Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Eric G. E. Zuelow
Nationalism is generally defined in one of three ways: (1) an abstract notion that human society is divided into nations, (2) a sense of belonging to a given national group, or (3) a political ideology that holds that national communities should be coterminous with nation-states and that these communities should govern themselves. These three definitions are frequently augmented by a typology that seeks to distinguish nationalisms either by characteristics or behavior, variously differentiating them as separatist, ethnic, civic, cultural, classical, or liberal. A single accepted characterization of nationalism is difficult to reach, partly because a commonly accepted definition of “nation” proves elusive. In contrast to states—political units possessing concrete borders, institutions, and the legitimate use of force—nations are far more amorphous. Scholars debate whether nations are timeless, ancient, or modern and whether nations came before nationalism or vice versa. Those who suggest that nations are modern are further challenged by ...