Nation-State as Symbolic Construct

Bart Bonikowski, Nina Gheihman

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Research on nationalism has 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 article provides an analytical overview of this literature, identifying its contributions, limitations, and potential for achieving a more complete understanding of nationalism in contemporary societies.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
    PublisherElsevier Inc.
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
    ISBN (Print)9780080970868
    StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


    • Chauvinism
    • Collective identity
    • Ethnicity
    • Immigration
    • Nation-state
    • National attachment
    • National identity
    • Nationalism
    • Nativism
    • Patriotism
    • Political change
    • Political culture
    • Political ideology
    • Xenophobia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


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