primordialism 21
2 The Nation: Modern or Perennial? 27
The Modernist Orthodoxy 27
Modernist Historiography 30
The Perennialist Critique 34
Continuous Perennialism 35
Recurrent Perennialism 40
Ancient Nations? 41
Conclusion: Problems with Perennialism 50
3 Social Construction and Ethnic Genealogy 52
Invented Traditions, Imagined Communities 53
A Critique of Social Constructionism 61
An Ethnosymbolic Account of Nations and Nationalism 62
"For thirty years, Anthony D. Smith has published extensively on the phenomenon of the 'nation' and has a global reputation in this field." History