Nations and Nationalism

Fiona Davidson

in Geography

ISBN: 9780199874002
Published online February 2013 | | DOI:
Nations and Nationalism

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Nationalism is a term that is generally used to describe either the attachment of a person to a particular nation, or a political action by such a group to achieve statehood (or national self-determination). Although there is some debate about the origin and antiquity of the idea of a nation, the political manifestation of national identity as nationalism is widely accepted as a relatively modern concept. The importance of nationalism as a political force in the 20th century led to an increase in scholarly attention with the development of several different schools of thought as to the mechanisms of national origin. Primordialism, perennialism, modernism, and ethnosymbology all emerged as competing theories of how, why, and when nations form. What is not disputed, however, is that during the 19th and 20th centuries, institutionally driven nationalism ultimately led to the fusion of state and nation in the form of state nationalism, resulting in a corresponding, state-led drive toward state-nation fusion and intra-state national homogenization. Reponses to this included colonial (or liberation) nationalism to create nation/state identities separate from imperial powers and, later in the 20th century, peripheral or substate nationalism, which is a response of marginalized minorities within modern nation-states to the cultural and institutional homogenization of state nationalism. This proliferation of forms of nationalism led to a corresponding proliferation in nationalism research. Although there is an ongoing interest in theorizing this complex political and social phenomenon, the wealth of nationalist activity (state, peripheral, liberation) has also provided a fertile research field for scholars engaged in both regionally specific and thematically specific (ethnicity, religion, popular culture, gender, colonial, postcolonial, etc.) nationalism studies. Nationalism research is a relatively contemporary field of study, rooted largely in sociology, anthropology, political science, and geography, and because of its interdisciplinary nature the works cited in this bibliography are drawn from a wide variety of disciplines and fields of study.

Article.  10493 words. 

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography ; Human Geography

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