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Introduction to the History of States and Nations in Europe


Admission requirements


This course focuses on issues of state formation and nationalism since the 12th century in (Western-) Europe, concentrating on developments in the Low Countries, Germany, France and Britain.

Course objectives

Students acquire a thorough knowledge of the history of states and nations in Europe


See course-schedule

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Participation (10 %) and paper (90 %)

  • Paper of 4.000-5.000 words based on about 500 pages extra literature (deadline 22 November 2010)



Reading list

Week 1: Dr. H.J. Storm:

  • Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities. Reflections on the origin and Spread of Nationalism (Revised edition. New York: Verso, 1991).

  • Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca and New York 1983; or other edition).

  • Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1998) Introduction, Chapter 1 and Chapter 8.

Week 2: Dr. R. Stein:

  • J. Israel, The Dutch Republic; its rise, greatness and fall 1477-1806 (Oxford 1995): Chapter 2, ‘On the threshold of the modern era’, p. 9-40; Chapter 4, ‘Territorial consolidation’, p. 55-73.

  • Robert Stein and Judith Pollmann eds., Networks, Regions and Nations. Shaping Identities in the Low Countries, 1300-1650 (Leiden 2010): ‘Introduction’ (Stein), ‘The dynamics of national identity in the later Middle Ages’ (Hoppenbrouwers), ‘The urban network in the Low Countries’ (Stein) and ‘Patriotism and liberty in the Low Countries’ (Duke).

Week 3: Prof. Dr. J. Pollmann

  • Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches. An interpretation of Dutch culture in the Golden Age (London 1987), chapter 2, pp. 51-125.

  • Judith Pollmann. ‘No Man’s Land. Reinventing Netherlandish Identities, 1585-1621’ in: Robert Stein and Judith Pollmann eds., Networks, Regions and Nations. Shaping Identities in the Low Countries, 1300-1650 (Leiden 2010) 241-261.

  • J.L. Price, Holland and the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century (Oxford 1994).

Week 4: Prof. dr. J.F.J. Duindam

  • Hillay Zmora, Monarchy, Aristocracy, And The State In Europe 1300-1800 (London; New York 2001) .

  • Peter H. Wilson, ‘Still a Monstrosity? Some reflections on Early Modern German Statehood’ The Historical Journal (2006) 565-576.

  • William Beik, ‘The Absolutism of Louis XIV as Social Collaboration’, Past & Present, 188 (2005) 195-224.

  • Jeroen Duindam, ‘Vienna and Versailles. Materials For Further Comparison and Some Conclusions’, Zeitenblicke 4, 3 (2005) [13.12.2005], URL:, URN: urn:nbn:de:0009-9-2411

Week 5: Dr. P. Dassen

  • A. Labrie, ‘Kultur and Zivilisation in Germany during the nineteenth century’, Yearbook of European Studies 7 (1994) 95-120.

  • D. Blackbourn, History of Germany 1780-1918. The Long Nineteenth Century (2nd ed., Oxford 2003) from chapter 4 onwards (p. 133-374)

Week 6: Dr. J. Augusteijn

  • G. Esping-Anderson, The three worlds of welfare capitalism (Princeton University Press 1990) p. 1-138.

  • Rodney Lowe, ‘Torn between Europe and America. The British Welfare State from Beveridge to Blair’ in: Anneke Ribberink and Hans Righart eds., The Great, the New and the British (Utrecht 2000).

  • John Gelissen, Worlds of Welfare, Worlds of Consent? Public Opinion on the Welfare State (Tilburg 2001) Chapter 2, pp. 21-50.

Recommended reading (for the historical background)

  • Hagen Schulze, States, nations and nationalism: From the Middle Ages to the Present (Oxford: Blackwell 1998) or German original.

Contact information

With coordinator: dr. H.J. Storm


The books and articles of the required reading will be available at the History section of the University Library (werkgroepenkast!)