Is Nationalism inherently expansionist and destructive? [45 marks]


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Is nationalism inevitably linked to suspicion, hostility and
conflict? 45 Marks
Nationalism is an ideology based upon the identification of a group of individuals with
a state. It is a belief that citizenship in a state should be limited to one ethnic, cultural,
religious background. Through nationalism we get identification, and through
identification we achieve communities within different societies, each consisting of
people from the same or similar background. We do acknowledge that nationalism is
inevitably linked to suspicion, hostility and conflict for example, conflict between
different types of nationalism: Conservative and Liberal nationalism, however, it isn't
entirely inevitable as Nationalism can in fact bring solidarity and stability to a country.
There are different types of nationalism, such as liberal and conservative
nationalism. This brings us onto the first point to nationalism being inevitably linked to
suspicion, hostility and conflict. Liberal nationalism is a creation of the Enlightenment.
It arose from a parallel being drawn between individuals and nations, as individuals
have the right to personal autonomy, like nations as well. No nation can be restrained
unless it threatens the autonomy of others. Conservatives became increasingly
sympathetic towards nationalism, seeing it as a way of maintaining social order and
tradition. Their goal was to maintain national unity by fostering patriotism. These
different types of nationalism cause conflict between one another and this conflict is
evident because throughout the 19th century conservatives were suspicious of liberal
nationalism. Conservatives feared that liberal nationalism would cause traditional
forms of authority to be demolished and it would consequently threaten order. This
indicated the passing of imperial power and the risk of civil war in those counties that
were multinational in character. However this conflict between these types of
nationalism is juxtaposed, as both types are in fact similar due to the fact that they
are both trying to influence the people within society, the individuals. Nonetheless,
Liberals saw nationalism as a way of creating and maintaining individuals and
collective liberty, and conservative nationalism was a means by which societies could
be held together. Therefore, nationalism is as a matter of fact linked to conflict due
to different ideas from the liberals and conservatives, but both are trying to endure a
harmony within societies, therefore nationalism is not entirely associated with
hostility and conflict.
This conflict is culminated further by internationalism, a theory or practice of politics
base upon transnational or global cooperation. Internationalism has underestimated
the nation's capacity to stimulate political loyalty and faithfulness. Internationalism is
therefore idealistic rather than realistic. However Internationalism establishes a
framework to address international issues such as terrorism, disease, and
environmental devastation that cannot be addressed unilaterally due to the very
nature of the issue, which therefore may solve conflict a nation may be involved with,
strengthening the stability of a country. In spite of that, the Conservatives are
dubious of the usefulness of international organisations, especially the security
functions of the UN, and therefore questions the hostility of nationalism as a whole.
To continue to answer the question as to why nationalism is seemingly antagonistic,
we acknowledge that again the Conservatives have a large role to play when it

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Conservative nationalism can lead to xenophobia. Xenophobia is the
instinct typical of right-wing nationalists to be suspicious of foreigners and to attempt
to maintain the exclusiveness of the home nation. The idea that nations may consist
of people from more then one ethnic and genetic nature was uncalled for in the eyes
of the Conservatives, and this was promoted by the Conservative MP Enoch Powell
after 1968. Powell aggressively stated that if non-white immigration continued it
would lead to social disruption and violence.…read more

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