New PDF release: Containing Nationalism

By Michael Hechter

Nationalism has turn into the main accepted resource of political clash and violence on the earth this present day. Scholarship has supplied scant suggestions for holding the darkish aspect of nationalism--its greatly publicized excesses of violence, comparable to ethnic detoxification and genocide. in accordance with primary theoretical principles in regards to the formation and team spirit of teams, Containing Nationalism deals a groundbreaking unified rationalization of the dynamics of nationalism around the wide sweep of background and geography. Michael Hechter argues that the impetus for the commonest form of nationalism arises from the imposition of direct rule in culturally heterogeneous societies--stimulating nationwide identification, decreasing the assets of neighborhood elites, motivating the mobilization of nationalist competition to principal professionals, and eventually heightening the call for for sovereignty. Hechter means that political associations that reintroduce oblique rule supply the leaders of recent nations the simplest on hand technique of containing nationalist violence inside of their borders.


"An dependent and sweeping account of contemporary nationalism."--Foreign Affairs, September/October, 2000

"Containing Nationalism is a travel de strength ... an highbrow treat."--American magazine of Sociology, November 2000

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17 This is because the order imposed by imperial rule spurred military, cultural, and economic exchanges between localities. 18 For all these reasons, industrialization provided an even greater impetus to nation formation. Still, these purely technical conditions by themselves are insufficient to account for the emergence of nations. They do not necessarily preordain a sense of common history, a concept of the homeland, or any of the other aforementioned requirements of nationhood. National sentiments tend to be inculcated by schools.

To the degree that interests flow from one's position in the social structure, then certain kinds of people will be the usual suspects. First, consider local elites—indirect rulers, rival political entrepreneurs, and the culturally distinct intelligentsia—who face the growing power of a strengthening central state. As direct rule progresses, these people may deploy their resources to establish nationalist movements in hope of retaining their position. 24 Local elites who face a declining central state may grasp an opportunity to enhance their authority, as well.

The demand for such joint goods serves as a focal point that enables otherwise disconnected individuals to imagine themselves in a common situation and, on this account, to identify a single course of action that their expectations of each other can converge on (Schelling 1960: 54). Of course, producing joint goods entails cooperation. As Hobbes recognized long ago, this cooperation can be costly. The principal cost of forming a group is the subsequent loss of individual autonomy. To obtain the joint good that is the group's raison d'etre, participants are obliged to comply with rules that are required to produce the given good.

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Containing Nationalism by Michael Hechter

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