Encounters With Nationalism / Edition 1 available in Paperback
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The forecast demise of nationalism under the new moral orders ofcommunism and internationalism has proved illusory. In the presentcentury, to an extent greater perhaps than in all others,nationalism has been the dominant force in the affairs ofhumankind. Why should this have been? Why is it that a nationalidentity should continue to be the aspiration of almost all peopleswithout one and, at the same time, the justification - in theprocess of obtaining, securing and expanding it- for casting asideevery trace and tradition of civility? In Encounters withNationalism Ernest Gellner seeks some answers.His approach is to consider first the ideas of the main modernthinkers on the subject, from Marx, List, Malinowski and Carr, toMasaryk, Heidegger, Patocka, Hroch, Havel and Said. He examines theorigins, subjects and context of their writings, their interactionswith culture and politics, and their influence - both on theory andon events. The range is wide, covering Eastern, Western and Islamicsocieties, and includes extensive discussions of the related themesof civil society, theocracy, communism, imperialism, capitalism andliberalism.Professor Gellner is never less than trenchant. He is concernedhere not only to understand, but to criticize. He confronts severalpowerful and fashionable notions that fuel and/or attempt toexplain contemporary nationalism - among them postcolonialism. Onthe one hand he exposes their incoherence and irresponsibility; onthe other he places them alongside ideas of real currency. Nor doeshe evade the controversy surrounding the nature of judgementitself: the reader will also find here concise and penetratingdiscussions of relativism, pluralism, objectivity and thepossibility of universal values.
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About the Author
Ernest Gellner was Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge from 1984 to August 1993, before which he had been Professor of Philosophy at the London School of Economics. He is now head of research at the Central European University and divides his time between Prague and Cambridge, where he is a fellow of King's College. His previous Blackwell publications are Nations and Nationalism (1983), The Concept of Kinship (1986) and Reason and Culture (1992).
Table of Contents
1. Nationalism and Marxism.
2. Nationalism and the International Order.
3. From Kinship to Ethnicity.
4. The Betrayal of the Universal.
5. The Sacred and the National.
6. A Non-nationalist Pole.
8. Enlightenment Against Faith.
9. The Price of Velvet: Tomas Masaryk and Vaclav Havel.
10. Reborn from below: The Forgotten Beginnings of the CzechNational Revival.
11. The Nazi Jew-lover.
12. The Mightier Pen: The Double Standards of Inside-outColonalism.
13. From the Ruins of the Great Contest: Civil Society,Nationalism and Islam.
14. An Alternative Vision.