Contemporary Debates on Nationalism: A Critical Engagement by U. Ozkirimli

By U. Ozkirimli

Following on at once from the author's Theories of Nationalism which gives a finished evaluation of the most ways to its research, Umut Ozkirimli's new ebook addresses the most important components of discussion and key concerns within the examine of nationalism within the modern global. Broad-ranging and surely overseas in scope, it combines transparent exposition of latest positions and views with the advance of the author's personal evaluation and synthesis.

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Canovan 1996: 107) According to Canovan, the animosity between colonizers and colonized was sornetimes enough to unify the latter and create a brief illusion of nationhood during the struggle for independence. : 108). : 12). To recapitulate, the problem with the liberation argument is that the values it cherishes are often not upheld by nationalist movements themselves, which can turn out to be autocratic and oppressive (Lichtenberg 1997: 163). As Dunn reminds us, the births of nations are often ghastly affairs, years or decades drenched in blood, leaving behind precipitates of problems that are beyond any morally plausible political solution; hence we should be wary of sentimentalizing this process (1999: 38).

The assertion that an identity is necessarily constructed with reference to an other, therefore, does not relegate the other to a position of passivity ... That is to say, it has the capacity to call into question the very identity which is constructed through its externalization. : 65-6) This suggests that borders are not only sites of power and domination, but also of subversion. This subversion is not always symbolic. In their study of a number of actual border zones, Donnan and Wilson inform us that cross-border illegal or semi-legal activities threaten to subvert state institutions by compromising the ability of these institutions to control their selfcdefined domain.

Hence conceptual, theoretical and normative issues about nationalism are inextricably linked. This has far-reaching implications for the way we study nationalism given that our theories are intimately bound up with our current political concerns and normative judgements. More often than not, we embark on the study of nationalism with a particular national conflict in our mind, and our view of it necessar- ily impinges on our general perception of nationalism. In fact, Illost theorists have their own favourite nations, usually their own.

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