Nationalism, ethnicity and state in Asia and Africa
- Module Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 3 of 3 or Year 4 of 4
- Taught in:
- Term 2
The course familiarizes students with major concepts, theories and academic approaches which have influenced scholarly and popular understandings of ethnicity, nationhood, nationalism and notions of individual and group identities in diverse political and territorial contexts. The course is organized into 2 thematic sections. The first section examines the dominant theoretical perspectives on the formation of ethnicity and the historical emergence of nationalism. It assesses the influence of capitalism, the impact of modernity and the role of colonialism in engendering new ethnic and national identities.
The second section is an inquiry into the conditions and contexts within which conflicts and violence occur along ‘ethnic’ or ‘nationalist’ markers. It will explore the effects of colonial legacy, ideological framework, economic inequalities and mobilizations led by ethnic entrepreneurs and political elites which contribute to outbreak of ethnic conflicts, separatism and a variety of forms of violence articulated along ethnic or nationalist markers.
Please note, this course is not available as a open option course.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
The course will enable the students to  cultivate a theoretical framework for analyzing the various manifestations of identities that are commonly labelled as ‘ethnic’ and ‘national’.  engage in a critical inquiry into these processes in diverse cultural and political contexts.  develop a comparative perspective to identify underlying similarities as well as distinctive elements of ethnic and nationalist politics across different political, regional and cultural contexts, and  gain a broader understanding of the region or countries of their specialization.
Scope and syllabus
Part 1. Concepts and Theories
- Ethnicity, Nationalism: Concepts and Definitions
- Nations and Nationalism (i): Imagined and Invented
- Nations and Nationalism (ii): Debates on Modernity and Tradition
- Colonialism: Demarcation of Group Boundaries
- Colonialism: Nationalism and State Formation
- Elites and Mobilization of Group Identities
Part 2: Conflicts and Violence: Symbols, Identities, Opportunities
- Understanding ‘Ethnic’ or ‘Group’ Conflict and Violence
- Movements for self-determination and Secessionism
- De facto Secessions and Problems of Recognition
- Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide
Method of assessment
Assessment is two essays; one 1800 word essay worth 30% of the total mark and one 3600 word essay worth 70% of the total mark.