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Nations and Premodern Ethnicity: Recent Historical Debates

19 May 2015
San Francesco - Via della Quarquonia 1 (Classroom 1 )
Out of the classic debates of the 1980 and 1990s about the origins of nations, three main positions crystallised –modernist (nations are modern constructions), perennialist (nations existed before modernity), and ethnosymbolist (nations are built on older ethnic bases). The modernist perspective remains dominant, but it has been challenged since the late 1990s by historical research that argues for the existence of premodern nations and/or nationalism, defined by reference to ethnic descent and culture. I will evalutate in particular the work of Susan Reynolds, Adrian Hastings, Philip Gorski and Azar Gat who identify as expnatory factors that cut across the premodern-modern divide: the role of religion, warfare, and vernacularisation.
Hutchinson, John - London School of Economics and Political Science - London