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(p. 481) 30. Nationalism, national self-determination, and international relations 

(p. 481) 30. Nationalism, national self-determination, and international relations
(p. 481) 30. Nationalism, national self-determination, and international relations

John Breuilly

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date: 17 April 2021

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. Four case studies of nationalism are presented: Kurdistan, Germany, India, and Yugoslavia. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether the principle of NSD threatens stable international relations.

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