Archive for the ‘Bryan’ Category

Nationalism Reframed

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Nationalism Reframed, by Rogers Brubaker, examines the styles and characteristics of nationalism. Brubaker believes that nations should be viewed as categories and that nations do not need to be recognized to understand nationalism. Brubaker uses the Soviet Union as an example of how nationhood can be institutionalized and how this nationalism affects the successor states today. He also looks at the relationship between national minorities, nationalizing states, and external national homelands. These “elements” are interrelated according to Brubaker, and can lead to unrest between competing groups. Brubaker uses the breakup of Yugoslavia to demonstrate the interplay between these “elements” that he has defined. The sociological arguments made by Brubaker are backed up by historical examples.

This book provides ample background for the study of nationalism, both historically and sociologically. Brubaker provides sufficient support for his arguments in each of the essays and uses a wide variety of sources. While Brubaker gives a generally in-depth analysis in each of his essays, he does not seem to “bring it all together” in the end. Still, his essays serve to provide a backdrop for further discussion. Additionally, the book is laden with many sociological terms and can be a bit convoluted for non-sociology students. While the book is readable for a student of history, the main arguments seem more geared for a student of sociology. Still, for the history students, this book provides a unique view on the concept of nationalism and gives a fairly solid historical backdrop.