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    Major debates and themes in the study of nations and nationalism. Applies theory to a variety of cases around the world.

    Exploring how nationalism has shaped and continues to shape the contemporary world, this paper provides a valuable foundation for understanding key features of politics within and between states. The first half of the paper examines the notion of identity, the concepts of nation and ethnicity, the origins of nations and nationalism, and the historical development of nationalism from the nineteenth century to the post-Cold War period.

    The second half examines contemporary debates about nationalism, including the basis of national identity, national identity in an international context, poly-ethnic and multinational states, and self-determination and secession. A variety of examples from around the world are used to illustrate.

    This paper is 100% internally assessed.

    About this paper

    Paper title Nationalism and Identity
    Subject Politics
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    18 200-level POLS points
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    May not be credited together with POLS330 passed before 2005.
    An interest in national and international affairs is an advantage.
    Teaching staff

    Associate Professor James Headley

    Paper Structure
    The paper is divided into two halves:
    • Theories of nationalism and its historical development
    • Nations and nationalism today
    Teaching Arrangements

    This paper is taught via two lectures each week and one tutorial every other week.


    Required and recommended readings to be advised.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will acquire:

    • Understanding of the key concepts and theories of nationalism
    • Knowledge of nationalism in the past and in the contemporary world
    • Awareness of the ways in which national identity is constructed and contested
    • Ability to identify and critically evaluate relevant theoretical and empirical literature on nationalism


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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