Nationalism, war and social cohesion
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Malešević, Siniša (2011). Nationalism, war and social cohesion. Ethnic and Racial Studies 34 (1), 142-161
Most studies of nationalism and war focus on the direct causal relationship between the two. Whereas the naturalist theories see strong national attachments as a primary cause of war, the formativist approaches understand nationalism as an inevitable product of warfare. This paper challenges both of these leading interpretations by problematizing the nature of group solidarity in the large scale violent conflicts. The author develops an alternative argument that emphasizes the centrality of two institutional processes: centrifugal ideologization and the cumulative bureaucratization of coercion. The principal argument is that war does not create nationalism neither does nationalism generate wars. Instead the development of nationalism owes much to the macro historical institutional processes that have little to do with the actual battlefields.