Faith in Nation: Exclusionary Origins of Nationalism [NOOK Book]

Overview

In a startling departure from the unquestioning liberal consensus that has governed discussions of nationalism for the past quarter century, Marx exposes the hidden underside of Western nationalism. Arguing that the true history of the nation began two hundred years earlier, in the early modern era, he shows how state builders set about deliberately constructing a sense of national solidarity to support their burgeoning authority. Key to this process was the transfer of power from local to central rulers; the ...
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Faith in Nation: Exclusionary Origins of Nationalism

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Overview

In a startling departure from the unquestioning liberal consensus that has governed discussions of nationalism for the past quarter century, Marx exposes the hidden underside of Western nationalism. Arguing that the true history of the nation began two hundred years earlier, in the early modern era, he shows how state builders set about deliberately constructing a sense of national solidarity to support their burgeoning authority. Key to this process was the transfer of power from local to central rulers; the most suitable vehicle for effecting this transfer was religion. Religious intolerance, specifically the exclusion of religious minorities from the nascent state, provided the glue that bound together the remaining populations. Exposing the West's idealization of its exclusionary past, Marx forcefully undermines the distinction between a Western nationalism that is civic and tolerant by definition and an oriental nationalism founded on ethnicity and intolerance.
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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
As history, little of Marx's argument is especially controversial, or all that new. But as a principle of political science, it upsets many self-flattering Western theories of national development, which hold that the ethnic nationalism rampant in many non-Western settings today is a retrograde departure from the orderly march of states toward ever more inclusive and tolerant civic regimes governed by sweet reason. So even though Marx concentrates on the more remote antecedents of Western nationalism, he homes in on a present-minded moral: "We should … resist comparing currently exclusive efforts at nation-building with the West's modern, solidified, and inclusive nations. We should instead compare these recent efforts with the corresponding earlier and intolerant origins of Western nations." — Chris Lehmann
Foreign Affairs
The rise of nationalism in the West in the late eighteenth century is typically viewed as a liberal exercise in inclusiveness, tolerance, and democracy-building (in contrast to the illiberal, exclusive nationalism that has often developed in other parts of the world). Challenging this idealized view, Marx argues that nationalism actually originated in Europe two centuries earlier than previously thought, when monarchical rulers pursued exclusionary and intolerant strategies of state consolidation. He traces early-modern state-building in England, France, and Spain, where rulers sought to mobilize and regulate the populace by forcibly constructing nationalism — a process that demanded religious exclusion, the repression of minorities, and political intolerance. Ferdinand and Isabella united Spain by expelling the Moors and the Jews, and the French religious wars of the sixteenth century fostered political unity at the expense of the Huguenots. By illuminating this illiberal European past, Marx succeeds in making Western civic nationalism seem less exceptional — and the problems of nation-building outside the West less foreign.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198035282
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/29/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 325 KB

Meet the Author

Anthony Marx is the 18th President of Amherst College. Previously, he was Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the Center for Historical Social Science at Columbia University. He is the author of Making Race and Nation: A Comparison of the United States, South Africa, and Brazil, winner of the Barrington Moore Prize, and co-winner of the Ralph Bunche Award.

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Table of Contents

1 History and arguments 3
2 Amassing state and gathering storm 33
3 Founding exclusions 73
4 Interregnums of coexistence and state-building 113
5 Cohesion by exclusion, redux from above 143
6 Superimposing democratic inclusion on forgotten exclusions 165
7 Angel of history and patron saint of nationalism 191
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