Nationalism and Political Theory

Term: 
Fall
Credits: 
4.0
Status: 
Core
Elective
Course Description: 

Course description:

 

The course intends to approach the topic of Nationalism from the perspective of Political Theory. After more history oriented viewpoints, the course will focus on different concepts contemporary political theory is using – like modernization, totalitarianism, democracy, transformation. The aspect of multi-level and cross-cutting identities will be discussed as well as the impact of recent trends in international relations – especially the question of the declining role of the nation state under the auspices of globalization.

 

The focus will be on the following questions:

-         the historical role of nationalism;

-         functional changes of nationalism and of the nation state;

-         the (wrong?) predictions of the foreseeable end of nationalism;

-         the competition between different (national and other) identities;

-         democracy between exclusion (“ethnos”) and inclusion (“demos”);

-         the possibilities of “multiculturalism”;

-         the consequences of globalisation.

 

The course follows two general directions:

 

-         An introduction into the key concepts and discourses in the field of (especially contemporary) Political Theory (like democracy, state, political culture, post-modernism, etc.)

 

-         Systematic links between Political Theory and the different expressions of nationalism with particular emphasis on contemporary phenomena

 

Requirements:

 

The students are expected to

 

-         Participate actively in all classes. This requires preparation by reading the designed texts;

 

-         Give (at least) one presentation. The presentations schedule (who, what, and when) will be decided in the second week;

 

-         Write a term paper (appr. 3500 words) to be delivered at the end of each of the term.

 

The students are asked to contact me whenever they need further information or special advice via e-mail. The grades will be based on the quality of the term paper (50 percent), the overall participation (25 percent), and the quality of the presentation (25 Percent).

 

 

Format

 

The course will be a combination of lectures, presentations, and discussion. Based on the reading materials, each class will consist of students’ presentations and a lecture – both followed by questions, comments, and critique.

 

 

Learning Outcome:

 

The students should be enabled to view the different key aspects of nationalism from different view points of Political Theory (like state, modernization, totalitarianism, democracy, transformation, peace, multiculturalism, et al.).

 

 

Schedule

 

The classes will follow the reader and its structure. Each of the 11 chapters the reader contains will be presented and discussed in class.

 

September 20

Nation and Nationalism I

Readings: Cannadine, Sowell

 

September 29

Nation and Nationalism II

Readings: Gellner, Hobsbawm

 

October 4

Nation and State

Readings: Weber, Skocpol, Greenfeld, Horowitz, Judt, Sassen

 

October 11

Modernization

Readings: Marx, Beer, Inglehart, Inglehart

 

October 18

No class! Individual appointments will be arranged for feedback and talks about the term paper.

 

October 26

Totalitarianism

Readings: Arendt, Talmon, Buruma

 

November 1

Democracy

Readings: Schumpeter, Lijphart, Dahl, Sowell

 

November 8

Democratic Transformation

Readings: Linz/Stepan, Hobsbawm, Snyder

 

November 15

Multiculturalism and Transnational Identities

Readings: Taylor, Kymlicka, Laitin

 

November 22

The Nation State and the International Order

Readings: Huntington, Ash, Guibernau

 

November 29

Conflict and Peace

Readings: Kagan, Weeks

 

December 6

Globalization – Beyond the Nation State?

Readings. Brubaker, Brubaker, Kymlicka

 

December 31: Deadline for term papers

 

 

Learning Outcomes: 

The students should be enabled to view the different key aspects of nationalism from different view points of Political Theory (like state, modernization, totalitarianism, democracy, transformation, peace, multiculturalism, et al).

Assessment: 

The students are expected to

 

-         participate actively in all classes. This requires preparation by reading the designed texts;

 

-         give (at least) one presentation. The presentations schedule (who, what, and when) will be decided in the second week;

 

-         write a term paper (appr. 3500 words) to be delivered at the end of each of the term.

 

The students are asked to contact me whenever they need further information or special advice via e-mail. The grades will be based on the quality of the term paper (50 percent), the overall participation (25 percent), and the quality of the presentation (25 Percent).

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