November 29, 2007 at 6:54 pm 4 comments

From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:


The term “nationalism” is generally used to describe two phenomena: (1) the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their national identity and (2) the actions that the members of a nation take when seeking to achieve (or sustain) self-determination. (1) raises questions about the concept of nation (or national identity), which is often defined in terms of common origin, ethnicity, or cultural ties, and while an individual’s membership in a nation is often regarded as involuntary, it is sometimes regarded as voluntary. (2) raises questions about whether self-determination must be understood as involving having full statehood with complete authority over domestic and international affairs, or whether something less is required.


And, from the same site, a particularly Canadian example:


It is traditional, therefore, to distinguish nations from states — whereas a nation often consists of an ethnic or cultural community, a state is a political entity with a high degree of sovereignty. While many states are nations in some sense, there are many nations which are not fully sovereign states. As an example, the Native American Iroquois constitute a nation but not a state, since they do not possess the requisite political authority over their internal or external affairs. If the members of the Iroquois nation were to strive to form a sovereign state in the effort to preserve their identity as a people, they would be exhibiting a state-focused nationalism.


I find it interesting that the Iroquois, a people found in Canada, were used as an example. Canada, and Canadians are fond of introspection with regards what we are. What is Canadian culture? What is the Canadian Nation, as opposed to the Canadian State? Is there even such a thing as a Canadian Nation?


Entry filed under: nationalism. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

Canada: An Extremely Brief Intro. You Know You’re Canadian When…

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Political News You Need to Know » Nationalism  |  November 29, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  • 2. amelo14  |  November 30, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Real tough questions regarding Canada and its multiplicity. I think one of the best approximations is that of Charles Taylor and his concept of “Deep Diversity” as integral part of the federalist model of Canadian identity.


  • 3. bailiwicked  |  November 30, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    I’ll have to check out Charles Taylor. One of the things I’m hoping from this site is that people will provide references such as you have, to continue learning. As Canadian as I am, I really know very little about Canada and Canadians and theories pertaining to them.


  • 4. State/Nation/Country « Canadian Fermentation  |  December 3, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    […] don’t need political boundaries.  Nations are people with shared cultural values.  See this post for more information on the concept of […]


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