False Opposites in Nationalism:
An Examination of the Dichotomy of Civic Nationalism and Ethnic Nationalism in Modern Europe.
Margareta Mary Nikolas
Master of Arts (European Studies)
11 March 1999
This study is an examination of the exercise of nationalism as the assertion and/or reassertion of the mutual (political) sovereignty of a community in the form of a nation-state. My thesis aims to explore two theoretically different routes and forms of exercise of nationalism focusing specifically on modern Europe. These two routes are civic nationalism and ethnic nationalism. This classical dichotomy, I agree, is a misleading division for though the two are theoretically separate, in practice they are collaborators in the journey towards nationhood and in the pursuit of the establishment of a nation-state.
For nationalism to be successful it must involve an interplay of the principles of both civic nationalism and ethnic nationalism, rather than these components acting as mutually exclusive concepts. The nature of this interplay will be examined throughout the thesis and the collaboration will be explored via the two competing perspectives: that held by the modernists and that proposed by the ethnicists, both operating within the framework of modernity. The key distinction between the two is their focus and the point at which they identify a group imagining themselves as a community and society. Their respective cases will be critically examined with respect to those elements that determine that an interplay occurs.
Copyright © 2000 Margareta Mary Nikolas