Nationalism and international relations IR2084

This course provides an introduction to the study of one important aspect of nationalism, namely its impact on international relations.

Prerequisites

If taken as part of a BSc degree, courses which must be passed before this course may be attempted:

  • IR1011 Introduction to international relations.

Topics covered

The rise of nationalism: concepts and definitions: 

  • The doctrine of nationalism
  • Rival definitions of the nation
  • Modernism and primordialism
  • ‘Nations’ and modernity
  • ‘Nations’ before modernity
  • Contested origins, contested futures

Nationalism and the Structure of International Society: 

  • A real estate model
  • The problem of legitimacy
  • The use of force
  • The extension of the system
  • The terms of nationalism discourse
  • National self-determination
  • National minority
  • Plebiscite
  • Irridentism
  • Secession

Nationalism and other ideologies:

  • Ideology and international relations
  • An ideology for nationalists?
  • Liberalism and nationalism
  • Essentials of liberal thought
  • Tensions between liberal and nationalist principles
  • The liberal nationalist accommodation
  • Communism
  • Nationalism as false consciousness
  • The impact of the Russian Revolution
  • Fascism and National Socialism
  • A different kind of ideology
  • Pathological nationalism?

The spread of nationalism in Europe:

  • Europe before nationalism
  • A changing political landscape
  • Language and nation
  • National self-determination
  • A new territorial status quo
  • State-building and minorities
  • Overcoming the territorial status quo: case study Kosovo.

The spread of nationalism beyond Europe: 

  • Africa and Asia before nationalism
  • Race and nation
  • A changing political landscape
  • Self-determination and equality of peoples
  • A new territorial status quo
  • State-building and minorities
  • Overcoming the territorial status quo: case study Eritrea

The future of nationalism: 

  • Identity and community
  • The challenge of minorities
  • The challenge of religion
  • The challenge of economic nationalism
  • The challenge of internationalism
  • The challenge of globalization
  • The challenge of post-nationalism.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Critically examine the main concepts and theories employed in the study of nationalism
  • Account for the similarities and differences between nationalism and other leading ideologies (liberalism, communism, fascism, and national socialism)
  • Discuss the evolving role nationalism has played in international politics and the changing policy responses directed at problems of nationalism.

Assessment

Unseen written exam (3 hrs).

Essential reading

  • Mayall, J. Nationalism and International Society. Cambridge University Press.
  • Hutchinson, J. and A.D. Smith (eds). Nationalism. Oxford Readers, Oxford University Press.
  • Jackson Preece, J. Minority Rights: Between Diversity and Community. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005.

Course information sheets

Download the course information sheets from the LSE website.