|Fall 2012 GOV 278-01 N A T I O N A L I S M
INSTRUCTOR: Peter Rutland,
; tel. 2483; office PAC 203, hours MW 10.30-12.00.
Check out my blog at www.nationalismwatch.com
ASSESSMENT: Out of 100 points
1) A 3-4 page report on one of the theoretical books or articles listed in weeks 1-5 of the syllabus. To be submitted by 4.00 pm on Friday Oct 5. Email it to
as an attached Word file. [15 points]
2) A 3-4 page paper on a randomly assigned country, due by 4.00 pm on Nov 9. You should explain the key elements in country X’s national narrative and self-image: symbols, land, religion, race, heroes, historical events, relations with neighbors, values, virtues, flaws, etc. [15 points]
3) An 8-10 page final paper. Either (a) analysis of a specific nation or nationalist movement;
or (b) discussion of a general topic not specific to one country.
The final paper should not be on the same country as the #2 random assignment.
Outline due on Nov 16; email me the paper by 4.00 pm on Dec 14. [40 points]
4) An i-movie presentation in which you present and analyze a specific nation’s nationalist politics (not just a potted history of country X). The presentations will take place in the last two weeks of class. You will be trained in making an imovie on October 4; you can use another video format if you prefer. [15 points]
5) Class participation and weekly quizzes on the reading. Each quiz will have 1 point for a correct answer, exceptionally 2 points may be given. Also extra credit for 1-2 page reports on outside lectures. [15 points]
Books to buy (three are available free as ebooks through Olin):
Ernest Gellner Nations and Nationalism (1983)
Eric Hobsbawn Nations and Nationalism Since 1780 (1991) (ebook)
Benedict Anderson Imagined Communities (1983) (ebook)
Jack Snyder From Voting to Violence (2000)
Amy Chua World on Fire (2004) (ebook)
Required readings are marked with *. All the other readings are optional, useful for your papers.
All the articles listed on the syllabus are available on the course’s Wesfiles page.
I only use Moodle to post grades.
Unexplained absence from three classes will be treated as withdrawal from the course.
Plagiarism, using material that you did not write and without clear attribution to the source, will be punished.
You can bring a laptop in class, but if I catch you emailing or web surfing I will ask you to leave.
Websites (especially useful for your country reports):
BBC country profiles Archive of recent articles on each country in the world.
CIA World Factbook Basic facts.
State Department country notes Detailed descriptions of institutions and recent events.
Nationalism Project Definitions, links, articles by academics.
International Crisis Group Up-to-date reports on countries experiencing conflicts.
Minorities at Risk project Lots of data on ethnic minorities, esp. those that are politically active.
New York Times Search the NYT for recent articles using the country box on the right.
John Hutchinson & A, D. Smith (eds) Nationalism. (2000) (Olin stacks JC311.N3228)
Alexander Motyl (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Nationalism (2001) (Olin Reference JC311.E499)
Week 1 WHAT IS NATIONALISM?
For an overview of the course theme, see:
Peter Rutland ‘Nationalism,’ International Encyclopedia of Political Science, 2010
What is ethnic identity? How does it relate to other types of identity?
A review of some classic sociological and anthropological articles on this question.
* Ernst Renan ‘What is a nation?’ (1882)
* Max Weber ‘Ethnic groups,’ in Economy and Society, v. 1, 385-98
Fredrik Barth Ethnic Groups and Boundaries (1969) 9-38
Thomas Eriksen ‘What is ethnicity?’, Ethnicity and Nationalism (1999) ch 1
Week 2 OBAMA NATION
What does it mean to be American? As the ‘first new nation’ the US sees itself as a new type of civic nation based on political consensus rather than ethnic identity. How does American patriotism differ from other peoples’ nationalism?
* Anthony Lewis ‘A new national scripture,’ New York Times, 16 Jan 2009
* Michael Walzer ‘What it means to be ‘American’?’ Social Research, 57, 1990, 591-614
* Minxin Pei ‘The paradoxes of American nationalism,’ Foreign Policy, May 2003
* Graham E. Fuller ‘America’s uncomfortable relationship with nationalism,’ Stanley
Foundation Policy brief, July 2006
Martha Nussbaum ‘Patriotism and cosmopolitanism,’ in Joshua Cohen (ed) For Love of
Alexander Aleinikoff ‘A multicultural nationalism?,’ American Prospect, 36, Jan 1998, 80-86
Samuel P. Huntington ‘The Hispanic challenge,’ Foreign Policy, March 2004
Michael Lind ‘In defense of liberal nationalism,’ Foreign Affairs, May 1994, 87-99
Week 2 NORTHERN IRELAND
We start by looking at Ireland and Quebec, two tough cases where nationalism has led to
persistent conflict. Note the contrasting roles played by religion and language in the two cases.
What was driving the conflict in Northern Ireland? Why did peace arrive when it did? Will it last?
* Richard Rose ‘Northern Ireland: The irreducible conflict,’ in Joseph Montville,
(ed) Conflict and Peacemaking in Multiethnic Societies (1990), ch 9
* PBS Newshour ‘Peace in Northern Ireland, but the religious divide remains,’ 07/11/12
* Ted Smyth ‘The unsung heroes of the peace process,’ World Policy (2005), 79-87
* John Coakley ‘Has the Northern Ireland problem been solved?’ Journal of
Democracy, 19:3 (Jul 2008), 98-112
* Fintan O'Toole ‘The taming of a terrorist,’ New York Review of Books, Feb 27, 2003
Tom Nairn The Break-Up of Britain (1977)
Sabine Wichert Northern Ireland Since 1945 (1999)
Donald Horowitz ‘Explaining the Northern Ireland agreement,’ British Journal of
Political Science, 32: 2 (Apr 2002), 193-22
Movies: Bloody Sunday, Wind that Shakes the Barley, Omagh, Michael Collins
Week 3 QUEBEC
What do the Quebecois want? Why is language policy so central to the nationalist project?
Does federalism help or hinder nationalist conflicts?
This case provides an opportunity to look at the rational choice school, which argues that ethnic
groups form for instrumental reasons, to advance interests rather than to express identities.
* Hudson Meadwell ‘The politics of nationalism in Quebec,’ World Politics, 45: 2
Jan. 1993, 203-41
* Jacques Parizeau “The case for a sovereign Quebec,” (1995), plus responses
Michael Hechter ‘A theory of ethnic collective action,’ International Migration Review,
16: 2 (1982) 412-34
Michael Hechter ‘Explaining nationalist violence’ Nations & Nationalism, 1,1995, 53-68
Eva Mackey The House of Difference: Cultural Politics and National Identity in
Movies Jesus of Montreal (1989) Decline of the American Empire (1986)
Week 3 ETHNICITY IN THE PRE-MODERN WORLD
What was the character of ethnic identity before the emergence of the modern state?
‘Primordialists’ or ‘perennialists’ consider ethnicity to be a universal human characteristic.
Diaspora nations such as the Jews and Armenians exemplify one type of primordial identity.
* Anthony Smith Ethno-symbolism and Nationalism (2009) chs. 1, 2 [ebook]
* Walker Connor Ethnonationalism (1993)’Nation building or nation destroying?,’
pp. 28-66, ‘Man is a national animal,’ 195-209
Anthony D. Smith The Ethnic Origins of Nations (1986) 1-46
Anthony D. Smith Chosen Peoples: Sacred Sources of National Identity (2003)
Special Issue on Smith Nations and Nationalism, 10: 1, Jan 2004
Khachig Tololyan ‘The Armenian diaspora’ (2006)
John Wilford ‘Languages die, but not their last words,’ IHT, 18 Sept 2007
Michael Erard ‘How linguists share a bible of 6,912 languages,” NYT, 19 Jul 2005
Week 4 FUNCTIONALIST THEORIES
Is nationalism a pre-requisite for capitalism and the modern state? Why did nationalism arise in
18th century Europe? Gellner explains nationalism as integral to the project of modernity, a by-
product of the spread of mass communications and industry. Smith offers a critique of Gellner.
* Ernest Gellner Nations and Nationalism, esp. chs. 2 and 3
* Anthony Smith ‘State making and nation-building,’ in John Hall (ed),
States in History (1986)
Anthony Smith Nationalism and Modernism (1998) chs 1, 2 [e-book]
John Hall (ed.) The State of the Nation: Gellner and the Theory of Nationalism (1998)
Gellner web-page http://members.tripod.com/GellnerPage/Index.html
Eugen Weber Peasants into Frenchmen (1976) 3-22
Week 4 (2) Hobsbawm
Discussion of Hobsbawm’s book. Did capitalists need the nation-state to organize their production, to seize and unify markets, and to divert their workers from socialist revolution?
Consider the paradigm cases of Britain and France in the 17-19th centuries.
* Eric Hobsbawm Nations and Nationalism Since 1780 (1992) ebook thru Olin
* Anthony Smith Nationalism and Modernism (1998) chs 3,4 e-book
* Timothy Baycroft ‘France’ in Baycroft & Hewitson (eds), What is a Nation? (2006)
Liah Greenfeld Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity (1992)
Eugene Weber Peasants into Frenchmen (1986)
David Bell ‘The unbearable lightness of being French,’ American Historical
Review, 106: 4 (2001) 1215-35
Week 5 NATIONALISM AS CONSTRUCT
Anderson sees nationalism as an artifact constructed by elites, and goes beyond Europe, looking at the spread of nationalism to the 19th century colonial world: Latin America and Indonesia. Nationalism becomes a tool unifying anti-imperialist struggles.
* Benedict Anderson Imagined Communities (1991) available as ebook through Olin
Anthony Smith Nationalism and Modernism (1998) chs, 5, 6, 9 [e-book]
Kwame Anthony Appiah ‘The case for contamination,’ New York Times, 1 Jan 2006
Nicola Miller ‘The historiography of nations and nationalism in Latin America,’
Nations and Nationalism, July 2006, 12: 2, 201-21
Eric Hobsbawm (ed) The Invention of Tradition (1983) esp. ch. 1 ‘Highland traditions’
Wikipedia ‘The history of the kilt’
Week 5 Training on how to prepare i-movie presentations
Oct 4 To be held in the Language Teaching Center in Fisk Hall during regular class time.
Oct 5 FIRST ASSIGNMENT DUE
Write a 3-4 page critical review of one of the core theorists (Smith, Gellner, Connor,
Hobsbawn, Anderson). Email it to as an attached Word file by 4.00 pm.
Week 6 IN CLASS DEBATE
Two teams will debate: ‘Nationalism is a permanent, pervasive feature of modern society.’
Week 6 NATIONALISM AND THE LOGIC OF THE MARKET
Why and how do markets encourage and consolidate ethnic identification?
Amy Chua picks up the theme of vulnerable ‘middleman minorities’ in the globalizing economy.
The classic article by Bonacich explains ethnic segregation in the division of labor.
Rodrik makes an economic argument for the persistence of the nation-state in a global economy.
* Amy Chua World On Fire (2002) ebook thru Olin
* Eva Bonacich ‘Class approaches to ethnicity,’ Insurgent Sociologist, 10 (1980) 9-22
* Dani Rodrik ‘Who needs the nation-state?” Economic Geography, forthcoming 2013
Roger Waldinger “The other side of embeddedness: the interplay of ethnicity and
economics,” Ethnic and Racial Studies, 18, 1995, 555-69
Michael Hechter ‘Group formation and the cultural division of labor,’ American Journal
of Sociology, 84: 2. (Sep. 1978), 293-318
Week 7 GENDER
What role does gender play in the definition of the nation and the politics of nationalism?
* Nira Yuval-Davis ‘Gender and Nation’ Ethnic & Racial Studies 16:4 (1993) 621-32
Lois A. West (ed.) Feminist Nationalism (1997)
Tamar Meyer Gender Ironies of Nationalism (1999)
Patrizia Albanese Mothers of the Nation (2006)
Movies The Terrorist (1998); No More Tears, Sister (2004)
Week 8 NATIONALISM IN POST-COLONIAL AFRICA
Decolonization led to a surge of nationalism. But ethnic complexity has made the construction of viable states in post-colonial Africa very difficult. Still, ethnicity is not necessarily destructive, it is also used by people to defend their political and economic interests.
* Bruce Berman et al, ‘Ethnicity and the politics of nation-building in Africa,’ ch 1 in
Ethnicity and Democracy in Africa (2004), 1-21
* Donald Horowitz Ethnic Groups in Conflict (1985) chs 4-5
* Frantz Fanon The Wretched of the Earth (1963) 35-94 and 148-205
Ben Neuberger National Self-Determination in Post-Colonial Africa (1986)
James Fearon ‘Ethnic and cultural diversity by country,’ Journal of
Economic Growth 8: 2 (2003), 195-222 .
Alberto Alesina et al ‘Fractionalization,’ Journal of Economic Growth 8: 2 (2003), 155-194
Daniel Posner ‘The colonial origins of ethnic cleavages. Linguistic divisions in
Zambia,’ Comparative Politics, 35: 2, Jan 2003, 127-46
Joshua Forrest ‘Nationalism in post-colonial states,’ ch 2 in Lowell Barrington (ed) After Independence: Post-colonial and Post-socialist States (2006)
Joshua Forrest Subnationalism in Africa (2004)
Crawford Young ‘Deciphering disorder in Africa,’ World Politics, 54: 4 (2002) 532-557
Partha Chatterjee Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World (1986)
Movies Battle of Algiers (1965) Night of Truth (2004) Tears of the Sun (2003)
Week 8 RWANDA
Rwanda is the most vivid recent example of the power of ethnicity to bring about evil.
Yet Rwanda in some crucial respects is not typical for the African continent.
* Helen Hintjens ‘Explaining the 1994 genocide in Rwanda,’ Journal of Modern
African Studies, 37: 2 (June 1999), 241-86
Samantha Power ‘Bystanders to genocide,’ Atlantic Monthly (August 2001),
Also in her book A Problem From Hell, (2002) ch. 10
Philip Gourevitch We Wish to Inform You . . . (1999)
Alan Kuperman The Limits of Humanitarian Intervention (2001)
Alison Des Forges Leave None to Tell the Story (1999)
Frank Chalk & Kurt Jonassohn The History and Sociology of Genocide (1990) 3-43
Jacques Semelin ‘From massacre to the genocidal process,’ International Social
Science Journal, 54: 174 (Dec 2002), 433-42
Mahmood Mamdani ‘Politics of Naming,’ London Review of Books, 8 Mar 2007 [on Darfur]
Movies Sometime in April (2005) Hotel Rwanda (2004) Shake Hands With The Devil (2007)
Week 9 THE SOVIET COLLAPSE
Oct 30-Nov 1
The collapse of communism in the early 1990s and the spread of democracy coincided with an upsurge of ethnic violence. Why was this? Snyder offers one explanation.
What was Soviet nationality policy, and why did the country fall apart in the late 1980s?
* Jack Snyder From Voting to Violence (2000) chs. 1-2, 5
* Ronald Suny ‘State, civil society and ethnic consolidation in the USSR,’ ch. 30 in
Gail Lapidus (ed.) The Soviet System (1995)
* Pal Kolsto ‘Nation-building in the former USSR,’ Journal of Democracy,
7: 1 (1996), 118-132
Victor Kogan ‘Chechen separatism’ in Metta Spencer (ed.), Separatism (1998)
Vera Tolz ‘Forging the nation in Russia’ Europe-Asia Studs, 50: 6 Sep 98, 993-22
David Laitin ‘Secessionist Rebellion in the Former Soviet Union,’ Comparative
Political Studies, 34: 8 (2001), 839-61
Valerie Bunce ‘Peaceful versus violent state dismemberment: Comparison of the Sov.
Un, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia,’ Politics and Society, 27: 2 1999
Week 10 THE BREAK UP OF YUGOSLAVIA
The Yugoslavia wars left 250,000 dead and political deadlock in Bosnia and Kosovo. Why?
* Anthony Oberschall ‘The manipulation of ethnicity: From ethnic cooperation to violence
and war in Yugoslavia,’ Ethnic and Racial Studies, 23: 6,
(Nov 2000) 982-1001
Daniel Williams ‘Ethnic rivalries still bitter in the Balkans,’ Washington Post, 11/6/04
Paul Mojzdes Yugoslavian Inferno: Ethnoreligious Warfare in the Balkans (1995)
Christopher Bennett Yugoslavia’s Bloody Collapse (1996)
Noel Malcolm Bosnia: A Short History (1996)
Norman Cigar Genocide in Bosnia (1996)
James Gow Triumph of Lack of Will: International Diplomacy and Yugoslav War
Jan Honig & Norbert Both Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime (1996)
Movies Before the Rain (1994), Sarajevo (1997) No Man’s Land (2001)
Week 10 SECOND ASSIGNMENT DUE
Nov 9, Friday
Write a 3-4 page profile of the national narrative and/or ethnic conflicts in a
You should explain the key elements in country X’s national narrative and self-image: symbols, land, religion, race, heroes, historical events, relations with neighbors, values, virtues, flaws, etc.
Email it to
as an attached Word document by 4.00 pm.
Week 11 IS THERE A EUROPEAN IDENTITY?
What does it mean to be European? The economic success of the European Union has not led, as
some had hoped, to the emergence of a strong European identity replacing national identities.
Did the Eastern enlargement in 2004 and 2007 undermine the prospects for a new Euro identity?
What are the chances that deeper political integration may create a real European identity?
* Daniel Williams ‘Nationalism ignites E.U. rebellion,’ Washington Post, 6 June 2005
* Thomas Risse ‘An emerging European identity?,’ Helsinki (25 April 2003)
Eurozine ‘Changing Europe’ (essays, 2006-07)
Michael Bruter ‘Political identity and European elections,’ (2004)
Zsuzsa Csergo ‘Nationalist strategies and European integration,’ Perspectives
& James Goldgeier on Politics (2004), 2: 1, 21-37
Michael Keating ‘European integration and the nationalities question’, Politics and
Society, 32: 3, (2004), 367-88
Week 11 IN CLASS MOVIE: BEFORE THE RAIN
Week 11 Outline for final paper is due.
Nov 16, Friday
The outline should be 1-2 pages long, and include the main thesis, an outline of the arguments
to be raised, and a preliminary biography. Email it to
by 4.00 pm.
Either (a) an analysis of a specific nation or nationalist movement.
Or (b) discussion of a theme or issue not specific to one country.
Week 12 CHINA
Chinese nationalism surged in response to Western incursions in the 19th century, then was displaced by communism, and then returned in the 1990s at both elite and mass level. Does contemporary China’s nationalism conform to or depart from Western models?
* Suisheng Zhao ‘Chinese nationalism and its international orientations,’
Political Science Quarterly, 115: 1 (2000), 1-33
* Emily Parker ‘The roots of Chinese nationalism,’ Wall Street Journal, 1 Apr 2008
Guangqiu Xu ‘Anti-Western nationalism in China 1989-99,’ World Affairs (spr 2001)
Howard French ‘Taiwan and China: Struggle over identity,’ IH Tribune, 27 May 2005
Maria Hsia Chang Return of the Dragon: China’s Wounded Nationalism (2001)
Peter Hays Gries China’s New Nationalism (2004)
Movies Hero (2002), Opium War (1997) Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
Weeks 13-14 STUDENT PRESENTATIONS
Nov 29 – Dec 6
Dec 14 FINAL ASSIGNMENT DUE
The paper, 10-12 pages including notes, should be emailed to <prutland> by 4.00 pm on Dec 14.