Tag Archives: ethnicity

Language and Loyalty in the Habsburg Imperial Army, 1868-1918

Tamara Scheer (History Researcher at the University of Vienna)

9 March 2018, 17:00-19:00, Sala dei Levrieri, Villa Salviati

Presentation and discussion of her current research about language and loyalty in the Habsburg Imperial Army, 1868-1918.

Explaining Nationalist Rivals in the Interstate System. Territoriality, Transborder Members, and Main Ethnic Groups in Power

Akisato Suzuki (SPS Max Weber Fellow)

24 April 2017, 17:00-19:00, Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

What provokes nationalist interstate rivalries, such as India and Pakistan over Kashmir, China and Japan over Senkaku/Diaoyu, or Ukraine and Russia over Crimea and Donbas? To answer this, I focus on the nationalist motivations of the main ethnic group in power (MEGIP). If a state is more democratic and has a smaller size MEGIP, it is more likely to engage in nationalist rivalry as a civic-nationalist disputing its homeland territoriality with neighboring countries for the purposes of domestic solidarity. Second, if the MEGIP has its politically relevant transborder members rather than non-political ones in neighboring countries, the state, regardless of its level of democracy or the size of the MEGIP, is more likely to engage in nationalist rivalry as an ethno-nationalist intervening in these countries for the purposes of transborder ethno-national solidarity. These expectations are supported by quantitative analysis using an original dataset, and the results are robust to many alternative specifications.

Nationalism as Classification

 Speaker: Catherine Gibson (HEC Researcher)

Discussant: Louis Le Douarin (HEC Researcher)

14 December 2016, 15:30-17:00, Seminar Room 3, Badia Fiesolana

Nationalism theorist Rogers Brubaker proposed as an object of scholarly analysis “the modern state’s efforts to inscribe its subjects onto a classificatory grid: to identify and categorize people” and the actors who acquire “power to name, to identify, to categorize, to state what is what and who is who.” Pierre Bourdieu has also urged scholars to examine classification as a struggle “over the monopoly of power to make people see and believe, to get them to know and recognize, to impose the legitimate definition of the divisions of the social world and, thereby, to make and unmake groups.” In this session of the Nationalism Working Group, Catherine Gibson will present her work-in-progress on the cartographical “ethnoschematization” of the Russian Empire in the 19th century. By bringing together approaches from the history of science and nationalism studies, she asks the question of why in particular the spatialisation of nationality on maps came to be regarded as such as powerful medium through which to communicate and consolidate certain visions of how the Empire’s inhabitants should be sub-divided. The case study will provide a starting point for discussing a wide range of issues on the (re)construction and institutionalisation of ethnic/national labels and groupings: Who classifies ethnic groups and nations, how, and why? How are taxonomies imposed or resisted? How do national taxonomies interact with racial, linguistic, civilizational, or other taxonomies? What methodological approaches do scholars use for studying classification in the past and present? How do different disciplines negotiate and respond to the idea of nationalism as classification?

An onion, an artichoke or a vegetable stew? Reviewing Anthony D. Smith’s ethno-symbolism

Ion Pagoaga Ibiricu (SPS Researcher)

17 November 2016, 17:00-19:00, Seminar Room 4, Badia Fiesolana

Is the nation like an onion that can be peeled until it is reduced to nothing, or rather like an artichoke that contains a core? The ethno-symbolist understanding of the nation has traditionally argued for the latter. Anthony D. Smith, who passed away last July, was one of the main theorists in this vein. The Nationalism Working Group would like to kick off this academic year by bringing in a discussion on Smith’s contribution to the study of nationalism. This first session will present some of his main points in Nationalism and Modernism (1998) same as some criticisms of his work. The aim of the discussion is to touch upon one of the most important issues in nationalism studies, that of the origin of nations and the debate on their (re)construction or invention. The meeting will be a good opportunity to compare modernist, perennialist and postmodernist theories with ethno-symbolism as well. Through these words, we would like to forward an invitation for an open discussion to current members and newcomers to the Nationalism Working Group, which intends to be an interdisciplinary framework for discussion in the field of nationalism in a broad way.