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Nationalism

ISBN: 978-0-7456-5127-9
200 pages
October 2010, Polity
Nationalism (0745651275) cover image
For the last two centuries, nationalism has been a central feature of society and politics. Few ideologies can match its power and resonance, and no other political movement and symbolic language has such worldwide appeal and resilience. But nationalism is also a form of public culture and political religion, which draws on much older cultural and symbolic forms.

Seeking to do justice to these different facets of nationalism, the second edition of this popular and respected overview has been revised and updated with contemporary developments and the latest scholarly work. It aims to provide a concise and accessible introduction to the core concepts and varieties of nationalist ideology; a clear analysis of the major competing paradigms and theories of nations and nationalism; a critical account of the often opposed histories and periodization of the nation and nationalism; and an assessment of the prospects of nationalism and its continued global power and persistence.

Broad and comparative in scope, the book is strongly interdisciplinary, drawing on ideas and insights from history, political science, sociology and anthropology. The focus is theoretical, but it also includes a fresh examination of some of the main historical and contemporary empirical contributions to the literature on the subject. It will continue to be an invaluable resource for students of nationalism across the social sciences.

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Preface vii

Introduction 1

1 Concepts 5

The Meanings of Nationalism 5

Definitions 9

2 Ideologies 24

Fundamental Ideals 27

Core Concepts 31

Nationalism as Culture and Religion 36

Voluntarism and Organicism 39

‘Ethnic’ and ‘Civic’ Nationalisms 42

3 Paradigms 47

Modernism 49

Perennialism 53

Primordialism 55

Ethno-symbolism 60

Conclusion 63

4 Theories 66

Ideology and Industrialism 66

Reason and Emotion 72

Politics and Culture 77

Elites and Everyday Nationalism 82

Construction and Reinterpretation 85

Conclusion 93

5 Histories 95

‘Great Nations’, Small Ethnies 96

Nations Before Nationalism 100

Nations in Antiquity? 110

Nations in History: An Alternative View 115

Conclusion 125

6 Prospects 129

Proliferating Nationalism 129

The Demise of the Nation-state? 132

Hybrid Identities? 136

The Dissolution of Nationalism? 139

The Consumer Society 141

Global Culture? 143

Internationalizing Nationalism 146

Uneven Ethno-histories 150

Sacred Foundations 153

Conclusion 157

Notes 159

Appendix 172

References 177

Index 197

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Anthony D. Smith is Emeritus Professor of Nationalism and Ethnicity at the London School of Economics.
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- Updated with the latest scholarly work in nationalism studies
- Includes more illustrative examples from contemporary current events which have affected the way nationalism is understood and presents itself
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"All who are interested in the study of nationalism are most fortunate to have available this masterly, updated distillation of Anthony Smith's four decades of intensive scholarship on the topic. It is concise and yet treats all of nationalism's key aspects, including its wellsprings and historical evolution. Students are certain to benefit from its clarity and from its critical, sweeping review of the literature."
Walker Connor, Middlebury College, Vermont

"This is a very accessible and engaging introduction to the major debates on the study of nationalism. It also manages to say something new and offers many insights into the complex phenomenon that is nationalism. Readers will find the definitions of concepts very helpful."
Gerard Delanty, University of Sussex

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