nationalism - In this essay I will discus the issue of...

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In this essay, I will discus the issue of nationalist awakening among the nations and consequences related to it. I will argue that radical nationalism is extremely dangerous, infective and threatening to the international order and human rights. Nationalism was not widely discussed in the past and there are still several misconceptions about its definition, main assumptions and forms. Today, in the era of globalization, radical nationalism poses serious questions of moral and legal nature. Radical nationalism often leads to nationalist/ethnic wars, terrorism, genocides. It is often associated with the clash of civilizations and the role of hegemony in the international relations. The ambiguity of the term leads many people to perceive it as a positive attitude of the peoples in relation to others and their own homeland. However, radical nationalism is by no means positive. It is highly exclusive of differences and leads to conflicts that result in deaths of several innocent people, mostly civilians. In order to prove that radical nationalism is inherently wrong and leading to failure in establishing full self-governance and well- functioning and ‘healthy’ democracy I need to start with writing about some of the most conceptual issues related to it. Then, I would like to give a definition of nationalism, nation and state. Afterwards, I will move on to discuss some of the basic concepts of nationalism, its varieties, moral consequences and arguments against it. The main focus of this essay will be on relating radical nationalism to nationalist wars, unrest in the world (in the form of terrorism), violation of human rights, politics of exclusion and hegemony. I will utilize the cases of Rwanda, former Yugoslavia and the Middle East to point out how does radical nationalism fail and leads to instability in the world. 1
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Nationalism has many definitions, but it is generally understood as the attitude of the members of a nation in reference to the nation and as the actions they undertake in establishing and sustaining their sovereignty. The concept of nationalism is tightly connected to the phenomenon of national identity which often centers on common birth place, language, ancestry, culture and historical past. The following passage from Alter’s book very well summarizes the above statement. “These common structural components, or features, of nationalism include: consciousness of the uniqueness or peculiarity of group of people, particularly with respect to their ethnic, linguistic or religious homogeneity; emphasizing of shared socio- cultural attitudes and historical memories; a sense of common mission; disrespect for and animosity towards other peoples (racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism)”. 1
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This note was uploaded on 05/12/2008 for the course ENG 102 taught by Professor Diskinson during the Spring '07 term at Haverford.

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nationalism - In this essay I will discus the issue of...

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