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Causes The primordialist perspective

The primordialist perspective is based upon evolutionary theory.[19] The evoluti onary theory of nationalism perceives nationalism to be the result of the evolut ion of human beings into identifying with groups, such as ethnic groups, or othe r groups that form the foundation of a nation.[19] Roger Masters in The Nature o f Politics describes the primordial explanation of the origin of ethnic and nati onal groups as recognizing group attachments that are thought to be unique, emot ional, intense, and durable because they are based upon kinship and promoted alo ng lines of common ancestry.[20] The primordialist evolutionary view of nationalism has its origins in the evolut ionary theories of Charles Darwin that were later substantially elaborated by Jo hn Tooby and Leda Cosmides.[21] Central to evolutionary theory is that all biolo gical organisms undergo changes in their anatomical features and their character istic behaviour patterns.[21] Darwin's theory of natural selection as a mechanis m of evolutionary change of organisms is utilized to describe the development of human societies and particularly the development of mental and physical traits of members of such societies.[22] In addition to evolutionary development of mental and physical traits, Darwin an d other evolutionary theorists emphasize the influence of the types of environme nt upon behaviour.[23] First of all there are ancestral environments that are ty pically long-term and stable forms of situations that influence mental developme nt of individuals or groups gained either biologically through birth or learned from family or relatives, which cause the emphasis of certain mental behaviours that are developed due to the requirements of the ancestral environment.[23] In national group settings, these ancestral environments can result in psychologica l triggers in the minds of individuals within a group, such as responding positi vely to patriotic cues.[23] There are immediate environments that are those situ ations that confront an individual or group at a given point and activate certai n mental responses.[23] In the case of a national group, the example of seeing t he mobilization of a foreign military force on the nation's borders may provoke members of a national group to unify and mobilize themselves in response.[23] Th ere are proximate environments where individuals identify nonimmediate real or i magined situations in combination with immediate situations that make individual s confront a common situation of both subjective and objective components that a ffect their decisions.[24] As such proximate environments cause people to make d ecisions based on existing situations and anticipated situations.[24] In the con text of the politics of nations and nationalism, a political leader may adopt an international treaty not out of a benevolent stance but in the belief that such a treaty will either benefit their nation or will increase the prestige of thei r nation.[24] The proximate environment plays a role in the politics of nations that are angry with their circumstances (in much the same way that an individual or group's anger in response to feelings that they are being exploited usually results in efforts to accommodate them, while being passive results in them bein g ignored).[24] Nations that are angry with circumstances imposed on them by oth ers are affected by the proximate environment that shapes the nationalism of suc h nations.[24] Pierre van den Berghe in The Ethnic Phenomenon (1981) emphasizes the role of eth nicity and kinship involving family biological ties to members of an ethnic grou p as being an important element of national identity.[25] Van den Berghe states the sense of family attachments among related people as creating durable, intens e, emotional, and cooperative attachments, that he claims are utilized within et hnic groups.[25] Van den Berghe identifies genetic-relatedness as being a basis for the durable attachments of family groups, as genetic ties cannot be removed and they are passed on from generation to generation.[25] Van den Berge identifi

es common descent as the basis for the establishment of boundaries of ethnic gro ups, as most people do not join ethnic groups but are born into them.[25] Berghe notes that this kinship group affiliation and solidarity does not require actua l relatedness but can include imagined relatedness that may not be biologically accurate.[20] Berghe notes that feelings of ethnic solidarity usually arise in s mall and compact groups whereas there is less solidarity in large and dispersed groups.[26] There are functionalist interpretations of the primordialist evolutionary theory . The functionalists claim that ethnic and national groups are founded upon indi viduals' concerns over distribution of resources acquired through individual and collective action.[27] This is resolved by the formation of a clan group that d efines who is accepted within the group and defines the boundaries within which the resources will be distributed.[27] This functionalist interpretation does no t require genetic-relatedness, and identifies a variety of reasons for ethnic or national group formation.[27] The first reason is that such groups may extend g roup identity and cooperation beyond the limits of family and kinship out of rec iprocal altruism, in the belief that helping other individuals will produce an a dvantageous situation for both the sender and receiver of that help; this tenden cy has been noted in studies by Robert Axelrod that are summarized in his book T he Evolution of Cooperation (1984).[27] The second reason is that such groups ma y be formed as a means of defense to insure survival, fears by one group of a ho stile group threatening them can increase solidarity amongst that group, R. Paul Shaw and Yuwa Wong in their book The Genetic Seeds of Warfare (1989) identify t his as the foundation of xenophobia that they identify as originating in hunter gatherer societies.[28]