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How is the nation constructed? How is nationalism used by different groups and for what purposes? What role does nationalism play in creating political rights or basis for exclusion? This seminar examines the complex relationship between the nation and the state by studying examples from different parts of the world and across time. Using theories of nationalism, identity formation, and state-building we will explore the role that nationalism plays in the creation and fragmentation of states as well as the delineation of political communities. On the one hand, nationalism has the power to crystallize collective identities and provide the overriding basis for self-determination of groups, which can strengthen the state. On the other hand, when national identity is disputed domestically or various groups do not identify with the state, nationalism becomes a source of state disintegration and conflict, oftentimes leading to ethnically motivated political strife and even civil war. 


Permission of instructor required.