chapter  4
20 Pages

The role of nationalism

Nationalism can be defined as an ideological movement to attain and maintain autonomy, unity and identity on behalf of a population, some of whose members believe it to constitute an actual or potential ‘nation’. Nationalism is not simply a shared sentiment or consciousness, nor is it to be equated with the ‘rise of nations’. It is an active movement inspired by an ideology and symbolism of the nation. The ideological movement has several aspects. There is, first, a ‘core

doctrine’ that brings together propositions about humanity and politics and prescriptions for action. The ‘core doctrine’ holds that:

1. humanity is divided into nations, each with its own character, history and destiny;

2. the nation is the sole source of political power; 3. loyalty to the nation takes precedence over other loyalties; 4. to be free, human beings must belong to a nation; 5. nations require maximum autonomy and self-expression; 6. global peace and justice can only be built on the basis of a plurality

of free nations.1