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Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:

Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

In this module students will address debates about the causes and nature of nationalist politics and ethnic conflicts. They will explore the ways in which historians and political scientists have sought to explain the capacity for national movements and ethnic identities to mobilise and unite people who may among themselves have sharply contrasting objective interests. A key aim of this module is to enable you to take general theories - in this case those that explain nationalism and ethnicities and to use them critically, testing their validity, and if necessary, introducing your own modifications and qualifications to these theoretical generalizations.


Introductory: What is a nation? Nations, nationalism and modernity. Pre-modern nations. Case study: Irish nationalism Case Study: South Africa: Afrikaner and African nationalism Case Study: Slovak Nationalism Ethnicity and ethnic conflicts: An introduction Ethno-nationalist movements and political violence Ethnic conflicts and peace processes Gender, nationalism and ethnic conflicts Case studies: Sri Lanka, Kashmir Case Studies: Northern Ireland, Former Yugoslavia

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

Students will examine competing theories that explain national and ethnic mobilisation and consider alternative explanations. Students will match and test theoretical frameworks with reference to empirical case studies of national and ethnic movements. Students will discuss and evaluate the strengths and shortcomings of particular theories that explain national and ethnic conflict. Students will review literature on nations, nationalism, ethnicity and ethnic divisions. Students will summarise key debates in these fields. Students will identify common arguments and foundation premises in ostensibly different theoretical approaches to understanding ethnicity and nationalism. Students will set up their own hyotheses concerning the origins of nationalism and ethnic politics.

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

Students will learn to acknowledge differences in analytical approaches and participate in class debates about their respective merits. Students will learn how to combine approaches drawn from a range of explanations.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)

Students will learn how to deliver presentations in class using a range of formats.

How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

Students will acquire insights into group work in class working on team projects.

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Students will learn how to identify relevant data to test explanatory frameworks.

Prime Texts:

Grosby, Steven, (2005) Nationalism: A Very Short Introduction , Oxford, Oxford University Press
U Scheckener and S Wolff (2004) Managing and Settling Ethnic Conflicts , London, Palgrave
Hutchinson, John and Anthony D Smith (eds.) (1994) Nationalism , Oxford, Oxford University Press

Other Relevant Texts:

M.Guibernau and J.Rex (eds) (1999) The Ethnicity Reader , Cambridge, Polity
M Esman (2004) An Introduction to Ethnic Conflict , Cambridge, Polity
John Hall (ed.) (1998) The State of the Nation , Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

Semester - Year to be First Offered:

Module Leader: