Reimagining the Nation-State

Reimagining the Nation-State : The Contested Terrains of Nation-Building

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This book assesses competing modes of nation-building and nationalism through a critical reappraisal of the works of key theorists such as Benedict Anderson and Eric Hobsbawm. Exploring the processes of nation building from a variety of ethnic and social class contexts, it focuses on the contested terrain within which nationalist ideologies are often rooted.

Mac Laughlin offers a theoretical and empirical analysis of nation building, taking as a case study the historical connections between Ireland and Great Britain in the clash between 'big nation' historic British nationalism on the one hand, and minority Irish nationalism on the other. Locating the origins of the historic nation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Mac Laughlin emphasises the difficulties, and specificity, of minority nationalism in the nineteenth century.

In so doing he calls for a place-centred approach which recognises the symbolic and socio-economic significance of territory to the different scales of nation-building. Exploring the evolution of Irish Nationalism, Reimaging the Nation State also shows how minority nations can challenge the hegemony of dominant states and threaten the territorial integrity of historic nations.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 23.37mm | 530.7g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745313698
  • 9780745313696

Table of contents

1. The political geography of nation building and nationalism in the social sciences

2. Industrial capitalism and unionism in the north east of Ireland: construction of unionist hegemony 1890-1921

3. Maintaining unionist Hegemony in northern Ireland 1945-72

4. The politics of nation building in rural Ireland: Constructing Nationalist hegemony in post famine Donegal

5. The peripheries and cores of Irish nationalism

6. The Politics of Exclusion and the geography of Closure in Nation-building Ireland


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Review quote

'A thought provoking, insightful analysis of Irish nationalism. The text is eloquently written and engages the reader due to its animated style' -- Royal Geographical Society 'Shows the new angles can still be found on the big picture' -- Irish Studies Review 'McLaughlin writes with a sharp brilliance about the intersection between places, politics, systems and cultures' -- Fintan O'Toole 'A sensible, subtle, and wide-ranging analysis of nation-building in Ireland. A major contribution to the discussion' -- Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University 'The most important book on nation, nationality and nationalism to have come out of Ireland in 20 years' -- Irish Democrat
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About Jim Mac Laughlin

Jim Mac Laughlin is a political geographer and social scientist who has published widely on state formation, nation separatism, political regionalism, emigration, racism and the ideology of the social sciences. He is the author of Reimagining the Nation State: The Contested Terrains of Nation-building (Pluto, 2001).
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