In his obituary of Ernest Gellner, John Hall commented that he wrote ‘with devils at his back’ (1996:v). Hall continued: ‘his theory of nationalism contained a tension between dislike of its potential for political exclusion and realisation that the nation-state remained the receptacle most likely to advance citizenship’ (ibid.). Gellner’s theory of nationalism has undoubtedly been central to how we have come to understand the phenomenon in the last thirty years. His views have been the template for supporters and opponents alike.