nationalism - Nationalism Nationalization can often be the...

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Nationalism Nationalization can often be the driving force to overcome a tragedy, such as September 11 in The United States, or it can be a platform to commit mass genocide, such as the Holocaust with Hitler. Arthur Waldron once explained the origins of nationalism as being born out of the end of lords and barons in pre-industrial Europe 1 . Waldron said, “Although this sort of approach has lost favor in recent studies of Europe, it still defines much study of the non-European world.” In a country such as America, it is hard for most citizens to conceive the idea of a state without a national identity, especially since it is considered a homogeneous society. Yet, not all states have a nationalist idea of self; several examples can be found on the continent of Africa. So how do some countries in post-colonial Africa create and maintain a successful national identity and why do other countries fail? With every great nationalist movement there is a great driving force behind it. War and or freedom are more often than not tied to these movements. As Shepperson once wrote, “all nationalism is the product of a reaction against external forces 2 .” Looking at every African nation that was under colonial rule post-World War II, one would be hard pressed to find an example that did not create a nationalist movement in order to gain support for the emancipation from their European occupiers. Though most African nations shared this revolutionary lineage, few were able to make the difficult transition to consolidation under one unified government. Many scholars have numerous opinions as to why this is. One explanation is that the more heterogeneous a society, the more unlikely the citizens will be able to find common ground. Or, as Edward Miguel put it, “Recent research suggests that ethnically diverse societies are prone to corruption, political instability, poor institutional performance, and slow economic growth and that in the United States higher levels of diversity are related to lower provision of local public goods across municipalities 3 .” Keep in mind that once most European countries conquered a
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This note was uploaded on 03/08/2012 for the course PLSC 3366 taught by Professor Greenspan during the Spring '11 term at SMU.

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nationalism - Nationalism Nationalization can often be the...

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