The Necessary Nation

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2001-01-15
  • Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr

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In this controversial look at nationalism, Gregory Jusdanis offers a sweeping defense of the nation as a protector of cultural difference and a catalyst for modernization. Since the end of the Cold War, the nation-state has undergone intense scrutiny among critics in the media and the academy. Many believe that civic nationalism may be fruitful but that cultural nationalism fosters xenophobia and backward thinking. Jusdanis, however, emphasizes the positive collaboration between nation-building and culture. Through a series of critical readings of multicultural, postcolonial, and globalization theories, the author reveals how nationalism enables people to defend their distinctive ways of life, to fight colonial oppression, and to build an independent society of citizens. He explains why people over the last two hundred years have politicized their ethnic identities and have sought a union of culture and power within an autonomous nation-state. While seeking to defend nationalism, Jusdanis also examines its potential to unleash extraordinary violence into the world. He thus proposes federalism as a political solution to the challenges posed by nationalism and globalization. Jusdanis applies the tools of disciplines ranging from anthropology to philosophy, as he explores the nation-building projects of numerous and diverse countries around the world. What emerges is a fresh perspective on the subjects of national culture, identity, political nations, globalization, postcolonialism, and diaspora.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 3
On Nationalismp. 17
The Union of Nation and Statep. 18
Nations as Self-Institutionsp. 23
Emotional Attachmentsp. 28
Ancient Rootsp. 36
National Integrationp. 39
The Autonomy of Culture?p. 44
Culture as a Totalityp. 46
Culture as Way of Lifep. 49
Absolute States and Religious Warsp. 52
Culture as Secondary Agentp. 55
Nationalism as a Reactive Forcep. 58
The Chicken or the Egg?p. 65
The Bastion of National Culturep. 71
Fortress Culturep. 77
National Culture in Aspirationp. 83
Intellectuals and Class Interestp. 86
The Perils of Comparisonsp. 89
National Intellectualsp. 93
Progress and Belatednessp. 102
Being Latep. 105
Catching Upp. 108
Greece: Postcolonial Narrativesp. 110
Of Backwardness and Changep. 114
The Greek Culture Warsp. 118
The Discovery of Tardinessp. 122
Political Nationsp. 134
Englandp. 137
Canadap. 143
Brazilp. 148
Egyptp. 151
The United Statesp. 155
Civic Identityp. 162
The End of Identities?p. 166
The Disconnecting of Americap. 166
Of Two Multiculturalismsp. 169
Racial Panethnicitiesp. 177
Culture, Culture Everywherep. 185
Does Globalization Spell the End?p. 192
Federal Unionsp. 197
Private Identities, Public Assimilationp. 201
Endless Diasporap. 205
Liberal Nationalismp. 211
Federalismp. 215
Referencesp. 225
Indexp. 259
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