The Paradoxes of Nationalism: The French Revolution and Its Meaning for Contemporary Nation Building

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SUNY Press, Jan 3, 2008 - History - 233 pages
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The Paradoxes of Nationalism explores a critical stage in the development of the principle of national self-determination: the years of the French Revolution, during which the idea of the nation was fused with that of self-government. While scholars and historians routinely cite the French Revolution as the origin of nationalism, they often fail to examine the implications of this connection. Chimène I. Keitner corrects this omission by drawing on history and political theory to deepen our understanding of the historical and normative underpinnings of national self-determination as a basis for international political order. Based on this analysis, Keitner constructs a framework for evaluating nation-based claims in contemporary world politics and identifies persistent theoretical and practical tensions that must be taken into account in contemplating proposals for “civic nationalism” and alternative, nonnational models.
  

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Contents

Paris June 1789
1
Examining the NationState Principle
3
Exploring the French Revolution
12
Conception How to Imagine a Preexisting Voluntarist Nation
23
11 Conceptions of the Nation in EighteenthCentury Polemical Dictionaries
24
12 Conceptions of the Nation in Social Contract Theories
35
Conclusion
42
Constitution How to Give the Nation a Political Voice
45
42 Revolutionary Policies
99
43 Revolutionary Practice
104
Conclusion
116
Synthesis
121
51 Drawing Insights from the Four Paradoxes
122
52 Reexamining the NationState Principle
127
53 Exploring Alternatives to NationStatism
130
Conclusion
145

21 The Entrenchment of the Nation in French Political Rhetoric
47
22 The Creation of a National Assembly
55
23 The Contribution of the Abbe Sieyes
61
Conclusion
67
Composition How to Define Insiders and Outsiders
69
31 Implementing National Sovereignty
71
32 Defining National Membership
74
33 Consolidating National Identity
80
Conclusion
84
Confrontation How to Interact with Other Political Units
87
41 Revolutionary Principles
90
EpilogueConfrontation Revisited
149
61 Exporting American Ideals
151
62 Building an Iraqi Democracy
159
Conclusion
163
Conclusions
167
Appendix
171
Notes
175
Selected Bibliography
217
Index
227
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Chimène I. Keitner is an independent scholar who holds a PhD in International Relations from Oxford University.

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