Chapter 1: The Study of Nationalism Next Chapter

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The Study of Nationalism
The study of nationalism
Introduction

‘Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race’ – this was the verdict attributed to Albert Einstein on the force that had so profound an impact on the Europe of his middle years (Dukas and Hoffman, 1979: 38). This judgement of a theoretical physicist briefly turned political commentator was, if anything, milder than the assessments of later analysts of nationalism, many of whom would have used the metaphor of a much more deadly disease than measles. One distinguished scholar alleged that it has ‘created new conflict, exacerbated tensions, and brought catastrophe to numberless people innocent of all politics’ (Kedourie, 1993: 134). Others have pointed to its potential for generating hatred, civil unrest, violence, ...

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