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nationalism | Definition, History, & Facts |

Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson, , Princeton University Press. A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples. Cambridge University Press.

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  • History of the Balkans:. History portal Europe portal. History of Europe. It is thus not a sociological analysis of nationalism, but an ethically based polemic against it. Obviously, as a scholar one can do little, at least directly, about primitive, visceral nationalism which is impervious to discussion, not to mention its more intellectual, but still dogmatic variant which refuses to consider evidence and arguments.

    But this does not mean that nothing can be done. The primary target should be the intellectual or quasi-intellectual justifications of nationalism; and indeed one should address oneself primarily to other intellectuals, those who produce, support and spread nationalistic discourse, thus legitimizing the action of the viscerally nationalist hangmen and henchmen.

    Nationalist politics needs intellectuals: to use an example from the former Yugoslavia, let me mention that some of the best-known Serbian philosophers—most prominently Mihailo Markovic—have been successfully recruited by either Milosevic or by the nationalist opposition to legitimize the war waged against other nations in the area. In the mids he toured Europe in an attempt to justify the genocidal policies of his government with philosophical nationalist arguments.

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    This is a modest, but promising enterprise. There are a number of things which can be done in respect of nationalist discourse with a modicum of intelligence and analytic skill. First, deflating nationalist discourse by laying bare the biological, psychological, and social origins of nationalism. Recent work on the evolutionary origins of group solidarity van der Berghe, certainly offers a deflationary, even debunking view of traditional group loyalty: making this more widely known can help to divest nationalism of some of its attractiveness, at least to some people.

    I shall not be much concerned with this line in the book, leaving it to specialists in the respective areas. Secondly, debunking nationalist appeals to historical and anthropological mythologies.

    European citizens increasingly turn to nationalist orientations when it comes to the EU

    In states run on nationalistic principles such mythologies are taught in schools and even at university. Teachers who refuse to teach them are often simply fired. The humanities are especially vulnerable to such pseudo-history. Thirdly, disentangling dangerous confusions. Most attempts at legitimizing nationalism use conceptual devices of varying subtlety to promote strong and dangerous nationalist claims by wrapping them up in more innocent-looking rhetoric.

    A typical case is the following: the speaker starts by asking for a particular right for his ethnic group, say, the right of cultural self-determination. My personal experience of living through the Balkan War years in Croatia has taught me that such conflations of right and legally enforceable obligation are the bread and butter of nationalist legitimization rhetoric. The skills of critical thinking—distinguishing and discriminating—should show their bite here and help disentangle legitimate claims to rights from the dangerous rhetoric of sacred duties.

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    Fourthly, offering and defending alternatives to nationalism. It is often claimed that the main alternative to nationalism, cosmopolitanism—of any variety—is doomed to supporting a cheap, rootless pseudo-culture. I want to defend it against this accusation and propose my own favorite version of it as a viable alternative to nationalism. In the older Anglo-American literature the dominant concept was simply the civic, state-oriented one: all citizens of a state form a nation.

    This concept is sometimes further subdivided into more descent-based and more culture-based varieties. At the level of both political, unrefiective nationalism, and the sophisticated philosophical defense of pro-national attitudes, the dominant conception is the mixed one of a cultural group, possibly united by a common descent, endowed with civic ties of some kind.

    Much debate concerns whether all such groups should be granted the right to a state. Some recent commentators explicitly propose an analysis of this mixed concept: see the essays by Seymour, Couture, and Nielsen in Couture et al. For instance, Bosnian Croats distinguish themselves from Bosnian Muslims—in the sense of belonging to another nation—mainly by being Catholics; they speak the same language, live in similar conditions, and have a great deal of shared history with their Muslim neighbors.

    In contrast, the Quebecois distinguish themselves from their neighbors mainly through language and tradition, sharing with them most values and forms of life. It is sometimes the case that nation forming or state building leads to a concentrated effort to create new differences: witness, for example, the separation of the Croatian from the Serbian language, the effort to Islamize Bosnia, or the spread of Islam among African Americans aspiring to some kind of political independence. Moreover, there is no limit in principle to the kind of traits that can underlie national ist identification: color of skin, dietary or sexual habits, and who knows what else might one day play a legitimate role in rallying together a group of people demanding recognition as a nation.

    This means that the mixed concept we proposed can be subdivided according to the degree of subjectivity in contrast to objectivity. Here is what I regard as a sensible version of the more subjective concept, proposed by D. Miller, one of the most brilliant and most moderate contemporary defenders of pro-nationalist attitudes:. What does it mean for people to have a common national identity, to share their nationality? Where these beliefs are widely held throughout the population in question, we have sufficient grounds for saying that a nation exists. What needs underlining is how little this definition includes.

    It contains no assumption that nations are, as it were, natural kinds marked off from one another by physical characteristics. It can easily accommodate the historical fluidity of national identities, and recognize the extent to which nations are brought into being by extraneous circumstances such as conflicts between states.

    Nor is there any assumption that people who share nationality will share objective characteristics such as race or language.

    Rise of nationalism in Europe

    Miller, , It also has the advantage of being proposed by many serious philosophical pro-nationalists, so that it offers a common conceptual ground for moral debate with them. Philosophical pro-nationalists are mostly clear-eyed about the factual falsity of common nationalist beliefs. The costs of accepting such a subjective definition are very high for them, and it is to their credit that they embrace it: sacrificing the objectivity of nation might deprive it of most of its moral claims.

    I shall try to show this briefly at the end of chapter two.

    The Rise of Nationalism in Europe class 10 (Part 1),The French Revolution and The Idea of Nation

    Why do they accept it nevertheless? Azar Gat, chair of the Department of Political Science at Tel Aviv University, takes us on a journey to discover the history of nations all around the world. He argues that the roots of nations and nationalism go way beyond modernism as they developed from ancient origins, from ethnicities and a sense of belonging, in the very beginning of history. In the interview with 42 Magazine Prof.

    But this perception seems to be changing. During her conversation with 42, art historian Dr Silke von Berswordt-Wallrabe portrays the challenges of dealing with historically charged art and what we can learn from it. However, before Germany enters the crucial phase of its national history, it exists in the form of a peculiar political construct: the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.

    In a conversation with 42 Magazine, Prof. Mourey explains how this empire differs from the nations that emerge during the nineteenth century and discusses whether it is a precursor of the modern nation state. The revitalisation of nationalism is now testing the solidarity of the most important intergovernmental entity for international cooperation.