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6. Globalisation and the Nation State

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the potential impact of globalisation on the nation state and on nationalist movements more generally, focusing in particular on: (i) the relative recency (in historical terms) of the nation state; (ii) the argument that globalisation is leading to the redundancy of the nation state; (iii) the extent to which different kinds of international organisations (including NGOs and multi-national corporations) undermine national sovereignty; (iv) the importance of the United Nations in reinforcing national sovereignty, its tendency to vote in favour of existing nations (and therefore against secessionist movement), and the sense in which membership of the UN ‘confirms’ nationhood; (v) the importance of transnational forces such as international charities (e.g. Greenpeace, Amnesty International) and multi-national corporations (e.g. Google, Apple); (vi) the extent to which globalisation has flattened the cultural differences that might fuel nationalist movements; (vii) the extent to which globalisation has allowed a greater number of people around the world to support nationalist courses; (viii) the extent to which cosmopolitanism in terms of one’s cultural preferences is matched by cosmopolitanism in one’s political preferences; and (ix) the extent to which the culturally homogenising effect of globalisation fuels a (nationalist) desire to preserve cultures which are felt to be under threat.


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 - Globalisation and the Nation State [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Kaufmann, E. "Nationalism – Globalisation and the Nation State." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 31 Dec 2020,