Nation-State as Symbolic Construct


Bonikowski, Bart, and Nina Gheihman. 2014. “Nation-State as Symbolic Construct.” The International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by James D. Wright, 2nd ed. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.
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Research on nationalism been especially preoccupied with those aspects of the phenomenon that are most destabilizing for existing institutions, thereby assuming that in the absence of violent upheavals, nationalism in established democracies is simply a fait accompli rather than a source of continued social and political change. In contrast, more recent studies have turned their attention to everyday forms of nationalism, arguing that the primacy of the nation-state as a unit of political governance and collective identification is continually reinforced—and sometimes subtly altered—through routine cognitive and affective orientations that are themselves products of institutional and ritual practices. This chapter provides an analytical overview of this literature, identifying its contributions, limitations, and potential for achieving a more complete understanding of nationalism in contemporary societies.

Last updated on 12/03/2018