Contemporary Majority Nationalism

Contemporary Majority Nationalism

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    Contemporary Majority Nationalism
    Book Description:

    In light of a renewed interest in the study of nationalism, Contemporary Majority Nationalism brings together a group of major scholars committed to making sense of this widespread phenomenon. To better illustrate the reality of majority nationalism and the way it has been expressed, authors combine analytical and comparative perspectives. In the first section, contributors highlight the paradox of majority nationalism and the ways in which collective identities become national identities. The second section offers in-depth case study analyses of France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Canada, and the United States. This book is an international project led by three members of the Research Group on Plurinational Societies based at Université du Québec à Montréal. Contributors include James Bickerton (St-Francis Xavier University), Ángel Castiñeira (ESADE - Escuela superior de administración y dirección de empresas), John Coakley (University College Dublin), Alain Dieckhoff (Institut d’études politiques, Paris), Louis Dupont (Sorbonne University), Enric Fossas (Unversitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Alain-G. Gagnon (Université du Québec à Montréal), Liah Greenfeld (Boston University), André Lecours (Ottawa University), John Loughlin (St Edmund's College, Cambridge, and Cambridge University), and Geneviève Nootens (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi).

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8571-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preliminary Notes
    (pp. vii-2)
    Alain-G. Gagnon
  4. 1 Understanding Majority Nationalism
    (pp. 3-18)

    In liberal democratic societies, nationalism has long been associated with minorities and opposition to the state. The phenomenon has indeed often manifested itself most visibly in challenges to the central state. The nationalism projected by states, to the contrary, has either remained relatively hidden or has been granted a legitimacy denied to minority nationalist movements. For example, it typically goes without saying from the perspective of states that they may choose an official language for the public sphere and that this choice is therefore obfuscated as a meaningful expression of nationalism. The legitimacy of a similar choice by minority nations,...

    • 2 The Paradoxes of Contemporary Nationalism
      (pp. 21-42)

      Uzbekistan, Eritrea, Moldavia, Slovakia, and East Timor are all new independent states on our world map, but they are by no means the only ones. In the 1990s, no less than twenty new states were created. Most of them emerged out of the ruins of the Soviet Empire, while others were the product of the resumption of a decolonization process interrupted by expansionist neighbours such as Ethiopia and Indonesia. This list, however, takes into account only the criteria of international recognition, which provide a partial and imperfect image of much broader nationalist claims.¹

      Here, the Basqueiehendakari(head of government)...

    • 3 Imagined Nations: Personal Identity, National Identity, and the Places of Memory
      (pp. 43-79)

      Faced with the phenomenon of new identity claims, philosophers and social scientists have been obliged to revisit the question of what aspects make up personal identity and, more generally, collective identities. In part, this problem emerges, I would speculate, because the question has been poorly phrased. Thus, researchers might ask, why do we as humans claim to have an identity? Why do we also attribute identities to such groups as corporations, villages, or nations?

      Most studies in the philosophy of mind have arrived at the conclusion that personal identity is an interactive phenomenon that depends, at one level, on certain...

    • 4 Cultural Diversity and Modernity: The Conditions of the Vivre Ensemble
      (pp. 80-100)

      “Where am I?” That certainly seems to be a trivial question. After all, every one of us can find, on a map or on our GPS, where we stand, where we want to go, and how we get there. But that is obviously not the question being asked here. “Where am I?” questions what might be called the sensitive space, as when a “voyageur” or an explorer finds him- or herself in an unfamiliar place or in a space that is no longer understood. The “voyageur” wants to make sense of where he or she is and thus looks for...

    • 5 National Majorities in New States: Managing the Challenge of Diversity
      (pp. 101-124)

      Acting as midwife for the birth of a new state is a formidable enterprise even for the boldest of revolutionary elites, but creating a new nation is an even more demanding challenge. To quote a much-cited observation from the nationalist writer and former Piedmontese prime minister Massimo d’Azeglio, “Italy is made; now we must make Italians” (Seton-Watson 1967, 13). In many respects, this resembled the challenge that was shortly to be faced by a new empire to the north: how to transform Bavarians, Saxons, Prussians, and others into true Germans. It also resembled the process that was less spectacularly but...

    • 6 British and French Nationalisms Facing the Challenges of European Integration and Globalization
      (pp. 127-143)

      In her bookNationalism: Five Paths to Modernity, Liah Greenfeld identifies five different “paths” towards modernity, each actualized by a unique conceptualization of “the nation.” The first path was followed by Britain, the second by France (and the successive ones by Germany, the United States, and Russia). The British and French paths became rivalling world views, with antagonistic conceptions of politics and the economy, state organization, the relationship between state and civil society, and, above all, the role of religion within the political system; and they will form the substance of the discussion here.

      The comparison between France and Great...

    • 7 Janus Faces, Rocks, and Hard Places: Majority Nationalism in Canada
      (pp. 144-180)

      In his renowned study of nationalism, Benedict Anderson begins by admitting that the subject matter of his book is notoriously hard to define. His interpretation is that a nation isan imagined political community, one both inherently limited and sovereign. However, whereas Ernest Gellner said of nationalism that it is able to invent nations even where they do not exist, Anderson (1983, 6) asserts that the process of nation-creating is not so much one of false fabrication as it is one of active creation: in a sense there are no “true” communities that can be juxtaposed to “false,” or invented,...

    • 8 The Reality of American Multiculturalism: American Nationalism at Work
      (pp. 181-196)

      In the context of the present discussion, the United States presents a paradox: the openness, fluidity, and individualistic nature of American society, which reflects its national consciousness, despite the vociferous “multiculturalism” of the academy, the media, and to a large extent the political establishment, denies ethnic differences cultural significance.

      Despite the extreme diversity of ethnic origins among Americans, perhaps equalled only by the diversity of origins among Israeli Jews and Australians, ethnic considerations of whatever kind are absolutely foreign to the federalist tradition and institutions of the United States. The nation had been conceived as a federation of self-governing communities...

    • 9 Autonomy and Multinationality in Spain: Twenty-Five Years of Constitutional Experience
      (pp. 197-210)

      It is not easy to summarize the twenty-five years of Spanish decentralization, because it was an exercise of great political and legal complexity that included several factors and many nuances. It is therefore a very difficult subject to deal with in a satisfying manner within the framework of a conference, where this chapter originated. Moreover, every assessment is always tainted by some subjectivity that is inevitably dependent on preconceived political ideas, as well as inescapable cultural sensibilities. Finally, the time when a study is conducted can influence the evaluation of a historical period, which is the case today, since Spain...

  7. References
    (pp. 211-230)
  8. Contributors
    (pp. 231-233)