This book provides a distinctive new introduction to the study of comparative politics at undergraduate level. Rich in case study material and global in coverage, Comparative Politics sets out the basic theoretical and methodological foundations for studying different political systems as well as the key structures and actors of which they are comprised. 

The Nation-State and Nationalism

The nation-state and nationalism

Chapter Outline

This chapter considers two central building blocks for comparative political analysis – the nation-state and nationalism. After explaining how these developments came about, different theoretical approaches are applied to exemplify contrasts and similarities in terms of how nationalism and the nation-state deal with problems associated with fostering national unity and dealing with minority groups.


The nation-state is the central unit of comparative politics. While comparative political scientists might be interested in the specifics of political institutions such as the legislature, executive, bureaucracy and the judiciary, they tend to compare the institutions of one nation-state against those of another nation-state. The main reason for the focus on the nation-state is that since the 19th century the nation-state has evolved ...

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