Why has nationalism proved so durable? What are the roots of its appeal? This sharp and accessible book slices through the myths surrounding nationalism and provides an important new perspective on this perennial subject. The book argues that: nationalism is persistent, not merely because of its specific ideological appeal, but because it expresses some of the major conflicts in modernity; nationalism reflects and reinforces four key trends in western social development: state formation, democratization, capitalism and the rationalization of culture; the forms of nationalism can be organized into a comprehensive typology which is outlined in the course of this study; post-nationalism and cosmopolitanism are significant innovations in the debate about nation-states and nationalism; and that the new radical nationalisms have become powerful new movements in the global age.
Chapter Five: Nationalism, Agency and Social Change
Nationalism, Agency and Social Change
In Chapter 2, we outlined the transformation in the social sciences in recent times, with renewed attention being paid to culture and agency as dynamic and creative entities. The two aspects of transformation are related but far from identical. In the case of nationalism, the turn to culture drew more from older traditions of locating nationalism within structural configurations than did the turn to agency. It also drew from a longer hermeneutic tradition of interpreting the nation that became reinvigorated and re-applied. The turn to agency, while of course in certain limited ways drawing from long-run traditions of empirical inquiry, marked in some of its forms at least a qualitatively new kind of empirical-theoretical endeavour, as ...