Nationalism, Democracy, and the Postcolonial World

Aditya Nigam

in The Insurrection of Little Selves

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195676068
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081752 | DOI:
Nationalism, Democracy, and the Postcolonial World

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This chapter explores the question of nationalism as it has been discussed by the theorists of nationalism. It looks at anticolonial nationalisms and the deep xenophobia that marks them, the broad contours of the ideological formation called secular-nationalism in India, and the experience of South Africa. The South African case represents one of the most interesting instances of a ‘nation-building’ process that seeks to go beyond the paradigm of nationhood. The specific problem of South Africa has been the legacy of apartheid. The chapter first considers the phenomenon of nationalism through the writings of some of the leading scholars and theorists in the field, with emphasis on the experiences of large-scale dislocations that accompany modern development. It also examines how nationalist discourses are related to colonially imposed modernity and the problems that arise from this circumstance.

Keywords: nationalism; anticolonial nationalisms; secular-nationalism; India; South Africa; apartheid; nation-building; nationhood; dislocations; modernity

Chapter.  21233 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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