Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Nationalism in International Politics

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT International Relations

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will define the concepts of nation, nationalism, state and sovereignty and view conflicting theories on the origins of nations. It will proceed to view nationalism and the structure of international relations, nationalism and patriotism, nationalism and ideology and how nationalism spread in Europe and beyond. This study-unit will also discuss such concepts as national self-determination as a principle of international relations and international law, the relationship between nationalism and democracy, and minorities and the nation-state. Finally, it will discuss the future of nationalism through an examination of economic nationalism, the resurgence of religion, internationalism, globalization and post-nationalism.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of this study-unit are:

- to introduce students to the principal concepts of nationalism and the way nationalism affects international relations;
- to enable students to develop a critical approach to the nationalism literature;
- to empower students to cultivate comparative skills in analyzing the paradoxical nature of nationalism vis a vis international problems and policies related to it;
- to aid the students to develop their ability to form, present and support discourse related to nationalism.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- understand the central concepts relevant to nationalism;
- compare and contrast between nationalism and other major ideologies (liberalism, communism, fascism and national socialism);
- comprehend the influence nationalism has had in history and at present, both intrinsically and in reactions it sparked in international politics.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Students will be able to produce a coherent paper demonstrating their grasp of the concepts of nationalism and international relations. They should be able to show their understanding of the central concepts by presenting and substantiating arguments relevant to the theme.

Students should be able to posit this course within the larger framework of world politics. They should also be able to better understand the role of the past in understanding the present. They should be able to link material absorbed in related courses in order to better understand international norms and practices relevant to ethnic diversity within states.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts

- Hobsbawm, E.J., Nations and Nationalism since 1780. Programme, myth, reality, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) [ISBN 9780521439619].
- Hutchinson, J. and A.D. Smith (eds) Nationalism. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994) [ISBN 9780192892607].
- Mayall, J. Nationalism and international society. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990) [ISBN 9780521389617].

Supplementary Readings

- Edwards John, Language and identity an introduction, (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009) [ISBN 9780521696029].
- Jackson Preece, J. Minority rights: between diversity and community. (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005) [ISBN 9780745623962].
- Jackson Preece, J. National minorities and the European nation-states system. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998) [ISBN 9780198294375].
- Smith, A.D. Nationalism: theory, ideology, history. (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2001) [ISBN 9780745626598].
- Smith, A.D. The ethnic revival. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), available on

- Avineri, S. ‘Marxism and nationalism’, Journal of contemporary history 26(3–4) 1991, pp.637–57, available on JSTOR.
- Berman, S. ‘Islamism, revolution and civil society’, Perspectives on politics 1(2) 2003, pp.257–72, available on JSTOR.
- Buchanan, A. ‘Theories of secession’, Philosophy and public affairs 26(1) 1997, pp.31– 61, available on JSTOR.
- Charney, E. ‘Identity and liberal nationalism’, American political science review 97(2) 2003, pp.295–310, available on JSTOR.
- Cram, L. ‘Identity and European integration: diversity as a source of integration’, Nations and nationalism 15(1) 2009, pp.109–28.
- Dekmejian, R. ‘The anatomy of Islamic revival’, Middle East journal 34(1) 1980, pp.1–12, available on JSTOR.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (15 Minutes) No 20%
Assignment Yes 80%

LECTURER/S Adrian Scerri

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.