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ISBN: 978-0-7456-5128-6
200 pages
November 2010, Polity
Nationalism (0745651283) 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
  • Introduction
  • 1 Concepts
  • The Meanings of Nationalism
  • Definitions
  • 2 Ideologies
  • Fundamental Ideals
  • Core Concepts
  • Nationalism as Culture and Religion
  • Voluntarism and Organicism
  • 'Ethnic' and 'Civic' Nationalisms
  • 3 Paradigms
  • Modernism
  • Perennialism
  • Primordialism
  • Ethno-symbolism
  • Conclusion
  • 4 Theories
  • Ideology and Industrialism
  • Reason and Emotion
  • Politics and Culture
  • Elites and Everyday Nationalism
  • Construction and Reinterpretation
  • Conclusion
  • 5 Histories
  • 'Great Nations', Small Ethnies
  • Nations Before Nationalism
  • Nations in Antiquity?
  • Nations in History: An Alternative View
  • Conclusion
  • 6 Prospects
  • Proliferating Nationalism
  • The Demise of the Nation-state?
  • Hybrid Identities?
  • The Dissolution of Nationalism?
  • The Consumer Society
  • Global Culture?
  • Internationalizing Nationalism
  • Uneven Ethno-histories
  • Sacred Foundations
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Appendix: Maps
  • References
  • Index
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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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