Fourth year seminar

Semester 1, 2000

Wednesdays 5-7 pm MB 308B

Coordinator: Dr. Ephraim Nimni Tel 9385-3243 (voice-mail)
MB Room 340 E-Mail:

The goal of this seminar is to examine the relationship between ethnicity, nationalism and national states in the contemporary world. A central aspect of the seminar will be a discussion of nationalism and minority rights, and of ethno-national separatism and the crisis of the nation state. The seminar will also evaluate theories of multiculturalism, the politics of difference and minority recognition and, ethnic and national minority rights in liberal democratic nation-states. The key topics of the seminar are: The relation between ethnicity and nationalism, the right of nations to self determination, non-territorial self-determination. Should every nation have its own separate state? Should every state engulf one nation? Is the nation-state sovereign? Is it possible to have multiethnic and multinational states? Last but not least, a question that will be in the background of many of our discussions: Is it possible to reconcile nationalism with multiculturalism? The seminar will discuss several conceptual approaches to these issues.

The enclosed reading list only provides some minimal readings related to each seminar discussion. For the purpose of preparing essays, we will give every student a database on disk with hundreds of references. Students will provide a floppy disk, in Mac or DOS format (please let us know in advance), and we will copy the database. The database can be sent as an attachment to your e-mail addresses.

Sometime after Easter, and if the internet facilities are available, we shall or-ganise an international debate on nationalism. The participants will be honours or postgraduate students who like yourselves, are reading courses on ethnicity and nationalism in Universities in North America and Western Europe.


Two essays of 3,000 words each. The first essay is due on MONDAY 17 APRIL and the second essay is due on FRIDAY 9 JUNE. For the first essay students will choose a topic related to the topics discussed during the first seven weeks of the seminar. For the second essay students will choose a topic related to the topics discussed in the second part of the seminar. No essay questions will be circulated as we expect that honours students should design their own. All essay topics must be discussed at an early stage with EN.

Depending on the number of participants, students are also expected to give one or two introductory presentations from the required reading. The object of the presentation is to introduce and facilitate discussion. Consequently the presen-tation should be short (not more than 5-10 minutes) and will ideally conclude with question(s) and or criticism(s) that may help others to intervene.

Anthony Smith’s recent book, Nationalism and Modernism Routledge, London 1998 provides a good general overview of contemporary theories of nationalism, and a very good defence of his own position, Ethno-Symbolism (see chapter 8). There are also several edited collections on nationalism, such as Gopal Balakrishnan (ed.), Mapping the Nation, Verso, London 1994; J. Couture, K. Nielsen, S. Seymour, (eds.) Rethinking Nationalism, University of Calgary Press, 1996; O. Dahbour and M. Ishay (eds.) The Nationalism Reader, Humanities Press, 1995. M. Guibernau and J. Rex (eds.) The Ethnicity Reader, Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Migration, Polity Press, London 1997. A. Smith and J. Hutchinson (eds.), Nationalism, Series Oxford Readers, Oxford University Press, 1994. On Multiculturalism the best collection (except my article, it is old hat) is still W. Kymlicka (ed) The Rights of Minority Cultures, Oxford, 1995.

There is however, no central text for the seminar, and where possible I will provide photocopies of the articles we will read. I love this seminar, so I hope you enjoy it. I listen attentively and often act on criticisms, so please let me know if you have one.

Sydney University students please note: The Government Dept. at Sydney University has a different Honours marking scale from the one we use at the UNSW. We mark Sydney University students according to our scale, and the Government Dept. at Sydney University at the end of the semester converts to their scale our final seminar marks in full consultation with us. THERE IS NO LOSS OF MARKS HERE, simply a conversion to a different grading system. You are most welcome to do seminars with us and this in no way entails a loss of marks.


Week 1: 1 March Introduction to the seminar
Week 2: 8 March Ethnicity and Nation in the work of A. D. Smith
Week 3: 15 March Nationalism and Modernity in the work of E. Gellner
Week 4: 22 March Nationalism and uneven development.
Week 5: 29March Nations as "imagined communities"
Week 6: 5 April The ambiguities of the concept of Self-Determination.
Week 7: 12 April Bauer & Renner on non-territorial self determination.
First Essay Due!
Week 8: 19 April Gender and nationalism.
Mid semester break
Week 9: 3 May Bikhu Parekh and the multicultural critique of nationalism.
Week 10: 10 May Postmodernity and nationalism
week 11: 17 May Nationalism in the third world
week 12: 24 May Nation-state and multiculturalism
week 13: 31 May Minority rights in liberal democracies.
week 14: 7 June The European Community and the nation-State

Second Essay Due!


Week 1 - 1 March Introduction to the seminar, organisation and presentations.

Week 2 - 8 March What is the relation between ethnicity and nation in the work of Smith?

A. D. Smith, National Identity, Ch. 1 and 2.

A. D. Smith, Nationalism and Modernism, Chapter 8, Ethno-symbolism (pp. 170-198)

A. D. Smith, The Ethnic Revival

A. D. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations

A. D. Smith, Theories of Nationalism, (new revised edition)

J. A. Armstrong, Nations before Nationalism


Week 3 - 15 March - What is the relationship between nationalism and modernity in the work of Gellner?

E. Gellner, Nations and Nationalism

E. Gellner, "Nationalism" in Theory and Society, vol. 10 No 6, 1981. pp 753-76.

E. Gellner, Thought and Change Chapter on Nationalism

E. Gellner, "Scale and Nation" in Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 3,1973, pp. 1-17

B. P. O’Leary, "On the Nature of Nationalism: An Appraisal of Ernest Gellner's Writings on Nationalism", British Journal of Political Science (1997), 27:191-222. (copy on Open Reserve)


Week 4 - 22 March - Do theories of uneven development help to understand nationalism?

T. Nairn, The Break up of Britain, (new revised edition), ch. 9, "The Modern Janus" pp. 329-63

Ethnic and Racial Studies, special issue on internal colonialism, vol. 2 No. 3 1979.

M. Hechter, Internal Colonialism

E. Page, "Michael Hechter's internal colonial thesis, some theoretical and methodological problems" European Journal of Political Research, vol. 6 No. 3, 1978, pp. 295-317.

M. Hechter, "Internal colonialism revisited" in E. Tiryakian & R. Rogoswski (eds.) New Nationalisms of the Developed West.

A. D. Smith. Theories of nationalism, section on internal colonialism.


Week 5 - 29 March Can the nation be understood as an "imagined community"?

B. Anderson Imagined Communities, Chapters 2 and 3

B. Anderson, "The new world disorder" in New Left Review, May 1992, pp. 3-13

B. Anderson & R. O'Gorman, Language and power: exploring political cultures in Indonesia

E. Said, Orientalism

K. Bhabha (ed.) Nation and Narration


Week 6 - 5 April How useful is the concept of National Self determina-tion?

W. Wilson, "Self determination of nations" in The papers of Woodrow Wilson

V. I. Lenin, "The right of nations to self determination", various editions

A. Cobban, National state and national self determination

Y Alexander, Self Determination, national, regional and global dimensions

H. S. Johnson, Self determination within the community of nations

A. Cassese, Self determination in international law

M. Pomerance, Self Determination in law and practice


Week 7 - 12 April How viable is the possibility of non -territorial self determination?

I will circulate an unpublished translation of O. Bauer, The Question of nationalities.

E. Nimni, Nationalist Multiculturalism in late Imperial Austria as a Critique of Contemporary Liberalism: the case of Bauer and Renner, Journal of Political Ideologies, 4 (3) October 1999, pp. 289-314 (copy on Open Reserve)

Forman, Michael, Nationalism and the International Labor Movement, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998, "The Awakening of Multinationalism: Bauer" pp. 95-109

John Coakley, "Approaches to the Resolution of Ethnic Conflict: The Strategy of Non-Territorial Autonomy", International Political Science Review, 1994, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 297-314.

T. Bottomore Austro-Marxism, Introduction, and section on "nationalities and nationalism"

U. Ra'anan (ed.), State and Nation in Multi-ethnic societies, Ch 1, "Nation and state: order out of chaos"

A. Kogan, "The social democrats and the conflict of nationalities in the Habsburg monarchy" in Journal of modern history, 1949, Vol. 21 pp 204 - 217

Stargardt, Nicholas, "Origins of the Constructivist Theory of the Nation", in S. Perival (ed) Notions of Nationalism, Central European University Press, Budapest, 1995, pp. 83-105

L. Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism, vol 2, sections on the nationalities theory of Bauer and Renner.

For those who read French, there is a translation of Bauer's work in French in the library, see O. Bauer, La question des nationalites...".



Week 8 - 19 April Gender, Ethnicity and Nationalism

Evaluate the relation between gender and nationalism.

Guest Speaker: Christine Mason
Christine is completing a doctoral dissertation on Gender and National Liberation Movements and has recently returned from fieldwork in Eritrea


Christine Mason, "Both Politics and the Kitchen are Dirty, Gender, National Liberation and Social Change in Eritrea and Palestine". Unpublished paper.

Nira Yuval Davis and Floya Anthias (eds.) , Woman, Nation and State, MacMillan, London, 1989. Introduction, pp. 1-16

Nira Yuval Davis, Gender and Nation, Sage, London, 1997 Chapter 1, Theorizing Gender and Nation, pp. 1-25.

Jayawardena, Kumari, Feminism and nationalism in the Third World

Rick Wilford, "Women, Ethnicity and Nationalism: Surveying the Ground" in Wilford and Miller (eds), Women, Ethnicity and Nationalism: The Politics of Transition

Norani Othman, "Islamization and Modernization In Malaysia: Competing Cultural Reassertions And Women's Identity In a Changing Society "in Wilford and R. Miller (eds), Women, Ethnicity and Nationalism: The Politics of Transition

Deniz Kandiyoti, "Identity and its Discontents: Women and the Nation". Millennium, Vol.20, No. 3, 1991

Ien Ang, "The Curse of The Smile, Ambivalence and the 'Asian' Woman In Australian Multiculturalism', Feminist Review, No. 52, Spring 1996, pp. 36-49.


Mid Semester Break


Week 9 - 3 May Bikhu Parekh and the Multicultural Critique of Nationalism

Discuss Parekh’s Critique of Nationalism

Parekh, Bikhu, "The Incoherence of Nationalism", in R. Beiner (ed.) Theorizing Nationalism, State University of New York Press, 1999, pp. 295-325.

Parekh, Bikhu, "Integrating Minorities in a Multicultural Society" in F. Requejo and U. Preuss (eds.) European Citizenship, Multiculturalism and the State, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden, 1998.

Parekh, Bikhu, "British Citizenship and Cultural Difference", in Geoff Andrews (ed.) Citizenship, Lawrence & Wishart, London, 1991.

Parekh, Bikhu, "Cultural Pluralism and the Limits of Diversity", Alternatives, 1995, Vol. 20, No. 43, pp. 431-57.

Parekh, Bikhu, "Dilemmas of a Multicultural Theory of Citizenship", Constellations, 1997, Vol. 4, No.1, pp. 54-62.


Week 10 - 10 May Are postmodern or postcolonial theories offering a vi-able interpretation of nationhood?

Connolly, W., "Pluralism, Multiculturalism and the Nation-State: Rethinking the Connections", Journal of Political Ideologies, Vol.1, 1, 1996. Pp. 53-73.

Connolly, W., Identity/Difference, Cornell University Press, 1991.

Homi Bhabha, "Of mimicry of man", in The Location of Culture, Routledge, London, 1994.

Ien Ang, "On not speaking Chinese: postmodern ethnicity and the politics of diaspora", in New Formations, 1994, Vol. 24 (Winter) pp. 1-18.

Ien Ang, "The curse of the smile, ambivalence and the 'asian' woman in australian multiculturalism', Feminist Review, No. 52, Spring 1996, pp. 36-49.

Ghassan Hage, "Locating Multiculturalism's other: a critique of practical tolerance", New Formations, 1994, vol.24, (Winter), pp. 19-34.

Homi Bhabha, "DissemiNation: time, narrative, and the margins of the modern nation", in Nation and Narration, (ed. Homi Bhabha), Routledge, London, 1991, pp. 291-322,


Week 11 - 17 May Has the nation-state taken roots in the third world?

P. Chatterjee, Nationalist thought and the colonial world

P. Chatterjee, The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories

F. Fanon, The wretched of the Earth chapter on national culture.

J. Blaut, The national question, decolonising the theory of nationalism

A. D. Smith, State and Nation in the Third World

A. Abdel-Malek, Nation and Revolution.


Week 12 - 24 May - Can a nation-state be multicultural?

C. Taylor and Amy Guttman (eds), Multiculturalism: examining the politics of recognition. Article by C. Taylor. See also Habermas' criticism.

C. Taylor, "Nationalism and Modernity", in R. Beiner (ed.) Theorizing Nationalism, State University of New York Press, 1999, pp. 219-245

C. Young, The rising tide of cultural pluralism: the nation-state at bay?, see also review: American political science review, Dec 1994, Vol.88, No.4, p.1036

M. Cranston, "Multiculturalism and the sovereignty of a nation", Australia and World Affairs, no.8, Autumn 1991 : 21-25

A. Cairns and C. Williams (eds.) The politics of ethnicity, gender and language in Canada.

R Jacoby, "The myth of multiculturalism", New Left Review, Nov-Dec 1994, No.208, pp.121-126


Week 13 - 31 May Can there be minority rights in liberal democracies?

W. Kymlicka, and C. Straehle, "Cosmopolitanism, Nation-States and Minority Nationalism: A Critical Review of Recent Literature, European Journal of Philosophy, 7:1, April 1999, pp. 65-88.

W. Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship, Introduction and Ch.1 and Ch.2

W. Kymlicka, "Liberalism and the Politicisation of Ethnicity" Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, 1991, 4/2 pp. 239-56.

See debate between Will Kymlicka and C. Kukathas

C. Kukathas, "Are they Cultural Rights? Political Theory, 1992, 20/1 pp. 105-39

W. Kymlicka, "The Rights of Minority Cultures, a Reply to Kukathas" Political Theory, 1992, 20/1 pp. 140-6

W. Kymlicka, "Misunderstanding Nationalism", Dissent, Winter 1995, p.30-7


Week 14 7 June - Is the European Community replacing the Nation-State?

Commission of European Communities - The treaty of European Union (Maastricht treaty)

J. Delors, Our Europe

F Capotorti The European Union treaty

M. Kolinsky, "The nation-state in western Europe, erosion from 'above' and 'below'", in L. Tivey (ed.) The Nation-State, pp 82-103.

J. Galtung, Europe in the making