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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.1, (Spring 2002) 1 TWO PERSPECTIVES ON THE RELATIONSHIP OF ETHNICITY TO NATIONALISM: COMPARING GELLNER AND SMITH Huseyin ISIKSAL * “There can be no society which does not feel the need of upholding and reaffirming at regular intervals the collective sentiments and the collective ideas which make its unity and its personality.” Emile Durkheim Introduction The ethnic root of nationalism felt into the agenda of international relations theory, particularly since the 1970s, when resurgence of ethnic nationalism has witnessed in many parts of the world. Today, it is widely acknowledged that ethnicity plays a crucial role in nationalism, especially after the recent ethnic based conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and in the former Soviet Union. However, there are few detailed studies that focus on the relationship between ethnicity and nationalism and especially among the comparison of Anthony D. Smith and Ernest Gellner, as two distinctive scholars on these concepts. In this article I simply sought to bridge this gap. Accordingly, ethnicity and nationalism are highly inter-related but what is the relationship between them? This analysis attempts to shed some light on this issue by considering the works of two aforementioned authors who made considerable contributions in developing of theories relating ethnicity to nationalism. It is worth stressing that it is not the purpose of this essay to analyse and focus on the causes and consequences of the recent ethnic conflicts in particular parts of the world. Therefore, the reader of this essay will not find a particular analysis related with ethnic conflicts that are caused by nationalism. The unique aim of this paper is
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