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Territorial nationalism

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Title: Territorial nationalism  
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Subject: Nationalism, Nigerian nationalism, Civic nationalism, Left-wing nationalism, Diaspora politics
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Territorial nationalism

Territorial nationalism describes a form of nationalism based on the religious like belief that all inhabitants of a particular nation owe allegiance to their country of birth or adoption.[1] According to territorial nationalism every individual must belong to a nation, but can choose which one to join.[2] A sacred quality is sought in this nation and in the popular memories it evokes.[3] Citizenship is idealized by a territorial nationalist.[3] A criterion of a territorial nationalism is the establishment of a mass, public culture based on common values and traditions of the population.[2][3] Legal equality is essential for territorial nationalism.[2]

Because citizenship rather than ethnicity is idealized by territorial nationalism, it is argued by Athena S. Leoussi and Anthony D. Smith (in 2001) that the French Revolution was a territorial nationalistic uprising.[3]

Territorial nationalism in Europe

In Western Europe national identity tends to be more based on where a person is born than in Central and Eastern Europe.[4] Scholars have argued this might be explained by the fact that states in the later two emerged from imperial states.[5] The communist regimes in the Eastern Bloc actively suppressed what they described as "bourgeois nationalism"[5] and considered nationalism a bourgeois ideology.[6] In the Soviet Union this led to Russification and other attempts to replace the other cultures of the Soviet Union with the Russian culture,[5] even while, at the same time the Soviet Union promoted certain forms of nationalism that it considered compatible with Soviet interests.[7] Yugoslavia was different from the other European Communist states, where Yugoslavism was promoted.[5]

Territorial nationalism in the Middle East

Although territorial nationalism is in contrast with the universality of Islam,[8] especially Egypt and Tunisia had territorial nationalistic policies after gaining independence.[1] This was gradually replaced by Pan-Arabism in the 1950s, but Pan-Arabism declined by the mid-1970s.[8][9]

Territorial nationalism in North America

Just as in Western Europe, national identity tends to be more based on where a person is born than ethnicity.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b Middle East and North Africa: Challenge to Western Security by Peter Duignan and L.H. Gann, Hoover Institution Press, 1981, ISBN 978-0-8179-7392-6 (p. 22)
  2. ^ a b c The Populist Challenge: Political Protest and Ethno-Nationalist Mobilization in France by Jens Rydgren, Berghahn Books, 2004, ISBN 1571816917
  3. ^ a b c d Encyclopaedia of Nationalism by Athena S. Leoussi and Anthony D. Smith, Transaction Publishers, 2001, ISBN 978-0-7658-0002-2, (p. 62)
  4. ^ a b Territory: The Claiming of Space by David Storey, Prentice Hall, 2003, ISBN 978-0-582-32790-0
  5. ^ a b c d Changing Europe: Identities, Nations and Citizens by David Dunkerley, Lesley Hodgson, Stanislaw Konopacki, and Tony Spybey, Routledge, 2002, ISBN 978-0-415-26777-9
  6. ^ Khiterer, V. (2004) 'Nationalism in the Soviet Union', in Encyclopedia of Russian History, Macmillan Reference USA
  7. ^ The Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union by Ronald Grigor Suny, Stanford University Press, 1993, ISBN 0804722471
  8. ^ a b The emergence of territorial nationalism in the contemporary Arab Middle East by Kenneth W. Stein, 1982
  9. ^ "Arab Unity." The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East. Ed. Avraham Sela. New York: Continuum, 2002. pp. 160–166.
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