Nationalism Studies in the 21st Century

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The course will examine the main contemporary theories of nationalism, analyze key concepts and discuss classical debates in the study of nationalism. The course will also serve as a methodological introduction to the study of nationalism. First, we will discuss why nationalism is still an important moving force in contemporary politics and why its scholarly study is still relevant. We will then overview and assess the major systematic typologies of nationalism, examine how key concepts, such as ‘nation’, ‘nationalism’, ‘ethnicity’, 'identity' and related terms are used by different authors and how they can be deployed in case analysis. The second thematic section of the course will discuss the main theories (modernism, constructivism, primordialism, postmodernism) explaining the emergence of nationalism. Together with that, students will be introduced to the main debates in the field of nationalism studies.  Next, we will briefly examine how nationhood and ethnic symbolism are reproduced in contemporary nationalist discourse and politics. Further, the course will introduce students to the main theoretical perspectives on studying national belonging, group identity, and socio-historical understandings of race and ethnicity. In the final section, students will have a chance to engage in discussions about how democracy relates to nationalism or how we shall study diasporas in a modern context as well as how to approach the contemporary resurgence of neo-nationalism.