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Globalization effects: mobility and nation in Imperial Germany, 1880–1914*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2008

Sebastian Conrad
European University Institute, Department of History and Civilization, Via Boccaccio 121, 50133 Florence, Italy E-mail:


The trajectories of German nationalism in the late nineteenth century were deeply affected by the process of globalization. While the literature on the subject has largely remained within the confines of a national history paradigm, this article uses the example of mobility and migration to show to what extent German nationalism was transformed under the auspices of global integration. Among the effects of cross-border circulation were the emergence of diasporic nationalism, the racialization of the nation, the implementation of new border regimes, and the hegemony of ideological templates that linked nationalist discourse to global geopolitics. This article is intended as a contribution to a ‘spatial turn’ in the historiography of nationalism, in arguing that not only the ‘nation form’ but also the way that the nation was defined, understood, and practised – the particular contents of nationalism – owed more to the global context in which it was constituted than is usually recognized.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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