Nationalism has been among the most contested and elusive concepts in social sciences. It has been described as an ideology, a political principle, a process of nation building (or nation-state formation), a political movement, a collective identity, and an individual political orientation. Consequently, there exists a multiplicity of definitions. A widely accepted definition (based on the one given by Ernest Gellner) considers nationalism as a political principle that holds that the cultural boundary and the political boundary should coincide. Modern national states aspire to represent the quintessential manifestation of this principle by presenting themselves as “nation-states.” However, nationalism cannot be reduced to statehood, although possession of—as well as aspiration for—a sovereign state is indeed central to nationalist ideologies; it also refers to claims for some ...

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