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Definition: belief that the nation is the central principle of political organisation

Origins and Development:

Born during the French Revolution: people rose up in the name
of the people to create a `French nation'
Revolutionary and democratic creed ­ highlighting `subjects of
the crown' should be become `citizens…

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Religion is another key component: expresses common moral values and beliefs
Northern Ireland: people who the same language are divided by religion
Divisions in nations do not always result in rival nationalisms, e.g. UK
Countries all with the same faith do not feel they are unified under one nation,…

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Constructivist approach: national identity is an ideological construct serving the interests of large
powerful groups
Eric Hobsbawm (1983): nations are based on `invented traditions'
Nationalism creates nations not the other way around ­ been a controlling
device for ruling classes to reduce the risk of class rebellion by ensuring…

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Herder: each nation possesses a `Volksgeist' (spirit of the people) which is revealed in songs,
myths and legends ­ providing a nation with a source of creativity
The role of a nation is to develop an awareness and appreciation of
national traditions and collective memories rather than have a…

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Conservative nationalism
Expansionist nationalism
Anti-Colonial/Post colonial Nationalism

Liberal Nationalism:

Oldest form of nationalism dating back to the French revolution
Influenced Simon Bolivar who led the Latin American independence movement
Woodrow Wilson's 14 points were based on liberal nationalist principles
Shaped by J.J Rousseau's defence of popular sovereignty ­ `general…

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The ideal of a politically unified and culturally homogeneous nation states can only be achieved
by deporting minority groups and imposing a ban on migration

Conservative Nationalism:

In the early 19th century conservatives saw nationalism as a radical, dangerous force
Conservative statesmen (Disraeli, Bismarck and even Tsar Alexander III)…

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Conservative nationalism can be seen as a form of elite nationalism
The `nation' is invented and defined by political leaders who will use it for selfish purposes
Can serve to promote intolerance and bigotry
Portrays immigrants/foreigners as a threat, legitimizing racialist and xenophobic fears

Expansionist Nationalism

The dominant image…

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Anti-Colonial and Postcolonial Nationalism:

Due to imperialism nationalism became a worldwide phenomenon
Experience of colonial rule forged a nationhood and desire for national liberation amongst the
people of Asia and Africa
During 20th century: the political geography of the world was transformed by anti-colonialism
During the interwar period independence…

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It has limited a nation states ability to function as a self sufficient economic unit
Trend for cultural globalisation is impacting nations individual cultures
Growth of global interconnectedness has reconfigured our sense of political community and
expanded moral sensibilities
Nationalism is being superseded (made old fashioned) by cosmopolitanism

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As the 28th President he introduced the 14 points ­ promoting self determination
Wilsonian liberalism is associated with the idea that constructing a world of nation-states is the
best way of preventing war
Charles Maurras (1868-1952)
Key exponent of right wing nationalism, influencing fascism
`Integral nationalism' ­ organic unity…


Old Sir


A very good set of outline notes, covering the essential aspects of the development of nationalism. These are a good example of how to organise detailed notes and provide a good starting point for students looking to expand their knowledge of case studies to illustrate issue raised here.

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