Nationalism: Exam Questions, Mark Schemes (Indicative Content) and Examiner's Reports

From January 2010 to January 2012, there have been two nationalism questions on the paper. These all appear in this document alongside a condensed mark scheme and examiner's comments in italics (NB: There are no question-specific comments for the January 2010 paper)

All content has been taken from the Edexcel website.

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Preview of Nationalism: Exam Questions, Mark Schemes (Indicative Content) and Examiner's Reports

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Nationalism Exam Questions
January 2010
Distinguish between nationalism and racialism
o Belief that nation is central principle of political organisation
o Nation is collection of people bound together
o Humankind is naturally divided into discrete nations
o Nation is the most appropriate/only legitimate unit of political rule ­ self-determination
o Complex and highly diverse ideological phenomenon, encompassing range of political
manifestations as well as cultural and ethnic forms
o Belief that political/social conclusions can be drawn from idea that humankind is divided
into biologically distinct `races' whereas nations are cultural identities
o Racial origin is irrelevant to national identity for inclusive forms of nationalism
o Fundamental genetic type, differences amongst peoples of world ­ culture/moral/intellect
o Politically implies racial segregation, doctrines of racial hierarchy ­ systematic
`Nationalism looks to the past, not to the future' Discuss
Nations themselves grounded in history, based on traditions/established identities - continuity
Conservative nationalism
o Nostalgic and backward-looking - Defence for traditional institutions, traditional way of life
o Reflects on past age of national glory or triumph = resist change; defendnational identity
o Concerns: cultural diversity, supranationalism, immigration
Expansionist nationalism
o Myths of a `golden age' exemplifying national glory or superiority
o Inspiration from history, aspirations for future
Liberal nationalism
o Associated with quest for sovereign independence
o Forge world of independent nation-states ­ reorder international politics
Anti-colonial nationalism
o Similarly progressive; typically characterised by political independence
o Social development: collectivisation of wealth and establishment of rationally-based
planning system
Past and future are brought together in myths about cyclical regeneration of a particular nation
June 2010
On what grounds have nationalists defended the nation-state?
Answers to this question ranged significantly in terms of quality. At the lower end, candidates often wrote
generally about nationalism and appeared, sometimes, to be heading in the direction of a different question,
usually one about the definition of the nation and the definition of the state. In these cases, the issue of the
defence of the nation-state tended to be ignored. On the other hand, those who provided a clear and full
definition of the nation-state at the outset and then outlined two, three or more of its advantages often produced
good or better responses. Not uncommonly, these reflected on the different arguments that would be advanced
by liberal nationalists (linked to freedom) and conservative nationalists (linked to social cohesion).

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This is a question requires an effective definition of the nation state, and grounds from more than one type of
nationalism.…read more

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Some candidates also failed to explain why the two terms are often confused, sometimes
merely stating that this happens because of the existence of so-called `nation-states'.…read more

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Explain the key features of conservative nationalism.
Weak responses to this question sometimes provided an account of nationalism, failing to highlight a specifically
conservative approach to nationalism. Alternatively, weaker responses focused on conservatism and tended to
ignore the nationalism aspect of the question, writing, for instance, about issues such as the organic society
without applying it to the nation.…read more


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