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Grounded Nationalisms
A Sociological Analysis


  • Date Published: February 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108441247

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About the Authors
  • Globalisation is not the enemy of nationalism; instead, as this book shows, the two forces have developed together through modern history. Malešević challenges dominant views which see nationalism as a declining social force. He explains why the recent escalations of populist nationalism throughout the world do not represent a social anomaly but are, in fact, a historical norm. By focusing on ever-increasing organisational capacity, greater ideological penetration and networks of micro-solidarity, Malešević shows how and why nationalism has become deeply grounded in the everyday life of modern human beings. The author explores the social dynamics of these grounded nationalisms via an analysis of varied contexts, from Ireland to the Balkans. His findings show that increased ideological diffusion and the rising coercive capacities of states and other organisations have enabled nationalism to expand and establish itself as the dominant operative ideology of modernity.

    • Offers a new sociological approach aimed at explaining the rise and grounding of nationalism over the last two hundred years
    • Provides a novel theoretical understanding of recent political events driven by nationalism, such the election of Donald Trump and the vote for Brexit
    • Will appeal to students and scholars of political and historical sociology and comparative politics, particularly those interested in nationalism
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Most people believe the world is naturally divided into nations, and they proudly belong to one of them. By applying the methods of historical sociology to cases such as nationalism in the Balkans and private military contractors in recent wars, Malešević challenges this 'common sense' persuasively arguing that nationalism is 'grounded' in the growing organisational power and ideological penetration of the modern nation-state.' John Breuilly, London School of Economics and Political Science

    'Nationalism has remained something of a neglected stepchild in social science: paid attention only when troublesome, but often dismissed as irrelevant to the future. This volume should convince any skeptics that nationalism is very much a part of modern political life, and that it is anything but an exceptional aberration. Malešević provides us with the best institutional and social analysis of why this form of identity persists and will remain central in the twenty-first century. Deeply learned and well written, this book should be read by students, scholars, and politicians.' Miguel A. Centeno, Princeton University

    'Nationalism is built into the structure of the modern territorial state - based on the sovereignty of its people. As long as states continue to have borders and claim popular legitimacy, Malešević argues, nationalism will always exist. But since nationalism blends with all other ideologies, Left or Right, the benevolence or bellicosity of this chameleon is always an open question. Malešević provides the most sophisticated analysis yet of the fraught question of nationalism.' Randall Collins, University of Pennsylvania

    'I strongly recommend this book. Siniša Malešević has written a powerful treatise on the origins, past development, and undiminished present of national identities, arguing against the conventional views that they are threatened by such forces as globalization or neoliberalism.' Michael Mann, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

    'Many observers today think of nationalism as an ideological force that recently and unexpectedly erupted on the far-right end of the political spectrum. In this collection of essays, one of the foremost scholars of nationalism reminds us that nationalism is much more deeply embedded in our societies: it provides the foundation of the modern state system; most political ideas on the left and right are intertwined with it; and it deeply shapes our daily perceptions of reality.' Andreas Wimmer, Columbia University, New York

    'Siniša Malešević can be congratulated for a searching and iconoclastic book. He has established a distinctive position of his own in the field, though one that may be more appreciated by sociologists because of its deductive quality than by historians, more inclined to appreciate a messiness that even the best models are unable to fully explain.' John Hutchinson, Ethnic and Racial Studies

    'Grounded Nationalisms provides its readers with a clear, cogent, and comprehensive theory for understanding nationalism in its many evolving forms.' Jon E. Fox, Irish Journal of Sociology

    'Malešević has of course written extensively on nationalism, and this book nicely draws together and frames some of his most important findings and arguments.' Liliana Riga, Irish Journal of Sociology

    'The book makes a very important contribution to several key problems in nationalism studies … its intellectual freshness combined with a very good style of theorizing make Grounded Nationalisms a pleasure to read.' Tomasz Rawski, Colloquia Humanistica

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108441247
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Making sense of nationhood
    2. Grounded nationalisms and the sociology of the long run
    3. Empires and nation-states
    4. Nationalisms and imperialisms
    5. What makes a small nation?
    6. Nationalisms and statehood in Ireland
    7. Nationalisms and wars in the Balkans
    8. Balkan piedmont?
    9. From sacrifice to prestige
    10. Globalisation and nationalist subjectivities
    11. Grounded nationalisms and the privatisation of security
    Conclusion: the omnipotence of nationalisms

  • Author

    Siniša Malešević, University College Dublin
    Siniša Malešević is Professor of Sociology at the University College Dublin. He is also an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy and Academia Europae. His recent books include, as author, The Rise of Organised Brutality: A Historical Sociology of Violence (Cambridge, 2017) and as editor, Nationalism and War (Cambridge, 2013). His publications have been translated into eleven languages.

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