The main objective of this course is to introduce students into the state of art scholarship and debates in the study of nationalism, and help them to critically engage with and think of contemporary neo-nationalism and populist nationalism. The course aims at familiarizing students with key concepts and theories as well as main methodological approaches in nationalism studies. A special emphasis will be given to the applicability and limits of classical nationalism theories and methodologies in the analysis of contemporary nationalist movements. Throughout the course, we will test the relevant interdisciplinary methodologies through comparative analyses and case studies. In particular, the course will draw on literature from sociology, political science, history, international relations, gender studies, and anthropology, offering a critical and interdisciplinary approach to the study of nationalism.
The course will start with a short discussion on contemporary nationalism. We will explore why nationalism is still an important moving force in contemporary politics and why its scholarly study is still relevant. After the introduction, we well go on to explore the literature on contemporary populist nationalism. We will investigate if and to what extent populist politics can be considered as a novel form of nationalism. Then we will overview the classical nationalism debates, and discuss to what extent the main explanatory framework in nationalism studies (modernism, constructivism, primordialism, ethno-symbolism, cognitive approaches) are relevant to the study of contemporary nationalist politics. More specifically, we will look into the causes and political implications of different types of populist nationalism as well as neo-nationalist mobilization strategies and discourses. Throughout these classes, we will explore the most important research methodologies in the study of nationalism, and their relevance to research on contemporary forms of populist nationalism.
In the second part of the course, we will investigate the intersection of gender studies and nationalism, international relations and nationalism, and anthropology and nationalism. These topics will be covered with the help of three guest speakers who will present their recent research. The last class is reserved for student presentations.