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Notes On Nationalism A2 Government And Politics

1127 words - 5 pages


The nature of the nation and the differences between nations and states.
- A nation can be defined as a group of people who consider themselves to have common circumstances at birth. These common circumstances are strong enough for them to adopt collective goals based on their national identity. Nationalism is therefore an emotional phenomenon felt by the people.
- There are a number of typical circumstances of birth that may give rise to nationhood including having a single common ancestor, a common historical experience, common culture, ethnic identity, geographical proximity, religion, attachment to territory.
- A state is a political reality. It either exists or it ...view middle of the document...

It is democratic in the sense it invests sovereignty in all of the people. A civic nation-state claims self-governing rights and rights for its citizens. Civic nationalism is much more inclusive as it’s the citizenship which joins people, and citizenship can be achieved by anyone.
* Ethnic nationalism: nationhood is defined by language, religion, customs and traditions. According to ethnic nationalists, it is not the state that creates the nation but the nation, which creates the state. The glue that holds people together is not shared political rights, but pre-existing ethnic characteristics. Ethnic nationalism is more exclusive as it believes that not everyone can become a part of a particular nation-state.

The nation-state and its alleged benefits
-Maintains law and order within the territory
-Secures the state against external threats
-Develops and maintains useful relations with other states
-Regulates the currency, the operation of markets and the economy in general.
-Maintains the welfare of its people
-Promotes economic and social progress
-Protects and improves the physical environment of the country.

Relationship between nationalism and liberalism
* Liberal nationalists demand that every recognisable nation has the right to freedom from subjection to the rule of other nations and states.
* Liberalism demanded that every individual should be free, thus so should be every individual state.
* The freedom of nations and the freedom of individuals were inextricable linked, and individuals could not be free unless the nation or state was.

Relationship between nationalism and conservatism
* Conservatives were suspicious of liberals, as they worried that it would lead to the destruction of traditional forms of authority and would therefore threaten order.
* It implied the demise of imperial power and the risk of civil war in those countries that were multinational in culture.
* However as more nation-states began to establish, conservatives began to understand that nationalism could be a force of order, instead of disorder.
* They believed that people were bound together by their traditions and a common sense of their own history. This united them more powerful than any government institution could be.
* While liberals saw nationalism as a way of creating and maintain individual and collective liberty, conservatives saw it as a mean by which societies could be held together.
* Conservative nationalism can also be defensive in nature, and this occurs when the national identity is perceived to be under threat.


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