The Nation in History

The Nation in History : Historiographical Debates about Ethnicity and Nationalism

3.57 (28 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Electronic book text
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Description

In this thought-provoking new book, Anthony Smith analyses key debates between historians and social scientists on the role of nations and nationalism in history. In a wide-ranging analysis of the work of historians, sociologists, political scientists and others, he argues that there are three key issues which have shaped debates in this field: first, the nature and origin of nations and nationalism; second, the antiquity or modernity of nations and nationalism; and third, the role of nations and nationalism in historical, and especially recent, social change. Anthony Smith provides an incisive critique of the debate between modernists, perennialists and primordialists over the origins, development and contemporary significance of nations and nationalism. Drawing on a wide range of examples from antiquity and the medieval epoch, as well as the modern world, he develops a distinctive ethnosymbolic account of nations and nationalism. This important book by one of the world's leading authorities on nationalism and ethnicity will be of particular interest to students and scholars in history, sociology and politics.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Polity Press
  • United Kingdom
  • 9780745680507

Review quote

'Drawing examples from across the globe and providing succinct summaries of key ideas about nationalism developed by philosophers, sociologists and historians from Herder and Rousseau to Homi Bhaba and William McNeill, this is a stimulating and insightful essay by one of the foremost experts on nationalism studies today.' English Historical Review "For thirty years, Anthony D. Smith has published extensively on the phenomenon of the 'nation' and has a global reputation in this field." Historyshow more

Table of contents

Foreword by Yosef Kaplan vii Introduction 1 1 Voluntarism and the Organic Nation 5 Organic and Voluntarist Nationalism 6 Cultural Determination and the Political Ideal 10 Ethnic and Civic Nations 15 Cultural Primordialism 21 Conclusion 25 2 The Nation: Modern or Perennial? 27 The Modernist Orthodoxy 27 Modernist Historiography 30 The Perennialist Critique 34 Continuous Perennialism 35 Recurrent Perennialism 40 Ancient Nations? 41 Conclusion: Problems with Perennialism 50 3 Social Construction and Ethnic Genealogy 52 Invented Traditions, Imagined Communities 53 A Critique of Social Constructionism 61 An Ethnosymbolic Account of Nations and Nationalism 62 Conclusion 76 Bibliography 89 Index 101show more

About Anthony D. Smith

Anthony D. Smith is Professor of Ethnicity and Nationalism at the London School of Economics and Political Science.show more

Rating details

28 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 18% (5)
4 36% (10)
3 32% (9)
2 14% (4)
1 0% (0)
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