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The Globalization of World PoliticsAn Introduction to International Relations

The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations (9th edn)

John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens
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date: 03 June 2023

p. 48831. Nationalism, national self-determination, and international relationslocked

p. 48831. Nationalism, national self-determination, and international relationslocked

  • John Breuilly


This chapter examines the role of nationalism and national self-determination (NSD) in shaping the major institution of modern international relations: the nation-state. It considers different types of nationalism and how they vary from one another, whether the commonly accepted sequence of nation > nationalism > nation-state is actually the reverse of the normal historical sequence, and whether the principle of NSD is compatible with that of state sovereignty. The chapter also explores the contribution of nationalism to the globalization of world politics and the changing meanings of NSD since 1918. Three case studies of nationalism are presented: Germany, India, and Yugoslavia. There follows one more case study that focuses on nationalisms in South Africa, making a distinction from South African nationalism.

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