Wk 11b Globalization, Nation state, Immigration 2017.pptx - What is a Nation • Is it a place with a defined geographic boundary • Is it a people

Wk 11b Globalization, Nation state, Immigration 2017.pptx -...

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What is a Nation? Is it a place with a defined geographic boundary? Is it a people with a shared language, heritage and culture? Is it a form of political organization? What makes people love and die for their nation, as well as hate and kill in their name?
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Ernest Renan (1882) What is a Nation? A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which in truth are but one, constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One lies in the past, one in the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received in an undivided form. A nation is therefore a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future.
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Ernest Renan (1823-1892) was an important French theorist who wrote about a variety of topics. His famous essay "What is a Nation?" ( Qu'est-ce qu'une nation? ) was first delivered as a lecture at the Sorbonne in 1882. It continues to be an important influence on scholars. One can see Renan's influence in the scholarship of people like Benedict Anderson. Man, Gentlemen, does not improvise. The nation, like the individual, is the culmination of a long past of endeavours, sacrifice, and devotion. Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate, for the ancestors have made us what we are. A heroic past, great men, glory (by which I understand genuine glory), this is the social capital upon which one bases a national idea. To have common glories in the past and to have a common will in the present; to have performed great deeds together, to wish to perform still more-these are the essential conditions for being a people. One loves in proportion to the sacrifices to which one has consented, and in proportion to the ills that one has suffered. One loves the house that one has built and that one has handed down. A place with a shared sense of the past A shared sense of past injuries More valuable by far than common customs posts and frontiers conforming to strategic ideas is the fact of sharing, in the past, a glorious heritage and regrets, and of having, in the future, [a shared] programme to put into effect, or the fact of having suffered, enjoyed, and hoped together. These are the kinds of things that can be understood in spite of differences of race and language. I spoke just now of "having suffered together" and, indeed, suffering in common unifies more than joy does. Where national memories are concerned, griefs are of more value than triumphs, for they impose duties, and require a common effort.
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Benedict Anderson: Imagined Communities 1983 "In an anthropological spirit, then, I propose the following definition of the nation: it is an imagined political community - - and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.”
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Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism 1983 "It is imagined
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