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Nationalism has been a contentious issue over time as analysts cannot agree on its definition and its role in society. Most analysts, however, contend that nationalism is a specifically modern phenomenon, which became salient in the eighteenth1 or nineteenth century.2 Ernest Gellner3 was able to convincingly demonstrate that nationalism marked a profound break in human history instead of corresponding to a universal and ancient human need…
This can only be successful if conducted in the local vernacular of the country. This thus raised a need for cultural homogenisation and its offshoot- the political doctrine of nationalism, 'which holds that the political and the national unit should be congruent'.4 Nationalism can be characterised as 'the organisation of human groups into large, centrally educated, culturally homogenous units'.5 Gellner put it thus: modernisation brings about nationalism and nationalism establishes nations, and not vice versa.
Nationalism may manifest itself as part of state ideology or as a non-state movement and may be expressed along civic, ethnic, cultural, religious or ideological lines. These self-definitions of the nation have been used to classify types of nationalism. These categories are not mutually exclusive and many nationalist movements combine some or all of these elements to varying degrees. Nationalist movements have also beeen classified by other criteria, such as scale and location.
With all the disagreements about the true nature of nationalism, most analysts today view it as a hindrance to the development of a liberal democracy. ...
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