This course examines the meaning of nationalism, its origins in Western Europe subsequently spread throughout the world, as well as the relationship between nationalism, ethnicity, historic tradition, linguistic and religious identity, with specific emphasis on the various mindsets of Islamists. Connections between nationalism and modernization, the idea of nations as imagined or "invented" communities, and cultural nationalism, are discussed from both political-economic and socio-biological perspectives. Whether nationalism is on its way to extinction, or destined for resurgence, is still an open question - as is its potential for good or ill. Meanwhile, both Islamist terrorists and their intended victims rally around national, ethnic, and religious identities, while reaching for global partners.
"It is very useful to compare radical Islamism to some forms of nationalism - both political ideologies that appeal to group identity and sometimes use similar rhetoric. Yet the differences are no less significant; though 'nationalism' is primarily a European concept, it is immensely relevant to the rest of the world and to the Middle East in particular."
-Dr. Juliana Pilon
Juliana Geran Pilon