The Shifting Foundations of Modern Nation-States: Realignments of Belonging

The Shifting Foundations of Modern Nation-States: Realignments of Belonging

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Overview

The Shifting Foundations of Modern Nation-States: Realignments of Belonging by Sima Godfrey

Nation-states today are under pressure from opposite directions. In Western Europe, they are being challenged by the call of assimilation into a larger supra-national polity. Elsewhere, as in Southeastern Europe, nation-states are being challenged by separatist forces from within, demanding independence or self-determination for particular ethnic groups. In either instance, the ultimate aim is not simply the breaking of bonds but rather a realignment of belonging.

When the prospect of prosperity and the good life requires an adjustment of national identities and alliances, old myths and new tales alike are mobilized in the effort. People's choices of belonging are flexible and often blatantly pragmatic. Some will never renounce their original 'nation,' while others gladly assume two or three national identities in a lifetime, all of them with a deeply felt commitment. In The Shifting Foundations of Modern Nation-States, Sima Godfrey and Frank Unger have gathered together a distinguished, multidisciplinary group of authors to discuss national myths from Europe, North America, and Asia. Just as the plurality of nations implies diverse voices and distinct narratives, the authors, coming from different disciplines and backgrounds, represent multiple discourses on the theme of nationhood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802083944
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 04/27/2004
Series: Green College Thematic Lecture Series
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Sima Godfrey is the director if the Institute for European Studies at the University of British Columbia.

Frank Unger is a professor with the Institute for European Studies at the University of British Columbia.

Table of Contents

Introduction3
Canada: A Post-Nationalist Nation?18
Closing the Nation: Nationalism and Statism in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Germany35
Quasi a Nation: Italy's Mezzogiorno before 184859
Are We Dreaming? Exceptional Myths and Myths of Exceptionalism in the United States82
The Republic: A French Myth100
Russia's Babel: Myth Production and Its Purposes109
Foundation Myths and the Reflection of History in Modern Hungary131
Cracking Myths of Nation-ness: Indonesia after the Fall of Suharto149
Contributors163

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