Books By Author
S-T


Summary: This book evaluates critically the conventional wisdom which argues that India is unique in politically managing ethnic conflicts. By focusing on India's nation and state-building in the peripheral regions since 1947 and contemporary developments, it suggests that India should be considered as a form of ethnic democracy. Within India's ethnic democracy, hegemonic and violent control is exercised over minorities, especially religious communities constituting majorities in the federating units. A detailed case-study is provided of the management of the 'Punjab problem' - the growth and containment of Sikh ethno-nationalism and, after 1984, the suppression of the separtist movement for Khalistan, a Sikh state. The long-term development of ethno-nationalist separtist movements, the book argues, is inexorably linked to the future character of Indian democracy. this is assessed in light of the challenge posed by the rise of Hindutva forces, the demise of Nehruvianism, and the internal political and economic pressures towards regionalisation. [G. Singh]


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Summary: In this classic text about the development of nations, Smith challenges the modernization school's assumption that nations are entirely modern. While Smith does not argue that nations are modern formations, he claims that modern nations are based on a longer development than many scholars are willing to admit. Smith argues that modern nations are based on much older cultural groups which he calls ethnie. According to Smith, ethnie define the boundaries within which modern nations can be formed. Ethnie are constructed of "more permanent cultural attributes" such as memory, value, myth and symbolism. The first half of the book focuses on the development of ethnie while the second half focuses on the development of nations from their pre-modern roots. Smith addresses memory to a greater degree than do most other scholars. He also provides an interesting discussion of the importance of landscape.[E. Zuelow]


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Summary: This collection of essays is built around the idea that the resurgence of nationalism is symptomatic of a "quest for identity and meaning in the complex modern world." The interdisciplinary collection of essays include: "Nation and Nationalism in Contemporary Europe: A Theoretical Perspective" (B. Jenkins & S. Sofos); "Languages of Racism within Contemporary Europe" (M. Evans); "Immigration, Citizenship and the Nation-State in the New Europe" (M. Mitchell and D. Russell); "Reconsidering 'Britishness': The Construction and Significance of National Identity in Twentieth-Century Britain" (K. Lunn); "Nation, Nationalism and National Identity in France" (B. Jenkins & N. Copsey); "Post-War National Identity in Germany" (G. Knischweski); "Multiple National Identities, Immigration and Racism in Spain and Portugal" (D. Corkill); "Italian National Identity and the Failure of Regionalism" (W. Brierley and L. Giacometti); "The Failure of Nationalism in Post-Communist Poland, 1989-95: An Historical Perspective" (F. Millard); "From Soviet To Russian Identity: The Origins of Contemporary Russian Nationalism and National Identity" (P. Flenley); "Culture, Politics and Identity in Former Yugoslavia" (S. Sofos); and, "Conclusion" (B. Jenkins and S. Sofos). As a whole, the authors argue that nations are "constructed forms of social identity whose future will be determined in the political arena. [E. Zuelow]


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Summary: This book is an attempt to settle the seemingly insoluble differences between liberalism and nationalism. By conceiving of nationalism as a normative theory, Tamir is able to point out areas of common ground between liberalism and nationalism.

Tamir’s theory rests on a conception of the person that she calls the "contextual individual," a notion based on the assumption that while the individual cannot operate in the absence of a cultural context, the particular context is itself an object of choice (32). Tamir then defends the "right to culture," which she argues is an individual (not a communal) right (35). This leads Tamir to the concept of the nation, which she regards as the ultimate cultural entity, and defines as a cultural community bound by language, behavior, and myth, which is "demarcated by the imaginative power" of its members (68). The right to culture thus entails a right to national self-determination. For Tamir, this right is not the political right to self-rule, but rather "the right to preserve the existence of a nation as a distinct cultural entity" (57). A public sphere in which individuals can freely express their national identity is necessary to the full enjoyment of this right, but a sovereign nation-state is not. Tamir points to other political arrangements she thinks can fulfill it equally well. She distinguishes liberal nationalism from nationalist ideologies by claiming that it is "polycentric" in that it recognizes the right of all nations to flourish (81). Tamir then argues that members of communities have special duties to each other, and that liberal theorists have implicitly recognized these obligations by restricting the scope of their distributive theories to (i) particular political communities that (ii) are constituted by notions of communal identity and continuity, and (iii) may restrict the entry of new members from outside. The book concludes by analyzing possible mechanisms for implementing liberal nationalism, such as fostering the growth of supranational organizations like the EU. [Tom Donahue]


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Summary: This book is perhaps the first attempt by a Western scholar since the breakup of the former Yugoslavia to deal with the newly emerged Croatian state outside any general Yugoslav history. As such it is a brave work that attempts to map the history of the Croat people from their arrival between 614 and 630 into the Roman provinces of Illyria, Pannonia and Dalmatia through to the formation of the contemporary Croatian state in the wake of the collapse of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Tanner recognises that at the core Yugoslavia’s collapse as a multi-national state lies the League of Communists of Yugoslavia’s inability to balance each republics conflicting national demands that were steeped in historic goals forged by previous national movements. Whilst not isolating Croatian history from the rest of the Balkans, Tanner does ably balance the separate development of Croatian nationalism as a response to Habsburg imperialism with the rise of Serb national consciousness as the Piedmont of South Slavic nation-state building. An antagonistic mix of conflicting nationalist ideological movement which would eventually become both progenitor and destabiliser of the Yugoslav state entity. More significantly, Tanner’s primary research is of the highest standard and provides an essential historic background to both the novice and academic reader alike interested in the roots of South Slavic nationalism. [Pero Ercegovac]


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Summary: Republics, Nations and Tribes is an intellectual history, centered in Paris. The major argument is that the eighteenth century was an age of cities and, due largely to the horror of the French Revolution, ideas of liberty shifted creating modern nations. Thom writes: "I maintain that during the years of transition between the Enlightenment and Romanticism, a high wall was raised between ancient and modern liberty, assembled, so to speak, out of the rubble from the Bastille. At the same time, the noble savage, after centuries of shadow service, was given notice to quit the European imagination. A shift in the balance of classical scholarship was accomplished by the fading of an infatuation with a primordial, sylvan liberty, so that modern ethnology, so delicately balanced between estrangement from and identification with the object of its inquiry, was born just as the Plutarchian legend of a heroic, republican Rome was, by many though not by all, laid to rest..."(1). [E. Zuelow]


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Summary: This book is comprised of a series of stories told by journalist Kevin Toolis. These stories provide readers with a window into those directly involved with or affected by the IRA's struggle against Ulster Protestants and the British state. Readers meet desperate young men who can see little alternative but to wage war. We visit cemeteries, feel intimidated by British soldiers, and suffer with Catholic families as they deal with fear and loss. Although there are brief historical narratives, the strength of this book is its ability to introduce readers to some of the factors that have made the Northern Ireland situation so difficult to solve. Rebel Hearts does not attempt to explain nationalism per se, instead it invites readers to experience it first hand. Experts will find nothing here that they do not already know, but the book remains a useful undergraduate text and an interesting read for lay readers. [E. Zuelow]