Nationalism and Nation-Building Syllabus

Published: Mar 30, 2020
Contributor: Harris Mylonas

License: CC BY NC ND 4.0 license – Allows redistribution but no additions or revisions to content. Forbids commercial use.

This is a class on nationalism, ethnic conflict, and nation-building. The course is designed to provide you with an understanding of the most prominent explanations of the emergence of nationalism across the world, and the background knowledge and tools with which to evaluate them. We will discuss the importance of conceptualization in understanding social phenomena and confront terms such as: state, nation, nationalism, patriotism, minorities, identity, ethnicity, religion, class, and race. We will also study the effects of nationalism on political identities, state formation, patterns of political violence, definitions of citizenship and migration policies, as well as voting behavior. The course also focuses on nation-building, the various policies nation-states have pursued toward different non-core groups over the 19th and 20th centuries in their efforts to make the borders of the state coincide with that of the nation. State policies have ranged from deportation and killings, to forced assimilation or even accommodation. The main emphasis is to understand the logic behind these policy choices and evaluate their consequences. Finally, toward the end of the course we will turn to “third-party nation-building” conducted by international organizations primarily in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans. Using the reading material we will discuss various research methods (how to collect relevant data) and designs (how to maximize the information we can get from the available data). Issues of falsifiability and external validity of arguments will be discussed. Every student will be required to write a research paper or research design on some aspect of nationalism or nation-building that interests you using primary sources (archives, newspapers, parliamentary debates, memoirs, information sessions, NGO reports).

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