PDF | On Apr 1, , Daniele Conversi and others published Review of: Nations and Nationalism by Ernest Gellner. But nationalism is not the awakeneing of an old, latent, dormant force, though that is Ernest Gellner, The Rights of Nations: Nations and Nationalism (Oxford. Ernest Gellner's Nations and Nationalism provides one of the most powerful and original interpretations of modern nationalism. Drawing upon a range of.


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After the late 18th century, the rise of the modern state led to a new form of governance characterized by direct rule.

Nations and Nationalism

Containing Nationalism argues that the impetus for the most common type of nationalism arises from the imposition of direct rule in culturally heterogeneous societies. Direct rule stimulates national identity by making cultural distinctions more salient for individuals' life chances.

At the same time it reduces the resources of local elites, giving them a motive to mobilize nationalist gellner nations and nationalism to central authorities. All told, these effects heighten the demand for sovereignty.

The book suggests that political institutions that reintroduce indirect rule offer the leaders of modern countries the best available means of containing nationalist violence within their borders.


World War I gellner nations and nationalism Partition. London and New York: Prior to World War I, most of the Irish population favored constitutional reform devolution rather than complete independence from Great Britain. The Great War transformed public opinion and led the public to support the formation of a free Irish republic rather than a parliament devolved from the British parliament at Westminster.

Ernest Gellner | Nationalism Studies

Thomas Hennessey examines this important change and the resulting realignment of the relationship between unionists and nationalists.

While other scholars have seen the Northern conflict in terms of religious or class division, Hennessey argues that the polarisation of Irish and British identities during the war are gellner nations and nationalism at the root of the problem.


It is the establishment of an anonymous, impersonal society, with mutually substitutable atomized individuals. The human psyche … generates many surface possibilities.

It is in reality the consequence of a new model of social organisation, based on deeply internalised education-dependent high cultures, each protected by its own state. Its myths invert reality: As well, the increasing income gap between the average Chinese citizen and members of the elite class gellner nations and nationalism led some to question whether Chinese society is returning to a pseudo-feudalistic structure.

Following WWI, Belgium took control of the colony, marking the beginning of a more direct colonial rule.


Introducing large-scale projects in agriculture, education and public works, Rwanda enjoyed a period of industrialization. In the Belgians issued identity cards labelling each individual by their ethnic group, either Hutu, Tutsi, Twa or naturalised.

Gellner's theory of nationalism

Gellner nations and nationalism a wealthy Hutu could become honorary Tutsi, the identity cards however prevented any movement between the classes.

The Hutu population rebelled in the Revolution ofkilling a large number of Tutsi and establishing an independent Hutu-led state in A more detailed overview is given in this article: But neither is adequate.

Definitions of culture, presupposed by the first definition, in the anthropological rather than the normative sense, are notoriously difficult and unsatisfactory. It is probably best to approach this problem by using this gellner nations and nationalism without attempting too much in the way of formal definition, and looking at what culture does.

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