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Lecture

Nationalism and Conflict

6 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein

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Nationalism and Conflict January 10,
2011
What is Nationalism?
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.
Nations do not invent nationalism *
Instead, nationalism invents nations *
-What is a nation?
A group of people who BELIEVE they share a common fate, history,
culture, and language.
Nationalism says that the state and the nations should be congruent *
-Nations should have states!
-Leaders of states should share with the mass of people (the nation) a
common culture, language, a sense of shared history, sometimes a shared
religion
Nationalism
-But this occurs only under modern conditions.
-Leaders of state should have same language, grow up with same ideas as
you, and are somehow connected to you.
-nationalism= connection
-it never existed before modernity.
-it has only existed in the past few hundred years
-France is the home of the French, Germany is the home of the Germans,
Italians is the home of the Italians etc. only occurs under modern conditions
-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 modern phenomenon
-Its this need for congruence that needs to be explained.
Nationalism and Modernization
High culture and low cultures: European monarchs and populations.
-King/Queens didnt need to speak same language as the population
-the mass population didnt always speak the same language as the
Kings/ Queens
Industrial society and need for universalization of high culture.
www.notesolution.com
-Prior to industrial revolution, people didnt need to speak a unified
language
-when you speak with people you are not close and have just met with
you need a common language and culture
-people need to coordinate with one another
States impose culture. States impose systems of education. The choice of
language is momentus. It privileges some and not others. (ex. Making English
the main language)
In this way, nations are constructed, they are projects of elites, sometimes
competing projects. They dont exist as things in themselves but as the
products of aggregated individual beliefs.
-Nations are constructed (ex. Soviet Union constructing Uzbekistan,
Kazakhstan etc.)
-Canada is socially constructed just like any other country.
-States are socially constructed state education system, state flag,
state national anthem, state borders etc.
But stakes are very high: if YOUR culture is not adopted as the higher (and
universal) culture, you face systematic disadvantage.
In industrial societies, state are service organizations for providing
common cultures: education.
Cases: Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia.
Until 19th century, most Ukrainians did not know they were Ukrainian.
They did speak an east Slavic language but were systematically
disadvantaged in this Russian state. The heroes of Ukraine- the linguists and
historians. They standardized the proper way of speaking and told great
heroic stories to the Ukrainians.
-If you wish to have a people (all united) you need to have a story!
-All nations tell stories! * You cant have a nation unless you tell a story
narrative of the people
Hungarians same thing as the Ukrainians. Hungarians captured that part
of Europe where they lived in year 900. Became part of the Hapsburg empire
and spoke German. Hungarian nationalism is 19th century phenomenon. The
first great Hungarian national spoke Hungarian poorly, he spoke German
better but he made everyone speak Hungarian rather than German.
Hapsburg empire breaks up after WWI and Hungary is independent.
Slovakia gets independence in 1993 when Czechoslovakia breaks up.
This is how nationalism occurs. Nationalism creates nations not nations
create nationalism.
Social creations are in most cases very effective and successful. (Jews dont
wonder if they Arabs, Arabs dont wonder if they are Jews, Armenians dont
wonder if they are Turks etc.)
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Nationalism and Conflict January 10, 2011 What is Nationalism? 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. Nations do not invent nationalism * Instead, nationalism invents nations * -What is a nation? A group of people who BELIEVE they share a common fate, history, culture, and language. Nationalism says that the state and the nations should be congruent * -Nations should have states! -Leaders of states should share with the mass of people (the nation) a common culture, language, a sense of shared history, sometimes a shared religion Nationalism -But this occurs only under modern conditions. -Leaders of state should have same language, grow up with same ideas as you, and are somehow connected to you. -nationalism= connection -it never existed before modernity. -it has only existed in the past few hundred years -France is the home of the French, Germany is the home of the Germans, Italians is the home of the Italians etc. only occurs under modern conditions -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 modern phenomenon -Its this need for congruence that needs to be explained. Nationalism and Modernization High culture and low cultures: European monarchs and populations. -KingQueens didnt need to speak same language as the population -the mass population didnt always speak the same language as the Kings Queens Industrial society and need for universalization of high culture. www.notesolution.com
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