You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.


3. Ethnic and Civic Nationalisms

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the concepts of ‘ethnic nationalism’ and ‘civic nationalism’, focusing in particular on: (i) the origins of the concepts in the work of Friedrich Meinecke and (especially) Hans Kohn (The Idea of Nationalism, 1944); (ii) Kohn’s definition of the ‘civic nation’ and the ‘ethnic nation’, and some examples of different nations that might fit into each category; and (iii) some criticisms of the ‘ethnic/civic nation’ dichotomy, including: (1) the lack of any perfectly ‘civic’ nations; (2) the fact that ethnic nations can become civic nations, and vice versa; (3) the fact that you can get competing senses of nationhood within the same country, as argued by Jon Hutchinson in his Nations as Zones of Conflict (2004); and (4) the fact that you might get competing senses of nationhood within the same person.
Reading list:
– Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism (1944)
– Jon Hutchinson, Nations as Zones of Conflict (2004)


In this course, Professor Eric Kaufmann (Birkbeck, University of London) provides an overview of Nationalism. In the first module, we define some of the key terms – ‘the state’, ‘ethnicity’, ‘the nation’ – as well as considering the question of whether the nation is by definition a modern phenomenon. In the second module, we think about some of the different types of nationalist movements, including unificatory, secessionist and irredentist movements, as well as the various forms of cultural nationalism. In the third module, we consider the usefulness of the distinction between ‘ethnic nationalism’ and ‘civic nationalism’ (a typology described by Hans Kohn in The Idea of Nationalism, 1944), before turning in the fourth module to the interaction between nationalism and the concepts of ethnicity, culture and race. In the fifth module, we think about how readily nationalism combines with other ideologies, before moving on in the sixth module to consider the effect globalisation is having on the nation state and nationalism.


Eric Kaufmann is Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth (2010), The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America (2004), The Orange Order (2007) and Unionism and Orangeism in Northern Ireland since 1945 – with H. Patterson (2007). He is co-editor, among others, of Political Demography (2012) and Whither the Child: Causes and Consequences of Low Fertility (2012), and editor of Rethinking Ethnicity: Majority Groups and Dominant Minorities (2004). An editor of the journal Nations & Nationalism, he has written for Newsweek International, Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines, and blogs at Huffington Post. His current ESRC grant, affiliated with the think tank Demos, examines white working-class responses to diversity in the UK. He may be found on twitter at @epkaufm.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Kaufmann, E. (2020, December 31). Nationalism - Ethnic and Civic Nationalisms [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Kaufmann, E. "Nationalism – Ethnic and Civic Nationalisms." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 31 Dec 2020,