Standing at the edge of life's abyss, we seek meaningful order. We commonly find this 'symbolic immortality' in religion, civilization, state and nation. What happens, however, when the nation itself appears mortal? The Mortality and Morality of Nation seeks to answer this question, theoretically and empirically. It argues that mortality makes morality, and right makes might; the nation's sense of a looming abyss informs its quest for a higher moral ground, which, if reached, can bolster its vitality. The book investigates nationalism's promise of moral immortality and its limitations via three case studies: French Canadians, Israeli Jews, and Afrikaners. All three have been insecure about the validity of their identity or the viability of their polity, or both. They have sought partial redress in existential self-legitimation: by the nation, of the nation and for the nation's very existence.
|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.87(d)|
About the Author
Uriel Abulof is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Tel-Aviv University and a senior research fellow at Princeton University� Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs/Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD). He is the author of Living on the Edge: The Existential Uncertainty of Zionism, which won the Bahat Prize, Israel� most prestigious academic book award. Abulof studies political legitimation, nationalism and ethnic conflicts. His articles have appeared in journals such as International Studies Quarterly, International Political Sociology, Nations and Nationalism, The British Journal of Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies and International Politics.
Table of ContentsPart I. Preface; Part II. Introduction: 1. Theory; 2. Case studies; Part III. Theory: 3. Meaning; 4. Mortality; 5. Morality; 6. Liberty; 7. Language; Part IV. The French Canadians: 8. The Canadiens: the emergence of an endangered ethnie; 9. The French Canadians: the rise and demise of ethno-religionism; 10. The Québécois: the rise and demise of ethnonationalism; Part V. Jews and Zionists: 11. Ontological insecurity: Jewish identity in modernity; 12. Epistemic insecurity: Jewish and Zionist survival in question; 13. Existential threats: Zionism's 'holes in the net'; 14. Existential threads: the lifelines of Zionism; Part VI. The Afrikaners: 15. Ontological insecurity: the birth of the Afrikaner ethnie; 16. Epistemic insecurity: Afrikaner survival in question; 17. Existential threats: Afrikanerdom's 'holes in the net'; 18. Existential threads: the lifelines of Afrikanerdom; 19. The twilight of apartheid and its aftermath.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The Mortality and Morality of Nations which discusses French Canadians, Israeli Jews and South African Afrikaners. Or perhaps I should say the existential fears of these “small nations” as Prof. Abulof refers to them. I soon found out that the idea of small nations was borrowed from Kundera, one of my favorite authors (though I had never read anything of his that referred to small nations before). Much to my dismay I found that before getting to the subject of my interest, I had to wade through a chapter of theory. But once I got into the book I actually found this part quite fascinating, and the Calvino metaphor of the city suspended over a chasm was quite brilliant; the poor creatures keep weaving threads to stop themselves from falling, beautifully capturing the idea of the existential threads of morality and security that Abulof's insecure nations keep weaving in order to bolster themselves. All in all it proved a fascinating read and I cannot recommend it highly enough.