Week 3

Essay Abstracts

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Lecture Reading

Gellner, E. 1983. Nations and Nationalism.

You'll have to get this book from the university library, but you can find a limited preview of the text at Google Books.

Alonso, A. 1994. 'The politics space, time and substance: state formation, nationalism and ethnicity'. Annual Review of Anthropology 23: 379-405
Conversi, D. 2007. ‘Mapping the Field: theories of nationalism and the ethnosymbolic approach’, in Leoussi and Grosby (ed) Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism.
Ozkirimli, O. 2000. Theories of Nationalism: A Critical Overview
Smith, A. 1986. The Ethnic Origin of Nations
Smith, A. 1991. National Identity.

Summary of Lecture

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Seminar Reading

Connor, W. 1993. ‘Beyond Reason: The nature of the ethnonational bond’. Ethnic and Racial Studies, XVI: 373-89
Smith, A. 1989. ‘The origin of nations'. Ethnic and Racial Studies 12(3): 340-367

Visit Moodle to download these required readings as well as the Conversi and Alonso readings noted above.

More suggested reading:

For secondary material analyzing Gellner's work, see the work of sociologist John A. Hall (McGill U).

O'Leary, Brendan. (1997). "On the Nature of Nationalism: An Appraisal of Ernest Gellner's Writings on Nationalism", British Journal of Political Science 27:191-222.

Summaries and Notes from Seminar and Reading

The Gellner Debate

Continue the debate from the seminar here. Do you agree or disagree with these criticisms of Gellner's theory? Why or why not? Edit the page to add your own opinions.

1. Gellner's 'nationalism' is better termed patriotism. He makes the mistake of combining patriotism and nationalism into a single thing. (Connor)

I agree/disagree with this criticism because …

2. There were nations before nationalism. The "nation" is a modern phenomenon, but it has its roots in pre-modern eras and pre-modern cultures (Smith).

3. Gellner's typology can't be used in multicultural situations (O'Leary).

4. Add more!

External Materials and Links

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