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NATIONS AND NATIONALISM

SINCE 1780
Programme, Myth, Reality
ERIC HOBSBAWM

Kafyra Kyriaki
Mitronatsiou Anastasia
Garozi Eleftheria
E.HOBSBAWM BIOGRAPHY
 Born in 1917 in Egypt
 Historian and author
 Marxist
 Member of Communist
party
 Lecturer at Birkbeck
college, visiting
professor at Stanford
and the New School for
Social Research
 Fellow of the British
Academy
 Work: The social
construction in the
context of the nation
state

Introduction
 Nations→ not older than the 18th century
 No satisfactory objective or subjective
criteria to define nation
 The real nation can be recognized only a
posteriori
 Nationalism: principle which holds that the
political and national unit should be
congruent
 The nation belongs to a particular and
historically recent period
 Nations do not make states and
nationalisms but the other way
around
 The three phases of national movement in
the 19th century:
→ A purely cultural, literary and folklore

→ B national idea-political campaigning

→ C mass support of nationalist programmes


The nation as a novelty
 Modernity : the basic characteristic of
nation
 The meaning of nation up to 1925
 Equation nation=state=people
 The revolutionary-democratic concept
 The nationalist concept
 The locus of nation in the theories of the
liberal bourgeoisies and intellectuals
from 1830-1880
 Adam Smith: "nation: no
more than a territorial
state"
 Molinari: division of
humanity in autonomous
nation sis essentially
economic
 Hamilton: linked nation-
state-economy
 List: accomplishing
economic development
 The principle of nationality
applies only to
nationalities of certain
size
 The building of nations is a
process of expansion
 The 3 criteria for a people to be classed as
a nation:
→ Historic association with a current state

→A long established cultural elite

→A proven capacity for conquest

 Nations→ progress from a small group to a


larger
 The principal of nationality→ different from
political phenomenon of nationalism
PROTO-NATIONALISM
 Proto-national bonds→ feelings of collective belonging
operating on macro-political scale
 Need to discover the sentiments of the illiterate
 Omission of language and ethnicity from the definition
of the nation
 Language: →absence of general primary education
 →semi-artificial construct
 → not primordial foundation of a national
culture
 →part of popular reality
 → not a central element of proto-
nationalism
 "Languages multiply with states; not the other
way round"
 Ethnicity→ common origin and descent
 Is it irrelevant to modern nationalism?
 Separation of social strata than
communities
 Definition of the other one than one’s
group
 State tradition
 Religion→ close link with national
consciousness
 Not a necessary mark of protonationality
 Holy icons→ crucial component
 Criterion of proto-
nationalism→ the
consciousness of
belonging to a lasting
political entity
 Nationalism of nobility→
proto-national
 natio
-fidelitas- communitas
 Proto-nationalism→ made
the task of nationalism
easier
 → is not enough
to form states

THE GOVERNMENT
PERSPECIVE
 Modern state :was novel in a number of
respects, a territory overall of whose
inhabitants it ruled
 19th century:Increasingly the state kept
records of each subjects and citizens
through the device of regular periodic
censuses, more direct contact with the
machinery of rule and administration,
inhabitants would be recorded by the
machinery for registering births,
marriages and deaths- Government and
subject or citizens were inevitably linked
by daily bonds, as never before

 Need to adapt a relation
between state and
‘people’ arose even in
long-established regimes
 Monarchies tried to provide
a new national foundation
 ‘Civic religion’
(‘patriotism’) : new forms
of civic loyalty
 ‘Patriots’, in the original
sense of the word were
the opposite of those who
believed in ‘my country,
right or wrong’
 Democratization might help
to solve the problems of
how states and regimes
could acquire legitimacy
in the eyes of their
citizens.

 Nationalismus
independent of the
state were the most
formidable concept
 Governments had a
considerable domestic
interest in mobilizing
nationalism among their
citizens
 Politically risky merger of
state patriotism with
non-state nationalism
 ‘national language’:
was the soul of a nation
and the crucial criterion
of nationality, an
indicator of nationality


THE TRANSFORMATION OF
NATIONALISM
2 main principles of nationality after 1830:

‘every nation a state’ and ‘only one
state for the whole nation’
 The nationalism of 1880-1914 differed in
three major respects from the phrase
“every nation a state, only a state a for
the entire nation”
1. abandoned the ‘threshold principle’

2. ethnicity and language

3. a sharp shift to the political right of nation

and flag

 Nationalist movements
multiplying in regions
where they had been
previously unknown e.g.
among the Macedonians
and Albanians in the
Balkans
 In the second half of the
century-ethnic
nationalism received
enormous reinforcements-
NATI in practice from the
increasingly massive
ONA geographical migrations
LIST of peoples
 Nationalism gained ground
MOV so rapidly from the 1870’s
EME to 1914. It was a function
NTS of both social and
political changes

The apogee of nationalism,
1918 - 1950
ü “Principle of nationalities” declared by the
American President Woodrow Wilson as an
alternative to Bolshevism.
ü Unrealistic content of the Wilsonian principle
when tested in practice. Explicit lack of
tolerance towards minorities in the newly
established nation – states of the Central and
Eastern Europe in the intent of creating
nationally homogenous and territorially solid
independent states.
ü Divergence between the “national idea” and the
national consciousness of the people involved
THE
 The decolonization process was more a result of anti-
APO imperialist attitudes than it was nationalistic sentiments,
GEE making the huge number of states born after 1945
unclassifiable as nations.
OF  Nationalism in Europe prior to 1914: Unifying meaning.
NATI  Nationalism in Europe after 1914: Separatist meaning.
 Mass media contribution to identity formation after 1918.
ONA  Mid-war nationalism: Fascist nationalism based on socio-
LISM economic grounds.
 The development of class consciousness led, in turn, to the
1918 development of mass politics which made nations possible.
- 

1950
ü Strong ties of the Left
both with anti-
fascist nationalism
and anti-imperialist
movements in
colonial countries.
ü Economic
mobilizations, mass
migrations and
large-scale warfare
have led masses of
men and women
into unfamiliar
worlds where they
find no easy
connection.
Subsequently,
nationalistic politics
turns ugly much like
class politics.

Nationalism in the late 20th
century
ü Historic roots of the separatist nationalism
in Europe.
ü Collapse of the Soviet Union and of the
Balkan communist regimes.
ü Content of nationalism during the 19th and
the early 20th centuries.
ü In the late 20th century, national identity
movements are situated at the point of
intersection of politics, technology and
social transformation.
ü The “Other” seen as a potential threat to
the people’s and the country’s integrity.

ü Essence of nation – building after World War II.
Rise of separatist and nationalistic
movements.
ü New role of national economies in the global
economic system.
ü Position and strategy of the local, separatist
European nationalisms within the European
Union (EU) setting.
ü Diminished value and power of nationalism in
the late 20th century when compared with the
19th and early 20th centuries.
ü Continuing decline of the political role of the
nation and of nationalism towards the end of
the 20th century since new supranational
structures have now come into fore.

Thank you!