Nation‐states and states of mind: Nationalism as psychology

Critical Review 10 (2):233-250 (1996)
Abstract The rise of nationalism parallels that of the state, suggesting that the relationship between the two is symbiotic and that nations are neither natural nor spontaneous but rather are political constructions. Ernest Gellner's economically determinist account of the rise of the nation?state, however, understates the emotive and psychological appeal of nationalist ideology. The Social Identity Theory of Henri Tajfel, by contrast, suggests that nationalism benefits from possibly innate human tendencies to affiliate in social groups and to act in furtherance of these groups, while Serge Moscovici's social psychology of popular belief elucidates the means by which such tendencies can take the shape of nationalism in mass publics.
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