Latest Issue

Tag: Nationalism and the nation

A mortal nation too

An inability to listen to others is common to the nationalism of small countries with troubled histories—like Israel. So why is it also true of the US?
Linda Colley  

Britain rediscovered

The British have traditionally had a rather weak sense of identity. Politicians of the left now want to construct a more visible, inclusive national story. What should it be based on? Can it be done top down?

Deaf nationalism

Sign language is officially recognised as a minority language in its own right. And some deaf people have begun to think of themselves as forming a fully fledged "nation." They accuse hearing-aid makers and ear surgeons of trying to exterminate…

Secularism in France

France's banning of religious symbols in state schools is incomprehensible to many Europeans. But "laïcité" - French-style secularism - is an ideology, defining what it means to be French
Tim King  

Not just British beef

The cow is a simple animal, yet for centuries its meat symbolised the English character. But nationalists elsewhere have also found mythic value in beef.

Scots on the rocks

Neal Ascherson has found geological origins for Scottish nationalism. This is not as mad as it sounds but it is still no reason to abandon the Union
Malcolm Rifkind  

All passion spent

The former revolutionary and Mitterrand adviser has no time for utopian nonsense about a post-national Europe

Other people

The modern left values both solidarity and diversity, but they can conflict. A strong notion of Britishness helps them to cohabit—the left still needs the nation
Jytte Klausen  

National good

The ethnically homogeneous nation-state is alive and well. It remains the largest feasible focus for both belonging and democracy
Michael Lind  

After “After Britain”

Donald Dewar and Francis Fukuyama share the same anxiety that all forms of nation-building will collapse into ethnic nationalism. They are wrong
Tom Nairn  

Atatürk’s creation

The creation of the Turkish state was one of the most remarkable acts of political will in the 20th century. What about the man who did it?
David Fromkin  

Divide and survive

History shows that partition and population exchange is often the least bad answer to ethnic conflict. Western reluctance to accept this fact prolonged the Bosnian war and could complicate the exodus from Kosovo. The alternative to partition in the Balkans…
Anatol Lieven  

The Habsburg dilemma

Ernest Gellner was a brilliant polemicist, but his partisan history of ideas is a crude caricature of modern European thought.
John Gray  

National success

Successful nation states have been built not on race, but on liberal political institutions and a dominant language or culture. But the EU is not a nation or a state, and is neither democratic nor culturally coherent. We should think…
Ian Buruma  

Identity parades

The dilemma for modern liberal states is how to combine tolerance for diversity with a commitment to universal civic values. Michael Ignatieff considers how Britain, and British identity, is dealing with this dilemma in the face of ethnic and religious…
Michael Ignatieff  

We are all mongrels now

A new generation of Irish intellectuals is exploring the hybrid nature of Irish and British identity. Neal Ascherson finds their views appealing but politically impractical
Neal Ascherson  

Among the Serbs

The Milosevic regime in Belgrade is faltering but the spirit of Serbian nationalism burns as strong as ever in Republika Srpska, the Bosnian Serb mini-state. William Tribe, who taught English for more than 25 years at Sarajevo University, visited Srpska…
William Tribe