Nationalism is one of the most pressing of global problems,
exacerbating ethnic conflicts and increasing the likelihood of war.
It is also basic to defining the rights of democratic citizenship,
and can be a source of inspiration and social solidarity. In this
fascinating overview, Craig Calhoun considers nationalism's diverse
manifestations, its history, and its relationship to imperialism
A way of conceiving identities that is fundamental to the modern
world, nationalism is distinct from kinship and ethnicity. It is an
international discourse that shapes domestic politics and relations
between states. Drawing on examples ranging from Eritrea, the
former Yugoslavia, and China to France and Germany, Calhoun
clarifies the ways national boundaries and identities have become
central to the modern era, how they relate to the development of
state power, and how a host of social movements and government
policy makers try to make use of them. Calhoun also challenges
attempts to "debunk" nationalism that fail to grasp why it has such
power and centrality in modern life.
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