Nationalism and Conflict
Jerry Z. Muller, Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism, Foreign Affairs,
-Strong ethnic nationalism produces claim to political power and political ugliness that is often resolved
by ethnic conflict.
-Abandoning nationalism for peaceful, liberal, democratic order. After the world wars, western Europe
abandoned nationalism and formed the European Union. Russia joined the EU after the fall of
nationalist soviet union.
-Tony Judt -- “Jewish state [...] anachronism of 19th century”
Liberal/Civic NationalismEthnic Nationalism
-The united states has this kind of nationalism.
-If you live within borders you are considered a
national. “Part” of a nation. A member.
-Shared ancestry, culture, common language,
religion, culture, heritage (ethnic traits that make
up an ethnicity)
-If you don’t share these attributes you are not a
-United States was like this until the reform of
their immigration policy in ’65
-National identities is a belief. You either have or don’t have this belief. What is dominant in the country
affects behavior and policies.
-Ethnic groups banding together based on language to have their own nation in which people can live
with things in common and no one is left out.
-A tangent is that certain ethnicities strive economically because of the skills their ethnicity
historically has. Those who may be left out in these situations form their own nation based on
-Emphasis was put on ethnic identity more often than religion.
-The result of ethnonationalism was the marginalization of certain “out” and situationally disadvantaged
-International trade is good for marginalized ethnic groups.
-Ethnonationalism lead to deportation and genocide. The Holocaust was an attempt to rid Europe of all
-Political settlement after WWI was to realign borders to fit ethnic identities. After WWII, populations were
moved around as the only settlement.
-Ethnonationalism in modern Europe has a big influence. Questions of whether this was bad or good or
necessary or morally right/wrong arise, but the fact is that it was the only known solution in a time of
-Often because minority resents the achievements of the majority they leave the country which causes
the country to lose skilled people.
-A liberal democracy is stronger with ethnic homogeny.
-Can lead to stability because of less border disputes. (A border = a new ethnic identity). This raises the
issue of resource ownership.
-Historically, political policies have been much easier to make with ethnic nationalism.
-With ethnic nationalism comes the transition to willingness to cooperate with others (like the European