- Nationalism has been the traditional realist take on the world. World as a series of tribes to which we belong. Varying opinions on the benefit or harm of nationalism emanate from people largely according to their political beliefs. Ex. Trudeau as a scourge, Realists see it as not necessarily a bad thing – “America, Love it or Leave it”. Depends with whom we first identify, our country or humanity. Division between realists and idealists.
- Has been defined in rather innocuous terms as The determination of a group of people to establish or preserve themselves as a nation and to achieve or maintain statehood. Inherent in this is a belief that you are somehow different (in important ways from your neighbor. What makes you – you, and what makes me – me. Three crucial elements to this process – demographic and cultural similarities, feelings of community, and a desire to be politically separate.
- Describe the difference between nations (groups of people with common cultural affinity, etc.) and states (units of political organization). Two are not necessarily synonyms. States may contain more than one nation (Canada) and there may be nations without states (Kurds). Combination of the two is the nation-state, primary actor in world system.
- Nationalism also implies that the primary loyalty of the individual is to his/her nation-state as opposed to some more narrow (region, tribe, etc.) or broader concept (world citizens)
- Find out why they think of themselves as Americans and go into a little concerning cultural differences across the 49th parallel.
- A little more on the debate: Stephen Decatur (US Naval Officer) proposed this toast in the 19th century “Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she be always in the right, but our country, right or wrong.” Sign above the entrance to Buchenwald: “My country, Right or Wrong.”
B. Evolution of Nationalism
- Has not been a continuous part of our history. Developed alongside the concept of the state.
- Emerged as some form of linkage between the elites and the commoners. Role of protestantism and the emergence of the Anglican Church (Church of England), church peculiar to a nation (at least originally) and challenge notions of loyalties to Rome (mention how this affected JFK 400 years later).
- Concept expanded with the growth of popular sovereignty and the expansion of the franchise, granted the lower classes an increased stake in the system and expanded the common responsibilities of this group. Mention the role of the American and French revolutions and how Napoleon was able to use this (through conscription) to develop an army that would dominate Europe.
- Originally, this was welcomed by the liberals, linkage of classes and force for national self-determination, scourge of empires.
- However, the experience of the two wars of this century (incredible carnage due to the impact of industrialization on war – esp. non-combattants) led many in the idealist camp to re-evaluate their position on nationalism. Belief that it was rampant nationalism that caused both wars and the cruelties that accompanied them, led some to argue that this was a divisive force and that humanity could only survive if we viewed ourselves as firstly members of the human race.
- However, we can still see strong feelings of nationalism (and the sense of separation from one’s neighbors) persisting to the present day. Number of member nations in the UN has more than tripled since its inception and we now look at a world where there are 186 odd states. This is a number that has increased dramatically even over the past ten years (death of the Soviet Union, breakup of Czechoslovakia, birth of Eritrea, Namibia, breakup of Yugoslavia, etc.), and there are a number of nations right now that presently seek to secede from their states (Quebec, Kosovo, Chechnya, East Timor, etc.)
- Should not presume that the technological and psychological forces inspiring co-operation and international organizations (more on them in a couple of weeks) are in a state of perpetual triumph. The trends that caused the forging of the EU, UN, NAFTA, MERCOSUR, etc. are not present throughout the world. In fact, there is a concurrent trend toward separation, and the birth of more states is highly likely,
C. Benefits of Nationalism
- Nationalism has had a number of positive consequences in terms of the evolution of human history – encouragement of self-determination and the discouraging of empire. European colonialism was severely hampered by the awakening of native nationalism that emerged in the aftermath of WWII. Explain how. Mention how jealously these countries guard their sovereignty at the present time.
- Nationalism may also be viewed as a force favoring economic development. Creation of entities larger than the village or the region allowed for the increased specialization of production and the creation of expanded networks of trade. To truly be a nation-state, there must be some means of exercising control over the entire physical area, this creates the building of roads (explain how the inter-state highway network was created in this country) or other means of transportation. In turn, this enables goods and services to move more freely throughout the region and encourages economic expansion (explain how economic expansion is enhanced through trade).
- Also encourages loyalty to a group larger than the immediate (or extended) family and this encourages the type of co-operation necessary for economic development. Provide them with an example from Banfield.
- Areas that have not developed this internal network have tended to lag behind economically. Of course, by this logic, nationalism is simply a step on the way to internationalism, as this might be seen to be further enhance economic development.
- Also, book asserts that nationalism has allowed for diversity and experimentation. Allows groups with common cultural linkages the ability to separate and form their own states rather than remaining under the control of a larger group within the region (explain advantages for former Republics of the Soviet Union) and can help preserve cultural diversity.
D. Problems Associated With Nationalism
- Detractors argue that there is a relationship between nationalism and ethnic based conflict.
- Belief that nationalism spawns xenophobia - the suspicion, fear and hatred of other ethnic groups. Case of former Yugoslavia and the ethnic hatred between the Serbs, Kosovars, Croats, and Bosnians.
- Possibility of Ethnic cleansing, trying to drive out the different from your society. Example of India and Pakistan. Mention the mild example of the language laws of Quebec.
- Extreme nationalism may produce a feeling of cultural superiority, belief that the lesser peoples exist to serve your interest, or present a stain upon your society (think of Germany in the 1930s and 1940s).
- May also make the country increasingly bellicose, and in pursuit of expansion. Ex. US and Manifest Destiny, Germany, Russia and Expansion, Rule Brittania, China and Taiwan. What the host country may simply call assertive, others might consider to be undue aggression. Rally round the flag and beating the drums of war.
- Other possibility is that this might encourage lack of respect for others, or simply not regarding them with the same degree of concern that we would have for our own citizens. Mention the casualty counts for the Gulf War, the decision to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki..
- Problems of Minority Groups within states where national passions are high – Japanese in Canada and US during WWII, Russians in the former USSR
E. Summing Up
- Is it natural for us to find national or subnational allegiances.
- Good or Bad? Mention the Canadian perspective concerning American nationalism.
- Idea of an identity that transcends borders. Ideas, loyalties,
activities, etc. that reach across national borders. Individual has first level
of loyalty to this particular ideal .
- Certainly an ancient idea, can harken back to the days of the stoics, or more recently, the Marxists, or the feminists, to see mention of loyalties that are presented as superceding those of the state – be it as a citizen of the world, or as the member of an exploited economic class, both of these cases challenge the notion of the state. Will be discussing Islam in this context shortly.
- Transnationalism is one of the key components of idealism, idea that human rights, organizations and laws can move beyond the state level to the point where they are regarded as universal and not as the purviews of the state.
- Idea that has been enhanced by technological developments that have allowed us to see beyond our borders and allows for increased interaction between the various peoples of the world. Increased ease of communications (e-mail vs snail mail) and transportation (Jets vs. Horseback or Sailing ships), and trade.
- Another element of transnationalism that is worthy of some discussion is religion. Traditional view of oneself as a Catholic subordinate to Rome (see the debate over JFK). Mention the exchange between Stalin and the Pope. We have seen examples of this throughout history - the missionaries of all faiths, crusades, to even the rise of religious right in this country. Tendencies in this direction exist in most societies, as it is only natural that the true believers would like to construct a state that reflects their beliefs, also there may be a desire to save others from the perceived wages of sin - prohibition, abortion, etc.
- Liberation Theology.
- The example that we will be discussing in some detail is the concept of Islamic Fundamentalism. First of all, this word is redundant as within strict Islam there is not to be a separation of Church and State. When we view Islam it is often through a jaundiced eye, throughout history conflicts between Islam and the West have been recurring for the past millenium. Neither side seems particularly anxious to understand the other and our vision of Islam is often focused on the events in Iran or other Islamic States.
- Iran: Taking of hostages, anti-Western sentiments
- Gulf War - Make the area safe for Feudalism
- Pan-Arabism of Nassar and Hussein
- This begs the question of what is Islam, and how does this affect the political development of the State. First of all, it is very difficult to generalize about a religion with over 900 million adherents with a range in influence from the Philippines through Maylasia through the crescent running from Bangladesh to Algeria (6-8 m in america, 2 million african-american muslims). It is certainly not a monolithic movement in terms of unity of purpose, similar to all religions there are liberals and conservatives within societies. In theory, the doctrine preaches tolerance toward the other peoples of the book - Jews and Christians. However, in practice the religion has been used to justify actions which I believe the prophet (Muhammed) would have abhorred.
- Israel - Terrorism
- Killing of Anwar Sadat
- However, like all religions it is subject to the interpretation of human beings and is therefore vulnerable to abuse. After all, how would the Catholic church liked to be judged by the inquisitions (which began as an effort to rid Spain of the Muslims) or the Protestants by Jim Bakker. Therefore, while Islam is not consistent with the model of Western secular government, we should certainly not judge it by the actions of some of its adherents. As is the case with any movement it is the zealots who garner most of the publicity. Yet, the rise of fundamentalist Islam, which really began with the Iranian Revolution of 1979, does pose a challenge to the status quo in virtually all countries of the Middle East and throughout the former Soviet Central Asia - with Russia, Turkey and Iran all jockeying for influence. The role of religion has traditionally been viewed as a stabilizing force within society; hoever, Islam presents a challenge to existing elites in many countries.
- Justification for Revolution
- Memories of Iran
- Death Sentence for Rushdie
What is Islam
- It began with the prophet Muhammed who lived in what is present day Saudi Arabia between 570-632 AD. Now the pre-Islamic Arabians were primarily nomads with few established cities, and practiced pagan religions, believing in spirits, demons, and multiple deities, although the montheistic beliefs of Christianity and judaism were known in the Western parts of the region. Muhammed himself came from relatively modest means and grew up in Mecca. In 610 AD, he was called by Allah (God) to speak of his truth on earth and he began this public preaching in 613 AD. He spoke of the existence of one single, loving god; which contrasted
with the previous practice of multiple deities. He also spoke of the need for moral responsibility in humans, the existence of an eventual judgement day, and advised the people to help the poor, lead chaste lives and to cleanse oneself of material possessions. Initially this was a very simple doctrine that attempted to build on the foundations of Judaism and Christianity (Muhammed and his followers belive that he was the last of four prophets sent by God - Abraham, Moses, Jesus
However, in 620, Muhammed was driven from Mecca, probably by the business owners and elites, who were fearful of his emphasis on the evils of wealth and how it should be shared with the poor. He ended up at Medina in Westen Saudi Arabia and joined by legions of his followers, he became the political leader of Mecca. There we see the linkage of church and state that has been vital in the relationship between Islam and society. Muhammed than set out to establish the rule of Allah on earth and established religious laws in Medina and to extend this throughout the Western Arabian peninsula. His successors have continued this process.
FIVE “PILLARS OF ISLAM”/ARTICLES OF PRACTICE/DUTIES
1. Witness- “There is no God but Allah and Muhammed is his Prophet” - Quran is the holy book, transmitted from God to Muhammad
2. Prayer Five Times Daily (in the direction of the east)
3. Hajj, if possible a pilgrimage is to be made to Mecca in ones lifetime
4 Fasting from sun-up to sun-down during Ramadan.
5. Almsgiving (Zakat)-- a 2.5% Tax Used to support the poor.
- The religion has played a formative role in the political evolution of the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, etc.
LASTING INFLUENCES OF ISLAM
(1) Unity of political and religious powers within the state. Since the time of Muhammad, political and religious authority have usually been concentrated in the same hands. We see the implementation of the Sharia, or the Islamic Religious Law, in modern societies such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc and its influence on such societies as Pakistan, Turkey, etc. where groups contend that society would be better served by the use of this law.While, the argument that religious rectitude must be enforced by the state, and that a society should be shaped according to God’s will is not an alien one to the West. However; the reformation of 16th century Europe - which introduced the idea of a separation of religious and secular authority - has not had a counterpart within the Islamic World. While the idea of the separation of religious and political authority has not been without its opponents in the West, there has been a general trend of a weakening of religious authority within the West.
On the other hand, the process of secularization has been much less dramatic within the Islamic world, in fact, throughout the states where muslims make up a majority or significant minority of the population, there has been a trend away from secularization - Why ? Some possible explanations:
(1) Islam has never experienced a reformation, so there is no pressure from within for a secularization of Powers.
(2) Age - Islam is roughly 600 yrs younger as a religion than Christianity. (Christianity in the 14th Century).
(3) History - In Christianity, for example, Jesus did not set up a real world political entity, whil Muhammad did; therefore, it is easier for the Muslims to utilize this example to support their case.
(4) Authoritarianism - is a trend common to many of the lesser developed countries since they have gained independence. Problems of democracy, etc.Given this overall trend, it has been argued that some leaders (Hussein, Qadaffi) have simply used Islam as a means of attempting to legitimize their rule. They have attempted to justify personal rule through Islamic means, but in essence this differs little from other types of authoritarianism. Now, I do not want to presume an opinion on the devotion of these people, but if there is a grain of truth in this, it would not be the first time that a ruler has cynically used religion to justify his/her rule.
The Division Between the Sunni And Shi’ite Sects Of Islam
The religion is certainly not monolithic, a division which emerged during the early period and continues to the present day is the split between the Sunni and Shi’ite sects. Began out of the fact that Muhammad had not established any set rules of succession. Anyway, following the murder of Muhammad’s successor, a civil war broke out with a number of factions fighting for the throne. The end result was the schism of Islam into two major sects, and this division continues to the present day.
MUSLIMS: “THOSE WHO SUBMIT” (TO THE WILL OF GOD)
SUNNIS: FROM SUNNA, “THE WAY/PRACTICES OF THE PROPHET”
SHIA: FROM SHI’AT ALI, “THE PARTISANS OF ALI”
HOW DO THE SHIA DIFFER FROM THE SUNNI MUSLIMS?
(1) Sunnis are the majority sect: 90% of Muslims are Sunni; the only state which is predominantly shia is Iran; however many shia also live in Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.
(2) The Shia also have a more mystical bent in their practices and worship. Belief in mysteries, saintins, intercessors, belief in atonement, etc.
(3) Infallibility of Muhammad’s sucessors, not just of the prophet. Initially it was contended that Muhammad’s son in law, Ali was his designated successor and that only those in his bloodline have the right to rule. In the statment of witness “There is no God but Allah and Muhammed is his Prophet” they add that “I believe that Ali is the regent of Allah”. Belief that that a messiah, a religious leader who vanished in the 9th century, will return to establish justice on earth.Since the disappearance of the 12th Imam, the idea of blood ties has been abandoned as it could not be proven, but in general more faith is given to the clerics.
(4) Perception of Greater Radicalism (Not fundamentalism). Since their faith is more puritanical in nature, it is seen as more fanatical. Or is this simply a result of their being a minority in most states and have been historically oppressed.
Ramifications for The Present
We have seen Islam become more noticable over the past couple of decades.. Why? First of all, it is a point of pride that has been associated with nationalism in the Arab world. Reaction against the West and the degree to which it has first, exercised rule over the area, and secondly that it has
Reasons For Conflict
- Anti-Israel and Anti- Western - Goes against the Quran but is a useful means of uniting disparite socieities.
- Aftermath of 1967 and 1973 Wars
- Anger with the West over Exploitation and support of Israel.
- Killing of Western tourists in Egypt
- Should be remembered that Saudis are US allies
- Islam as the Third Way
- Human Rights abuses
- In Iran, for example, under the Sharia more than 100 offences are punishable by death.
- Conflict with the Western Idea.
- Justification for Authoritarianism
- Sudan and the war against Southern Christians, Iraq
- Use of Islam by Pan-Arab Wannabees.
- Export of Revolution by Iran through Sudan, West Bank
- Challenge to status quo within Societies
- Support by the poor, yet led by intellectuals.
- Economic Differences within Societies and within regions
- Algeria - 1992 elections cancelled after it was feared that Islamic Salvation Front would
seize control of parliament.
- Egypt and Muslim Brotherhood.
- Return of Mujahideen after Russians fled Afghanistan.
- In essence, these are clashes between missionary ideologies.
Normative theories offer prescriptions for change. Analysis of situations is accompanied by a solution. From Western democratic theories to Islam, normative theorists seek to shape societies according to their preferences for development (enhances conflict because these are missionary philosophies). They differ from deterministic theories in the sense that change is not seen as being inevitable, but it is seen as being very desirable.