Nation-State and Nationalism

Lloyd Cox
SubjectLaw Sociology » Comparative and Historical Sociology, Government, Politics, and Law Key-Topicsglobalization, nationalism DOI:10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x

  Nation-State and Nationalism REFERENCES AND SUGGESTED READINGS

Nationalism can be defined in a broad and a narrow sense. In its broadest sense it refers to the sum of those beliefs, idioms, and practices oriented to a territorially delineated “nation,” and embodied in the political demands of a people who collectively identify with a nation. This may or may not entail the existence of or demand for a separate national state, or be realized in a self-conscious nationalist movement, though historically this is often the eventual outcome of national identification. In its narrower meaning, nationalism refers to a political ideology or doctrine whose object is an existing or envisaged nation-state wherein cultural and political boundaries coincide. Both of these meanings presuppose the nation, which analytically, though not necessarily historically, precedes that of nationalism. The origins of the term nation and its non-English, Western European equivalents can be located in the Latin term natio – “something born” (similar in meaning to the Greek ta ethne and the Hebrew amamim). This label was once reserved for “foreigners,” and originally had a derogatory meaning. In medieval Western Europe it came to be applied to groups of students at some universities who were united by their place of origin. The word gradually lost its derogatory connotation and also came to refer to a “community of opinion and purpose.” It then underwent successive changes in meaning, until in sixteenth-century England the nation became synonymous with the collective noun “the people” (Greenfeld 1992: 3–9). While it is debatable whether or not this launched the modern era of nationalism, as Greenfeld claims, it certainly represented a watershed in the development of a specifically modern vocabulary of “nation -ness.” But this vocabulary has always been ambiguous. It has been ambiguous because of the sociological diversity of nations‟ concrete instantiations, the political capital at stake in determining who and what should count as a nation, and because of a bifurcation between definitions of the nation based on political criteria and those based on cultural criteria; a cleavage rooted in differences between Enlightenment and Romanticist accounts of nationality. Friedrich Meinecke (1970 [1907]) famously elaborated this distinction between the Staatsnation and the Kulturnation. The former refers to a political and territorial conception of nationality, whereby the nation either forms on the basis of a voluntary association of individuals within a given territory, claiming citizenship rights and self-

too often it has had the misfortune to be linked with ethnocentric accounts that equate civic conceptions of the nation with the West and all that is progressive and enlightened. the consolidation of written vernacular languages by commercial printing. in Western Europe at least. The American and French Revolutions and their aftermaths provided a further impetus to nationalism. and cultural conceptions with the East and all that is primordial.” “ethnosymbolists. The declaration of independence by Britain's 13 American colonies marked an early experiment in anti-colonial nationalism. Historical Context The conjoining of culture and politics in the form of the modern national state occurred over the course of several centuries of early modern European history. where a spirit of solidarity and community derives from commonalities of custom. heritage. In reality. between roughly the beginnings of the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. While “modernists. rather than their separation. not least those waged in Ireland in the 1790s and by their South American counterparts in the early decades of the nineteenth century. archaic. had condensed into a recognizably nationalist politics by the eighteenth century. the spread of Protestantism. . All of this contributed to a gradually sharpening national frame of reference which. which encouraged the emergence of relatively unified fields of exchange and administration. The latter refers to a pre-political cultural entity. as political and cultural elements can be identified in all expressions of nationalism. or forms around a preexisting state. While this ideal-typical distinction is valid for some purposes. This was coupled with the growth of capitalism. which gives the national principle its specificity. though it was not at first articulated in nationalist terms. In addition. language. and backward-looking. the birth of an individualized public sphere. The anti-colonial rhetoric and practice of the American rebels would be emulated in future anti-colonial struggles. with its associated extension of disembodied. even though they vary with time and circumstance and are constantly contested. and the decline of Latin facilitated the crystallization of more uniform. abstract social relations on the one hand. large-scale domains of communication and cultural intercourse. In fact.determination in the form of their own state.” and “primordialists” disagree on periodization (and much more besides. and collective memory. was central to the formation of national consciousness (see the entries in Hutchinson & Smith 2000 for extensive coverage of the relationship between these developments and nationalism). which in turn provided a model for other nationalist movements to emulate. there is some convergence of opinion in respect of developments widely viewed as crucial in the growth of a modern national field of political orientation and action. and the ideals of democracy and civic equality on the other. These developments include the growth of powerful centralized states and the formation of a multipolar interstate system premised on exclusive. as discussed below). It is the conjoining of culture and politics. clearly demarcated territorial jurisdiction. there is no firewall between Staatsnation and Kulturnation. the fracturing of Spain's American Empire into 18 separate states represents the first major wave of secessionist nationalism. as well as driving highly uneven economic development that was a potential source of nationalist conflict. Finally.

Serbia. the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Asia. and Africa. sharpening national sentiments in territories that were occupied. heightened political particularism. the language of nation had infused politics and scholarship much earlier than this. for example. this vision was disseminated through Europe on the points of Napoleon's bayonets.The French Revolution also made a profound contribution to this new nationalist political language and practice upon which aspiring “nations” could draw inspiration. conscript armies. Uneven industrial development. Romania. and a sharpened consciousness and promotion of cultural distinctiveness in the second half of the nineteenth century. Germany in 1870. composed of citizens with equal rights before the law. thus fueling nationalist grievances which in turn prompted more repression and a downward spiral of political violence – a dynamic common in many subsequent nationalist conflicts. being evident. was the preeminent political issue throughout the Habsburg Empire. and military disadvantages of their positions within a hierarchy of industrializing states. parts of the Middle East. Paine. and has intensified nationalism amongst late industrializers. Yet none of these strands of thought dealt systematically with nationalism and the nation as phenomena whose sociological roots . and numerous works of political philosophy in the following two centuries (Diderot. conservative. The unification of Italy from 1860. asserts that the “principle of all sovereignty resides in the nation. and Bulgaria followed the precedent set by Greece in 1830. in the sixteenth-century works of Machiavelli and Shakespeare. But nationalism was by no means limited to these cases. Many commentators have noted how economic underdevelopment has frequently become a source of nationalist umbrage. Herder. Rousseau. the nationalities question. As implied above. and the Meiji Restoration in Japan in 1868 represent the most well-known examples of nationalist projects initiated from above and energized by uneven industrial development. In the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. thus accelerating the “Balkanization” of the Balkans (Hobsbawm 1990).” and that political authority is derived from the “general will” of the nation conceived as the entire people. These challenges to imperial power were usually met with brutal repression. encouraged by mass education. led to a proliferation of national claims in the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires from the middle of the nineteenth century. This was responded to with economic protectionism. Hegel. Voltaire. and achieved independence from the Ottoman Turks on the basis of ethnoreligious claims to nationhood. Kant. the quickening tempo of uneven economic and industrial development was a key stimulus to the nationalizing of politics in Europe and. and liberal thinkers began to grapple more seriously with national phenomena in the second half of the nineteenth century. political. combined with internal repression by culturally distinct elites. from the latter part of the nineteenth century. Its founding document. and colonial adventures. being reflected in numerous demands for autonomy or secession. in addition to mass nationalist mobilizations and outright nationalist revolts. Ironically. States that were not in the vanguard of industrialization were subject to the economic. Early Approaches to Understanding Nationalism It was against this historical background that socialist. and Fichte). as it was then termed. Similarly.

On the one hand. and that national oppression was an impediment to class consciousness and solidarity in oppressed and oppressor nations alike.” which is “the essential condition of being a nation” (Renan in Hutchinson & Smith 1994: 17–18). in all relevant respects Christian or Jewish rituals are no different from “a reunion of citizens commemorating the promulgation of a new moral or legal system or some great event in the national life” (1915: 427). Here Durkheim argued that any human community. transcendent character. Consequently. They not only supported the rights of Poland and Ireland to selfdetermination. must periodically regenerate itself through the public reaffirmation of shared beliefs and values. It is the collective memory as embodied and reproduced in myth. a nation that oppresses another “forges its own chains. this distinction was ahistoric. Here nationalism is presented as a functional equivalent to religion: a meaning-bestowing and cohesionenhancing phenomenon in a world where anomie grows and mechanical solidarity has . even though neither wrote a great deal on the subject. In 1882.” Their legacy is a contradictory one. the militaristic conservative Heinrich von Treitschke echoed the liberal John Stuart Mill in identifying nationality as the legitimate basis of state power. In spite of its invocation of history. Marx and Engels were amongst the first of a new wave of mid-nineteenth-century thinkers to register the political significance of what they termed the “national question. the liberal French historian Ernest Renan confronted head on the question Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'une nation?His memorable answer was that it is “an everyday plebiscite. This changed in the decades after the “springtime of peoples” revolutions in 1848. and in explicit opposition to Treitschke. Despite the frequently noted judgment that nationalism “represents Marxism's great historical failure” (Nairn 1975: 3).could or should be explained.” This was part of a realization that colonialism could just as well retard capitalist development as promote it. they resurrected the Hegelian distinction between “historic” and “non -historic” nations. and a collective consent to live together in the present. many of which would go on to achieve independence in the aftermath of World War I. in the context of revolution and counterrevolution in Europe in 1848. As Marx famously stated. as summed up in Engels's stricture that the Poles and Irish had a “duty to be nationalistic before they become internationalistic. It represented a crude dualism that was burdened with evolutionary assumptions and dubious judgments about the “non-viability” of particular nations. This was most clearly expressed in their changed attitude to Irish and Polish nationalism from the 1860s. small or large. a specifically sociological perspective on nations and nationalism has its roots in the works of Durkheim and Weber. In 1864. the key text is The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1915). they adopted a position that was more accommodating of the nationalism of the oppressed. With respect to Durkheim.” based on shared remembrances of the past. they also positively encouraged the exercise of those rights.” But socialists were not the only thinkers to become interested in nationalism in the second half of the nineteenth century. irrespective of the content of the beliefs expressed. On the other hand. which take on a sacred.” a “perpetual affirmation of life. Curiously. It does so through collective rituals and rites. especially of past sacrifices by national “ancestors.

customs. they do not necessarily do so. and expressing this belief in the formation of. While these “objective factors” might contribute to the formation of national sentiment. there is also an important subjective element. their own state. linguistic. race. Ho Chi Minh. While in Weber's view nations and states existed under premodern conditions. or at least the irreplaceability. with a beggarthy-neighbor economic nationalism marking most liberal democratic governments‟ trade policies in the 1930s. This paralleled the proclamation of the universality of the principle of national self-determination by the liberal Woodrow Wilson and the communist Vladimir Lenin. along with the breakup of the Soviet Empire and Yugoslavia and the growth of . “the „nation‟ is usually anchored in the superiority. which would be realized in the independence of dozens of new states in the two decades after the end of World War II. and political memories. At the same time. The form that this subjective element takes is strongly influenced by the objective features of a given nation. He suggests that national identity is derived from diverse sources.been effaced. and the related concept of ethnic group within the broader problematic of modernity is also characteristic of Max Weber's work. The most recent proliferation of subnational challenges to failed or failing states in Africa. it is only in modern Europe that they became conjoined in the nation-state. But for these culture values to have a specifically national expression. nationalism. Nationalism is bound up with this conjoining. Sukarno. in 1917 and 1920 respectively. certainly not in the English-speaking world. The situating of nations. Contemporary Approaches to Understanding Nationalism In the decades following the death of Durkheim and Weber. and Kenyatta – were gaining momentum in many parts of Asia and Africa. supposedly internationalist Soviet state embracing the nationalistic doctrine of “socialism in one country. Most if not all of these were formed on the administrative space of the previous colonial regime. of the culture values that are to be preserved and developed only through the cultivation of the peculiarity of the group” (Weber in Gerth & Mills 1949: 176). with little or no regard for cultural. For a nation to actually emerge depends on a given population believing that they are a nation. and Oceania in the 1990s. but where organic solidarity alone is unable to perform all of the morally integrative functions necessary for ordered social life. ethnicity. they must be oriented to a state. The Great Depression only served to magnify these nationalistic tendencies. the reality of intensified nationalism was not reflected in an equally vigorous sociology of nationalism. which can include religion. Hence. or demand for. This laid the foundations for much of the nationalist contention that punctuated the rest of the century. language. Nehru.” and by the growth of European fascism and Japanese militarism with their virulent nationalist ethos married to a grand imperial vision. and political differentiation within that space. In other words. Asia. The nationalistic cataclysm of World War I had ended with the dismemberment of the multinational Habsburg and Ottoman Empires along national lines. in addition to objective factors facilitating nation formation. It was followed by the new. anti-colonial national liberation struggles – led by such nationalist icons as Gandhi. which are imbibed with value and invoked as markers of cultural distinctiveness.

if not excusable. nationality. mainstream sociology was itself premised on a pervasive methodological nationalism. but must embody a degree of historical contingency and subjective. the nation is in essence “a psychological bond that joins a people and differentiates it. The “Nature of Nations” In terms of the first debate on the nature of nations. nations are treated as real. While they all transcend nationalist images of the nation – in that they accept that nations ought not be naturalized by defining them exclusively with reference to some objective. five main approaches can be identified. culture. In this view. after the publication of Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities and Ernest Gellner's Nations and Nationalism. their enduring significance is to have stimulated two key debates. Here nations are a source rather than an expression of nationalism. tangible. Why was this? There were two main reasons. . But this changed in the 1980s. national self-definition on the part of a given population – some are closer to that image than others. national substance. for example. All of this bespeaks a reality in which nationalism was central to twentieth-century social and political life. socially constructed foundations of nations and nationalism. or behave as if they formed one” (Seton-Watson 1977: 5). marked the zenith of this contention. but can be distinguished by their characteristic emphases. where it remained marginal until the 1980s. Irrespective of the veracity of the substantive claims advanced in these texts. and enduring entities. a shared culture. and political aspirations of a clearly delineated people. and nationalism. a contiguous territory. On the other hand. This elision and reification had the effect of diverting attention away from the historically contingent. or the striving for a new state. as it is these that ultimately underlie all instances of the nation.far right nationalist populism in western countries. Here a nation exists “when a significant number of people in a community consider themselves to form a nation. Given that the most prominent sites of nationalist contention after World War II were in less developed zones – the preserve of anthropologists and political scientists – it is understandable. a common stock of memories and shared sense of belonging. that nationalism was neglected by sociologists. namely. nations are conceptualized in terms of a number of essential features. which assumed that the discipline's object of investigation was a bounded “society” that was congruent with a nation-state. In the first approach. The second approach rejects this “objectivist” view. These are. These are not mutually exclusive. arguing instead that nations can only be conceived with reference to people's subjective states. a debate about the “nature of nations” and a debate about the origins of nations. which become the bases for the veneration of or the placing of demands on an existing state. But this centrality was in an inverse proportion to the importance accorded to the study of nationalism in sociology. which have the continuity of subjects and which embody the distinctive character. the intellectual division of labor that was cemented in the middle decades of the century institutionalized the view that the proper focus of sociology was the industrialized West. In Walker Connor's similar formulation. and their relationship to modernity. These usually include attributes such as a common language. On the one hand.

people's ideas are taken to determine their reality. defining the nation exclusively with reference to psychological states is viewed by many as severing the necessary connection between social identity formation and group the subconscious conviction of its members. Furthermore. collectively and individually. treating them as real. those ideas must.” though they are no less real for being imagined. without due regard to the institutional and power configurations in which those ideas are embedded. and enduring entities rather than as discursive formations and cognitive frames that arise in particular political and cultural fields. it has been suggested that the first concedes too much to nationalist mythologizing. They are invented in order to fulfill some functional needs generated by the structural transformations wrought by industrialization. but they share a “pattern of family resemblance. This was of course the definition popularized by Benedict Anderson (1991 [1983]).” which allows us to identify them as features of the “rhetoric of nations” rather than as essential features of some empirically verifiable entity. The precise content of the claims will differ from case to case. meeting. In Ernest Gellner's (1983: 55) frequently cited argument. as well as Marxistinspired analyses that view the nation as a socially constructed entity that serves the structural requirements of the capitalist economy and the ideological interests of the bourgeoisie. Here nations are constituted “by the way of talking and thinking and acting that relies on these sorts of claims to produce collective identity” (Calhoun 1997: 5). That is. nations are invented by nationalism rather than being the latter's source. Anderson suggests. In the mind of each lives an image of their national communion. it is said. insisting that nations are invented categories rather than real collectivities.” despite never knowing. All of these positions on the nature of nations and nationalism have been critiqued. Finally. While it is of course mistaken to think that people's ideas. Michael Hechter (2000: 97) has persuasively made the point that . in that it reifies nations. nations are viewed as “imagined communities. in more recent writings. tangible. or hearing of the vast majority of their co-nationals. Drawing upon the fifth approach. nations are conceived of as symbolic frames (Delanty & O'Mahony 2002) or discursive formations (Calhoun 1997). which risks reproducing in scholarship the naturalizing myths that sustain nationalism (Brubaker 1996: 15–16). from all other people in a most vital way” (1994: 92). Categories of nationalist practice are thereby adopted as categories of analysis. The second approach is open to the general charge of idealism or psychological reductionism. are irrelevant in the determination of group formation and societal interactions. This is a view that informs all of those positions that emphasize the “invention of tradition” in the constitution of national phenomena. “a deep horizontal comradeship. for whom nations are imagined because their individual members envisage a common bond. be located within the broader structures of constraint and enablement provided by their social circumstances. defined not so much by any identifiable empirical property as by the claims made in evoking and promoting nations. A third approach eschews what it views as the naturalizing myths of nationhood. In the fourth approach identified here.

Starkly positing that nationalism invents nations where they do not exist underestimates the degree to which pre-national cultural communities may contribute to the formation of national ones. but has been subject to sustained criticism in recent years. “causal explanations of the character and spread of a specific type of community and movement tend to be overshadowed or relegated” (1998: 138). Its main drawback is said to be its inability to explain how and why what is essentially a “fiction” has been so successful in firing people's imaginations and actuating their behavior. The final approach to the conceptualization of nations and nationalism is vulnerable to many of the criticisms made of the second and fourth approaches. For Anthony Smith. Benedict Anderson drew out this problem when he rebuked Gellner for assimilating “„invention‟ to „fabrication‟ and „falsity. while we might agree that nations do function as “symbolic frames. It thereby neglects the institutional reality of the social allegiances. This relegates nationalism and nationalist agency in the colonial and postcolonial world to pale imitations of their western forebears. The third approach still has a good deal of influence in the literature. Anderson has also been taken to task for projecting onto the rest of the world models of the nationally imagined community that developed in Europe and the Americas and which then allegedly became modular. and cannot be observed directly. which belies a very impoverished conception of the real. rather than being their basis. to have a social identity is to identify with a particular group. Consequently.” “discursive formations. networks of interaction. In addition. Anderson's emphasis on imagination has been criticized for dissolving the nation into a chimera that is no more than the sum of its cultural identities are parasitic on group formation. The imagined communities approach has also been criticized for neglecting the ideological power of nationalism. Therefore. even if these are socially constructed. bonds of belonging. As a result.” this should not preclude us from recognizing them as “real” communities. there is certainly a need to acknowledge demonstrable cultural continuities that provide fertile grounds upon which nationalists can promote and mobilize “their” nation. Nationalism and Modernity . partly invented. While we should avoid conflating premodern cultural identities with specificallynational identities. it has been suggested that it tends to reduce nations to their symbolic and discursive dimensions. Finally. in the sense of underestimating the strategic and self-conscious political uses to which nationalism is put by various social groups pursuing their sectional interests under the guise of the national interest.” and “categories of practice. Posed differently. the imagined communities approach to nations and nationalism has not been without its detractors. and reciprocal obligation that constitute the sociological foundations of any nation. Despite its continuing popularity. Part of the problem is that this third approach wrongly counterposes national communities to realcommunities. While it is laudable to accentuate the expressive basis of the nation as Anderson does. national identity presupposes the existence of national groupings.‟ rather than to „imagining‟ and „creation‟” (1991: 6). this unduly emphasizes the idea of the nation as a narrative that can be deconstructed. this should not be at the expense of its instrumental dimensions or its contested character.

The most influential non-Marxist account in this genre is that of Ernest Gellner (1983). . and about their relationship to modernity. what all modernists share is a view that the origins of nations and nationalism are to be located in the transformations wrought by modernity. But socioeconomic and functionalist accounts of national phenomena have not been limited to Marxists. The modern state's attempts to homogenize its population through a standardized education system expresses the objective needs of a social order based on industrialization. nations and nationalism are seen to serve the structural requirements of capitalism and the ideological interests of the bourgeoisie. by obscuring the class bases of power and privilege upon which all states are founded. we can identify accounts that emphasize the socioeconomic foundations of nationalism as against those that emphasize its political bases. it is not capitalism but industrialism that demands and begets nationalism – defined as the principle of political legitimacy demanding that ethnic and political boundaries coincide. standardized education system.” He argues that the extensive division of labor in industrialized societies necessitates and engenders a high degree of social mobility. but that the objective need for homogeneity under modern conditions is reflected in nationalism (Gellner 1983: 39. reintegrative responses to the community-dissolving effects of capitalism and as byproducts of uneven capitalist development at the level of the world-system. but not exclusively. Here the development of the modern centralized state and the interstate system and the subsequent emergence of democracy and capitalism are viewed as key determinants in the growth of a national field of political action and orientation. It is not so much that nationalism imposes homogeneity. Either way. been articulated by those influenced by Marxism. a complex division of labor. and social mobility. This debate can be most simply characterized as one between “modernists” on the one hand. Within this general modernist frame. For Gellner. and “ethnosymbolists” on the other (with earlier “primordialist” perspectives having been widely discredited. Nations and nationalism are viewed both as ideologically biased. Here modernity is largely coterminous with capitalism. Despite many substantive differences. This in turn demands a universal. and those that are functionalist in tone as opposed to those that offer causal explanations. so that people can adequately fulfill plural roles as well as communicate with the anonymous persons with whom these roles will bring them into contact. Modernist accounts emphasizing the socioeconomic foundations of nations and nationalism have typically. staffed by specialists. and hence not necessary to this discussion).The debate about the nature of nations is closely bound up with a broader debate about the origins of nations and nationalism. It is the main clue to understanding why state and culture must be linked. but became an imperative with the transition to industrial society and its characteristic fusion of a polity with a “high culture. the state's monopoly over legitimate education is now more important than its monopoly over legitimate violence. This principle was necessarily absent in pre-agrarian and agrarian societies. Gellner contends. As a result. 46). and provides the main key to understanding the roots of nationalism.

The functionalist explanation of nationalism. Thus the rise of the nation and nationalism. in both their socioeconomic and political guises. nationalism). for their unwarranted linking of nationalism to industrialism and capitalism. John Armstrong focuses on the persistence of group identities within the civilizational zones centered upon the Judaic-Christian and Islamic religions.These views have been criticized for their functionalism. Such criticisms inform modernist positions that emphasize the centrality of politics. Of these. and ideological cohesion) to the phenomenon that is said to meet that need (in this case. for example. have been subject to increasing challenges in recent years by what Anthony Smith (2001) has labeled as ethnosymbolic accounts of the origins of nations. This in turn generated new forms of participation within and loyalty to the state. ethnosymbolists argue that nations and national identity have premodern cultural roots. thus undermining the case for their necessary connection. for instance. in the Marxist case. these were not sufficient to constitute either nations or nationalism. These modernist positions. for both Mann and Breuilly. which in turn served as symbolic boundary markers of group identity and encouraged the persistence of largescale collective identities. Finally. In the trailblazing account Nations Before Nationalism(1982). They were at best expressions of a “proto-nationalism. and for neglecting the centrality of myth and symbolism in the constitution of national identity. cultural homogeneity. This stimulated the use of vernacular languages. While both concede that national sentiments existed as early as the sixteenth century. increasingly articulated a nationalistic rhetoric centered upon the sovereignty of the “people” understood as a nation.” which was not yet liberated from dynastic and religious principles of political legitimacy. which obscures the causal mechanisms connecting the alleged societal need (the need for effective communication. for failing to discern the continuities between “modern” nations and premodern cultural collectivities. This liberation would have to wait until the latter part of the eighteenth century whereupon centralized states. In addition. many thinkers have rightly pointed out that nationalism has often been present where industrialism and capitalism are absent. socioeconomic accounts have been criticized for their mishandling of politics: in Gellner's case. for his insensitivity to the impact of different political and constitutional structures on nationalism. and connected culture and politics in novel ways. Michael Mann (1993) and John Breuilly (1993) have been amongst the most influential modernist thinkers offering non-functionalist and essentially political accounts of the rise of nations. was very much bound up with the struggle toward representative government and citizenship. He suggests that these religions were particularly well suited to penetrating the masses of a population because of their commitment to proselytizing and their tendency to fracture along sectarian lines. and political oppositions to those states. Both attributes necessitated forms of communication that were accessible to non-elite groups. for its reduction of politics to economics. is viewed as wrongly positing consequences as causes. Armstrong views the Jews beginning from around . even if in the last instance. These take modernists to task for mythologizing the modernity of nations. and that it is the longevity and depth of these roots that help explain the emotional appeal and enduring power of national sentiment. By contrast. and for their reduction of politics to economics.

The proliferation of books. at least among the elites” (1995: 57). as constituting the first premodern nations.e. Anthony Smith's voluminous works. Many have argued that shared ethnicity in centralizing states such as France and England was a product rather than a cause of what he calls nation-ness. many “instrumentalists” have argued that ethnic groups and ethnicity more generally are the creation of modern elites who draw very selectively on the cultural materials of groups that they claim to represent. and symposia on nationalism and national identity has vastly expanded our knowledge of and conceptual tools for analyzing these phenomena. Yet at the same time he also takes issue with modernists. who are said to neglect the continuities between modern and premodern collective identities. In particular. articles. for that matter. Finally. despite what . While Smith's position has the virtue of avoiding some of the more inflated claims of the modernist and ethnosymbolist perspectives. In this way. and some measure of solidarity. elements of shared culture. a link with a historical territory. our understanding increasing in the period of nationalism's dénouement) as the contemporary efflorescence of nationalism itself. Part of the problem here is the failure to distinguish between culture and identity. the symbolic boundary distinguishing insiders from outsiders has remained intact. but can be a conscious project that can be created and recreated. While the cultural content of what it means to be Jewish or Armenian has changed dramatically since then. Similarly.. Most important here are premodern “ethnies” – “a named population with common myths and shared historical memories. for example. thus preserving the continuity of Jewish and Armenian national identity. These constituted the “ethnic cores” around which many modern nations formed. in medieval Europe. This reflects not so much Hegel's wise owl of Minerva flying at dusk (i. generally suggest that this view mistakenly conflates ethnicity with nationality and overstates the importance of boundary maintenance in the constitution of nations. Even where Smith's thesis seems to be on firmer ground – in the first states of Europe – it can be challenged for essentializing ethnic sentiment. which Smith claims helps explain the emotional depth and appeal of nationalism. as a way of advancing their own sectional interests. it is not at all clear why relatively ancient ethnic sentiments should have a more powerful emotional appeal than more recent ones. his main theses are not without difficulties. the ethnosymbolist position of Smith and others has been criticized for failing to specify the mechanisms that link oldethnies and new nations. Identity is not simply derivative of some preexisting cultural substrate. and the misplaced tendency to assume that a demonstration of continuity in the former is enough to prove continuity in the latter (Delanty & O'Mahony 2002: 84–5). and the Armenians from around 400 CE. journals. Smith can argue for a relative degree of continuity between modern and premodern collective identities. Not all ethnosymbolists.1000 BCE. Nationalism Today It is a curiosity of contemporary intellectual history that the “global turn” in sociology has coincided with a sharp increase in substantive and theoretical work on nationalism. however. without conflating group identities whose differences are too great to be subsumed under the single concept of the nation. are prepared to countenance the existence of nations in antiquity or even.

Blackwell. Myth. J. (Eds. (1991 [1983]) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London. Princeton. É. Nation-State. A. . (2000) Containing Nationalism. E. L. Verso. MA. & Smith. Gellner.Postnationalism. & Mills. Unfortunately. London. Durkheim. London. H. Connor. C. Cambridge. (1994) Ethnonationalism: The Quest for Understanding. Modernity. (Eds. Hechter. Open University Press. Oxford. Citizenship. (1990) Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme. Delanty. Far from dissipating nationalist convictions.) (1949) From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. Cambridge. London. Chapel Hill.some had supposed about the universalizing and homogenizing thrust of intensified globalization. The mechanisms connecting these contradictory tendencies are still imperfectly understood. Democracy. Cambridge University Press. Calhoun. Brubaker. Harvard University Press. Oxford. if the opening years of this century are anything to go by. R. as is the continuing emotional power of national identity and its relationship to contemporary religious forms. (1993) Nationalism and the State. (1915) The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Empire. Greenfeld. Reality. Oxford. edn. Armstrong. J. E. B. (1983) Nations and Nationalism. Manchester University Press. Manchester. These are but some of the areas demanding the attention of nationalism scholars. SEE ALSO: Capitalism. Cambridge. D. & O'Mahony (2002) Nationalism and Social Theory: Modernity and the Recalcitrance of the Nation. Gerth. H. W.) (1994) Nationalism. W. (1982) Nations Before Nationalism. (1992) Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity. George Allen & Unwin. (1997) Nationalism. State Anderson. A. Sage. Oxford University Press. University of North Carolina Press. Oxford University Press. 2nd edn. J. Imagined Communities. C. rev. Buckingham. Hutchinson. Breuilly.Cambridge University Press. Routledge & Kegan Paul. G. M. as evidenced in nationalist conflicts from the states of the former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union to the failed and failing states of Africa. Princeton University Press. Global Politics. it seems that their analytical skills and insights will be in heavy demand in the years ahead. increased global interdependencies seem to have enhanced national particularism. Nationalism. (1996) Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe. Hobsbawm.

Ritzer. (Eds.Hutchinson. London. (2) : The Rise of Classes and Nation- States. A. (1993) The Sources of Social Power. New Left Review (94) : 3–29. London. (1995) Nations and Nationalism in a Global Era. A. F. Mann. Polity Press. Nairn. Princeton University Press. Blackwell Publishing. & Smith. (1977) Nations and States: An Enquiry into the Origins of Nations and the Politics of Nationalism. London. J. Trans. D. 1760–1914. 10 May 2012 <https://acces-distant. Vol. Lloyd. B. 2007. & Hutchinson. (2001) Nations and History. Cambridge. (Eds.). Smith. In: Guibernau. M. (2) .) (2000) Nationalism: Critical Concepts in Political Science. R. Cambridge. Smith. Polity Press. Meinecke. Methuen. A. M. Cambridge University Press. (1998) Nationalism and 4331_chunk_g978140512433120_ss1-3> . Understanding Nationalism. Routledge. T. Blackwell Reference Online. (1970 [1907]) Cosmopolitanism and the National State. George (ed). Routledge. J. Seton-Watson. Previous Entry Next Entry Cite this article Cox. H." Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology.sociologyencyclopedia. A. Vol. "Nation-State and Nationalism. Smith. Kimber. (1975) The Modern Janus. Cambridge.