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Elective: The history of the rise of nationalism: a global and comparative perspective

Vak
2014-2015

Admission requirements

This course is only available for second year students in the BA International Studies. The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

Nowadays the world is divided in nation-states and this is seen as completely logical. However, only slightly more than sixty years ago approximately half of the world population still lived in large multi-national or multi-ethnic empires, while the nation-state itself is not much older than two hundred years. The idea that every nation should have its own state is of quite recent origin, but the implementation of nationalist ideals went quite quickly. It first made headway in Western Europe and the Americas. During the nineteenth century it also began to affect the Ottoman Empire, where Greece and some of the Balkan states gained independence. After the First World War, the Austrian Empire disappeared and was succeeded by a whole number of new nation-states, while Ireland gained independence from Great-Britain. In the decades following the Second World War most African and Asian countries gained independence, thus dissolving the European colonial empires. The last empire to collapse in the early 1990s was the Soviet-Union.
There has been a lot of debate on the origins, causes and consequences of the rise nationalism. In this course, we will take the classical study of Ernest Gellner on the transition of large, stable agricultural empires into dynamic, industrialized nation-states (published in 1983) as a starting point. Gellner focuses mostly on Europe, but in the course we will also deal with similar processes in the rest of the world. This will be done using Breuilly’s recent Handbook of the history of nationalism, which gives an overview of the rise of nationalism in the various parts of the world. The course will have an explicit international comparative perspective.

It is highly recommended to purchase:
• Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca 1983; or later edition).

Further we will read various parts from:
• John Breuilly ed., The Oxford Handbook of Nationalism (Oxford 2013) chapters 6-16. (available at library, both Leiden and The Hague location)

Possible extra readings will be made available via Blackboard.

Additionally, the students will work through W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Course objectives

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.
Academic skills that are trained include:
Oral presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.
Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.
Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.
Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured written presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

This course will be conducted as a seminar. During the first half of the course, in each session we will discuss a set of assigned readings, while beforehand students are required to provide some comments on these texts on blackboard. After the first 3 sessions the students (in small groups) will choose one region and give a short presentation on the rise of nationalism in this particular area. Since these areas are selected from around the globe, the course will have a strong comparative component. During the second half of the course the students will give a more substantial individual presentation on a smaller topic, which will also be the focus of their research paper. Before they give their presentation, the students should also post a provisional draft of the introduction of their written paper on Blackboard, which will be commented upon by the other students. Both the presentation and the paper should be the result of an in-depth analysis of one, more specific topic (choice is free, after consultation with instructor). This could be for example a reform project, a national movement, a nationalist leader, a secessionist war or a specific event.

Course Load

A brief calculation of the course load, broken down by:

  • Total course load: 280 EC

  • Hours spent on attending seminar: 24

  • time for completing assignments and reading the literature (Gellner and Breuilly): 80

  • research (including the oral presentation and work on the paper): 172

Assessment method

  • Weekly assignments

  • Oral presentation

  • A final paper of 5-6,000 words (excluding tables and bibliography).

Note: The maximum possible grade to be obtained for re-submission of the final essay is a 6.0

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrollment in uSis

Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

It is highly recommended to purchase:
• Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca 1983; or later edition).

Further we will read various parts from:
• John Breuilly ed., The Oxford Handbook of Nationalism (Oxford 2013) chapters 6-16. (available at library, both Leiden and The Hague location)

Possible extra readings will be made available via Blackboard.

Registration

Enrollement through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

Dr. H.J. Storm, email h.j.storm@hum.leidenuniv.nl