Nationalism and Conflict
Definition of nationalism:
•The ideology attached to a specific nation. A nation is a group that wants to have its
•The nation being a group of people with a common culture, religion, ethnicity, or
•Traditional arguments support the idea that nationalism is the product of the
nation. However, we find that the reverse is actually true: nationalism leads to the
creation of a nation.
•Nations do not invent nationalism. Instead, nationalism invents nations. Nations do
not exist outside of the imagination of the ideology of nationalism
•Nationalism manifests itself as the love of state, which in turn leads to the creation
of state embodying the spirit of the nation it represents
• Nationalism says that the state and nation should be congruent. Nations should
have states. The leaders of the states should share with the masses a common
culture, language, history, religion, etc.
Nationalism and Modernization:
•States appearing under these circumstance only ever occurs in the modern context
•Raises a hypothesis that there has to be something about modernity that fuels
•High culture and low cultures: European monarch and populations –Historically,
monarchs of European states did not necessarily share the same nationality as their
people. The last Tsar and Tsarina communicated with English, not even their first
language. There was no need for cultural congruence. Today, if the Russian
President did that, they wouldn’t be seen as ‘Russians’, not legitimate
•Along with industrialization came the need to universalize culture.
•Nations created governments for themselves as a means to standardize culture and
•Never before in human history did people insist that their leaders be of the same
culture and never did leaders try to make the people share their culture ( This is a
•It’s this need for congruence that needs to be explained
Formation of Common Culture:
•How is that common culture created? In order to create a standard you need an
organization to do it, to impose it : States can impose it
•States decide which language to educate the masses in, and this is momentous as
things in themselves but are the products of aggregated individual beliefs.
•But stakes are very high: if YOUR culture is not adopted as the high (and universal)
culture, you face systematic disadvantage
•In industrial societies, states are service organizations for providing common
•This all accounts for why nationalism is a modern event. There was no need back
then. It served nobody’s interest that everyone speak the same language and share a
•Despite common belief, national identity is usually manufactured by certain
similarities between members of a community. Once a national government is
formed, then we have the integration of people into the state based on their cultural
ideas and their political allegiance towards the state’s high culture.
•Minority cultures within a superculture end up being at a systematic disadvantage
due to language barriers and other factors. With the nationalistic state, the
government educates the population on its culture as a means to maintain its
identity and to recruit new members into its culture.
•In the examples of Ukraine, Hungary and Slovakia, we have nations that were
grouped together based on a language base that resulted into borders being formed
along a language line. The result being states consisting of people with a common
• Ukraine –Until the 19th century, most Ukrainians didn’t know they were
Ukrainian.Over time, as the Russians themselves started to define their own high
culture, the native speakers of the Ukrainian language knew they were being
systematically disadvantaged in the Russian states. So, the Ukrainian-language
Definition of nationalism: the ideology attached to a specific nation. However, we find that the reverse is actually t rue: nationalism leads to the creation of a nation: nations do not invent nationalism. Nations do not exist outside of the imagination of the ideology of nationalism: nationalism manifests itself as the love of state, which in turn leads to the creation of state embodying the spirit of the nation it represents. Nationalism says that the state and nation should be congruent. The leaders of the states should share with the masses a common culture, language, history, religion, etc. The last tsar and tsarina communicated with english, not even their first language. It"s this need for congruence that needs to be explained. In industrial societies, states are service organizations for providing common cultures: education: this all accounts for why nationalism is a modern event.