Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Nation-states are mostly multiethnic and composed of various subnations. Nation building is a process of building a social community within a nation-state. It is closely related to the formation of states in postconflict situations after regime change, after decolonization, or after wars. The nation-building process is particularly important in multination states in Africa. African colonies were formed by the colonial powers without regarding their ethnic and linguistic cleavages. With independence, the process of state building had to be strengthened by social and cultural cohesion. National symbols such as national anthems, national flags, national holidays, and national myths were used to overcome tribalism and ethnic and social rivalries. Nation building of this kind is a cultural foundation for state building and is necessary for economic and social development. Processes of nation building also became important with the breakdown of the Socialist bloc and state and nation failure in the Soviet Union, ...