Final essay - Taqi1Name M.Abbas Taqi Roll number Instructor...

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Taqi- 1 - Name: M.Abbas Taqi Roll number: 2013-02-0136 Instructor: Mahvish Ahmed Course: POL 100 Section: 4 Nationalism is a Modern Invention. Discuss. On June the 3 rd 2006 Montenegro finally gained independence from Serbia and Montenegro, establishing its own entity and state and in the process becoming the 196 th country of the world. Perhaps more importantly it also proved the ever-present influence and importance nationalist movements have in the present world and in contemporary politics. The question, however, still remains to be answered: are these nationalist movements a modern creation or not. This will be debated in this essay, and it will aim to prove by giving examples throughout history that “nationalism” (as defined within the essay) has not been and will never be exclusive to or has come about as a result of the “modern” period. In the process the terms nation and nationalism will be defined and there will be an attempt to analyze the leading theories regarding nationalism, the modernist theories in particular and also to highlight the main flaws present in them due to which the cannot prove that nationalism is indeed a modern invention.
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Taqi- 2 - The question at hand cannot be answered without defining what nationalism is. The term “modern” must also be defined so that there is no misconception. There is no single, all-encompassing or widely held definition of nation or nationalism however the working definition of nation used in this essay will be the one given by Ernest Gellner, the famous modernist-theorist on nationalism, in his text “State and Nation”. According to him two men are supposed to be of the same nation if they recognize each other as from the same nation and if they share the same culture. Culture is defined as “a system of signs, ideas and association and ways of behaving and communicating”. The definition of nationalism will be borrowed from the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy which states that nationalism must include two fundamental observable acts: “(1) the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their identity as members of that nation and (2) the actions that the members of a nation take in seeking to achieve (or sustain) some form of political sovereignty” (Nationalism). “Modern” will be taken to be the one given by proponents of the theory of modernism which claims that nationalism is a product of modern processes which came about after the French revolution of 1789. Therefore “modern” will be taken as the period after the French revolution and the period before that naturally will then be a pre-modern period.
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Taqi- 3 - Before tackling the main points of contention within the debate it will be helpful to explain the dominant positions regarding the concept of nationalism and these theories will also help in pushing forth the arguments proposed here. There are four main schools of thought: modernist, constructivist, primordialist and ethno-symbologist.
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2011 for the course POL 100 taught by Professor Rasulbakshrais during the Spring '11 term at Lahore University of Management Sciences.

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Final essay - Taqi1Name M.Abbas Taqi Roll number Instructor...

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