Ethnicity and Nationalism: Theory and Comparison / Edition 1

Ethnicity and Nationalism: Theory and Comparison / Edition 1

by Paul R. Brass, Paul Brass
     
 

"[This book] It is provocative and bold. Brass bases his theories on his rather extensive study of the historical and political processes in multi-ethnic societies, especially India. There is much truth in his identification of the problem in the state of Punjab and elsewhere in India, in relentless centralization and, often, some questionable interventionist

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"[This book] It is provocative and bold. Brass bases his theories on his rather extensive study of the historical and political processes in multi-ethnic societies, especially India. There is much truth in his identification of the problem in the state of Punjab and elsewhere in India, in relentless centralization and, often, some questionable interventionist policies of the central government. "
—International Migration Review
"Ethnicity and Nationalism is most timely and relevant. . . . This book offers many positives. It is provocative and bold. Paul Brass bases his theories on his rather extensive study of the historical and political processes in multiethnic societies, especially in India. There is much truth in his identification of the problem in the state of Punjab and elsewhere in India. "
—International Migration Review
"The present volume is a very important contribution toward the study of ethnicity and nationalism. The book would be of interest to a wide range of scholars, particularly those with a South Asian focus. "
—Asian and Pacific Migration Journal
"This volume is a very important contribution toward the study of ethnicity and nationalism. The book would be of interest to a wide range of scholars, particularly those with a South Asian focus. "
—Asia and Pacific Mirgration Journal
Ethnicity and nationalism, interethnic conflicts, and secessionist movements have been major forces shaping the modern world and the structure and stability of contemporary states. In the closing decades of the twentieth century, such forces and movements have emerged with new intensity. Drawing his examples in this major study from a wide variety of multiethnic situations around the world, with special emphasis on South Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union, Paul Brass presents a distinctive theory concerning the origins of ethnic identity and modern nationalism.
The author bases his theory on two focal arguments: one, that ethnicity and nationalism are not "givens," but are social and political constructions. The second is that ethnicity and nationalism are modern phenomena inseparably connected with the activities of the modern centralizing state.
Examples and case studies from India comprise the heart of this volume. Three chapters focus specifically on two minority groups in India: north India Muslims and the Sikhs of Punjab. A second and substantial source of illustrations, which substantiate the theoretical arguments, is Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The author also presents a direct comparison of language-based ethnic problems in India and the Soviet Union.
An original perspective on the major themes and arguments concerning ethnicity and nationalism, this book is essential reading for scholars and academics in the fields of ethnic studies, comparative politics, development studies, and anthropology.
"Brass's work is a significant contribution to the study of ethnicity and nationalism. His work draws our attention to the complexity of the politics of identity. Students of Indian politics will find the book extremely useful and the people who in recent years are trying to invent a primordial basis for the Indian nation will find it disconcerting. "
—The Indian Economic and Social History Review
"This timely volume....will be of considerable interest to students of South Asian politics for its clarity and commitment. "
—International Journal of Punjab Studies
"When a major writer shifts the focus on his inquiry, it becomes the cause of a certain excitement within the discipline as a whole. Such is the case with Ethnicity and Nationalism where Paul Brass, long a familiar name for students of Indian politics, questions the applicability of the consociational model as an effective method of achieving democratic political order in multi-ethnic societies. "
—Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics
"This is a useful book for it brings together Paul Brass' writings on the subject of ethnicity and politics between 1978 and 1990. "
—Contributions to Indian Sociology
"By virtue of the theoretical and empirical assertions it makes and the political controversy it is bound to give rise to, Ethnicity and Nationalism is an important addition to Indian and comparative politics. The book can be read with profit. "
—Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics
"This is a valuable addition to the literature on ethnicity and nationalism. But more than just an addition, it illumines the multi-layered social grid in multi-ethnic societies consisting of majorities and minorities, conflicts of interests, and the key role played by both the State and various elites in the formation of ethnicity and nationalism. "
—Media Development

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803996953
Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Publication date:
01/01/1991
Pages:
360

Table of Contents

PART ONE: ETHNIC GROUPS AND NATIONALITIES: THE FORMATION, PERSISTENCE, AND TRANSFORMATION OF ETHNIC IDENTITIES OVER TIME
Ethnic Groups and Ethnic Identity Formation
Nationality-Formation
From Communities to Nationalities
Elite Groups, Symbol Manipulation, and Ethnic Identity Among the Muslims of South Asia
PART TWO: REGIONALISM, PLURALISM, AND NATIONAL UNITY IN INDIA
Pluralism, Regionalism, and Decentralizing Tendencies in Contemporary Indian Politics
The Punjab Crisis and the Unity of India
Socio-Economic Aspects of the Punjab Crisis
PART THREE: ETHNIC GROUPS AND THE STATE
Ethnic Groups and the State
Language and National Identity in the Soviet Union and India
Ethnic Conflict in Multi-Ethnic Societies
The Consociational Solution and its Critics

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