Nationalism - A challenge?

Term Paper, 2014

10 Pages, Grade: 2,5



1. Introduction

2. General definition of Nationalism
2.1 Two types of Nationalism

3. The modern Nationalism

4. The “ideal Nationalism”?

5. Conclusion

6. Sources

1. Introduction

In the following termpaper I will make a research about nationalism. This issue is a important topic of many different sciences, like sociology, history or politcs. Therefore nationalism has many definitions, for each type of science his own one.

It is a topic for a debate in our society because it still includes many questions and problems. Questions like what kind of nationalism would be morally right? Could we reach it? Problems like for instance the national liberation movements in some parts of africa or asian or just the case of Israel.

The work starts with the general definition of nationalism. Afterwards the two big types of nationalism will be explained - the ethnical and the civil one. The next part is the modern nationalism with a few important examples. The following point will give a briefly overview how the “ideal nationalism” should be and what the world on this issue is doing wrong. Finally a conclusion will sum up the most important facts of this work and answer the question whether nationalism is a real challenge or it is not.

2. General definition of Nationalism

All countries of the world are official nations, therefore every nation has his own definition of nationalism, his own nationalism history and the own development of it. Nationalism was not only known in Europe, also other countries like Japan, Latin America, arabic countries or Israel. The reasons how Nationalism arise are also different, it depends on many policital and social factors.

Like mentioned before Nationalism has different definitions. The philosopher Ernest Gellner has the definition, that it is a theory of the political legitimacy, in which the ethic borders do not have to overlap with the political ones. Especially the ethic borders in a nation are not allowed to separate the ruler of the subjugated people. It is a possibility which is already out of the question because of the general definition of this principle(Gellner, 1995, 8).

We have some countries which do not have the territory for their own, sometimes there are more ethnic groups in a such territory. The nationalist ideology of a territorial politic unit has the aim to make this area in a ethnical view homogeneously. But to have a politic unit, it is neccessary to kill or to assimilate all other people of the other country(ebd., 10). The result of this case is that Nationalism do not need a ethic homogeneously population. For instance it is possible that we have Nationalism in countries like Switzerland or USA although there exist different ethic groups regarding to their culture or language(Henning,Jansen, 2007,27).

The philosopher Karl Deutsch has the meaning that nationalist behavior and also the way it is designed are strengthen by the mechanism of socialziation. Group communication of national attidudes and also national ideals constitute an important element in the nationals feelings between all members. Special beliefs, values and other social norms are transmitted in the familial views from the one generation to the next one and it carry through for instance the work place, the educationsystem and also the media which produce a standard public opinion on national issues(Deutsch, 1978,51). Socialization is in the communication of culture, it includes the thoughts, feelings, preferences and also priorities amon the member of a group. So we could figure out that a community probably could not exist without the transmission of a one group actions to all it members. The communication creates a social connection and therefore produces differentiation from the others. That means if nationalism is somehow communicated, it will be a part of the culture of the group or the community.


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Nationalism - A challenge?
Vilnius University
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Dennis Trom (Author), 2014, Nationalism - A challenge?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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