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19 Apr 2012
POL101- Lecture January 9th, 2012
- Identifying us as American
- “We” feeling
- Most political conflict involves conflict between nations
- Seemingly obvious answer: the ideology of nations. A nation is a group that
wants to have its own state
- But things are not so simple
- What is a nation?
- A group of people who believe they share a common fate, history, culture and
- Nationalism says that the state and nation should be congruent.
- Occurs only under modern circumstances
- 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
- Modern phenomenon
- It’s this need to congruence that needs to be explained
Nationalism and Modernization
- high culture and low cultures; European monarchs and populations
o church, Latin, and then all the different subcultures that people
communicated with
o cultures that normal, ordinary people spoke
o high and low culture is very old
o every culture has it
- industrial society and need for universalization of high culture
o standardizing languages
o make sure you understood everyone
- In this way, nations are constructed, they are projects of elites , sometimes
competing projects. They don’t exist 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
cultures; education
- Cases: Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia
- Seen this way, nations don’t create nationalism: nationalism creates nations!
- In Canada, we have a story of decent
- Nations don’t create nationalism, nationalism creates nation
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