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Nationalism and War$
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John Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198798453

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198798453.001.0001

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Is Nationalism War-Prone?

Is Nationalism War-Prone?

Chapter:
(p.160) 5 Is Nationalism War-Prone?
Source:
Nationalism and War
Author(s):

John Hutchinson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198798453.003.0006

This chapter turns to the other side of the equation to examine nationalism (broadly conceived) as a cause of collective violence. It evaluates four positions that articulate a systematic relationship between them. The first asserts that national formation and reproduction is dependent on regular cycles of blood sacrifice of surplus young males in interstate war. A second claims the ideology of nationalism is inherently violent. A third maintains that war is embedded in the nation-state system. A fourth argues that intrastate war is a product of the contradictions between ideas of state sovereignty and the ideology of national self-determination. The chapter concludes that although there are particular contexts (for example, changes in the balance of power) which make nationalist violence more likely, such claims of a systematic relationship are false.

Keywords:   blood sacrifice, nation, nationalism, nation-state system, self-determination, sovereignty, balance of power

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