(2008, 04-07) Political Theory Paper 2

(2008, 04-07) Political Theory Paper 2 - Ahmed 1 Tanvir...

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Ahmed 1 Tanvir Ahmed April 7, 2008 POLS 106 Freysinger Cases in Ethnic Nationalism Nationalism is one of the most empowering ideologies for a nation. It is “the celebration of attachment of a people to a nation, usually in demand of sovereignty or self government” 1 . In fact, it is considered by many political theorists to be the most important ideology that defines what nations are. Theorist Lyman Sargent, for example, states that “…it is impossible to understand the world of the twenty-first century without understanding nationalism, and its similarities to other ideologies mean that we can plausibly treat nationalism as an ideology.” 2 There are two types of nationalism studied by theorists: civic and ethnic. There lies many contrasting differences between these two versions and each has distinct outcomes. Outcomes arising from ethnic nationalism include regionalism, cosmopolitanism, and globalization, which stem from the issues of neocolonialism, ethnic cleansing and imperialism. Based on the case studies of the European Union, United Nations, and offshoring in Southeast Asian countries, ethnic nationalism is “negative” nationalism and creates many problems in the nation. Civic nationalism goes towards a more rational acceptance of other cultures. There is no prejudice towards race, gender, or color; as long as the individual is committed to the nation’s ideals and lifestyle, everyone is a part of the nation. Because it includes all citizens into one group, civic nationalism is consider good and positive for any nations that can obtain it. The United States is a nation that adopted this ideology and giving equal rights to all. While it is the most prevalent proof of civic nationalism, there still exists a sense of ethnic nationalism. Examples include U.S. citizens, and “the fact 1   Freysinger, Robert. Lecture. Intro to Political Theory. University of Connecticut. 03/27/08 2   Sargent, Lyman. Contemporary Political Ideologies: A Comparative Analysis. 13 th ed. Canada: Thomson Wadsworth, 2006. 23.
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Ahmed 2 that there were many attacks (from verbal to violent) on Arab Americans, anyone wearing a turban” 3 after September 11 th . The internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II also show ethnic nationalism in action. Overall, civic nationalism is the more inclusive version of the two, but there is much difficulty in obtaining it without conflict or violence. Ethnic nationalism is towards a more critical acceptance of other cultures. There is in fact a prejudice of other groups that do not share common characteristics with the majority group. With many cultures making up one nation, there exists a division of people and causes discrimination and inequality in the nation. Sargent claims ethnic nationalism “defines any nonnational as ‘other,’ alien,’ with the implication of fundamental difference, often leading to fear” 4 . Many conflicts, disputes and prejudices have formed because of ethnic nationalism, examples including the conflict between East and West
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(2008, 04-07) Political Theory Paper 2 - Ahmed 1 Tanvir...

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