Nationalism is one of the major social and political issues of modern times, and a subject of intense intellectual debate. The most important and influential theory of nationalism is that of Ernest Gellner (1925-1995). This volume assesses every aspect of that theory, bringing together an exceptional set of scholars to explain, criticise and move beyond Gellner's work. In doing so the book establishes the state-of-play within the theory of nationalism, and complements Gellner's account by bringing political variables back into play. The book is unique in offering sustained attention to a single powerful theory, and will be of wide interest to students and scholars of political and social theory, history, sociology and anthropology.
Introduction John A. Hall; Part I. The Making of the Theory: 1. Thoughts about change: Ernest Gellner and the history of nationalism Roman Szporluk; 2. Ernest Gellner's diagnoses of nationalism: a critical overview, or, what is living and what is dead in Ernest Gellner's philosophy of nationalism Brendan O'Leary; Part II. The Classical Criticisms: 3. Real and constructed: the nature of the nation Miroslav Hroch; 4. The curse of rurality: limits of modernisation theory Tom Nairn; 5. Nationalism and language: a post-Soviet perspective David Laitin; 6. Ernest Gellner's theory of nationalism: some definitional and methodological issues Nicos Mouzelis; Part III. Bringing Politics Back In: 7. Nationalisms that bark and nationalisms that bite: Ernest Gellner and the substantiation of nations Mark Beissinger; 8. Nationalism and modernity Charles Taylor; 9. Modern multi-national democracies: transcending a Gellnerian oxymoron Alfred Stepan; Part IV. Wider Implications: 10. Nationalism and civil society in Central Europe: from Ruritania to the Carpathian Euroregion Chris Hann; 11. From here to modernity: Ernest Gellner on nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism Dale F. Eickelman; 12. Myths and misconceptions in the study of nationalism Rogers Brubaker.