Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Daphne Halikiopoulou

Email: d.halikiopoulou@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
Nationalism is a potent force in the modern world. Its power can often be seen either in its violent, exclusive variety, for example the rise of an array of right-wing anti-immigrant parties, secessionist movements and ethnic conflicts throughout the world; or in its more inclusive version, for example in the form of a unifying patriotism, to which one can voluntarily belong. How may we understand the persistence of nationalism? And how may we conceptualise the different forms it can take? This course provides a broad overview of the theories of and approaches to the study of nationalist thought and practice; it explores related phenomena including nations, national identities, and nationalist ideologies movements; and unpacks the relationship between nationalism and certain important contemporary phenomena such as right-wing extremism; euroscepticism; regional secessionist movements towards national independence; and an emphasis towards stricter immigration policies.

This course aims to analyse the emergence and persistence of nationalism as well as the circumstances under which it may become associated with conflict, polarisation and violence on the one hand; and peace and stability on the other.

• Acquaint students with key terms such as ethnicity, nations and nationalism and with general theories and
explanations of nationalist formation

• Enhance students’ understanding of the different political and international dimensions of nationalism

• Provide students with the necessary theoretical and methodological tools to understand the relationship
between nationalism and certain important contemporary phenomena including xenophobic movements and
far right wing parties; multiculturalism and citizenship policies; regional associations of states such as the
European Union; the processes of globalisation; and the challenges posed by religious fundamentalism.

Assessable learning outcomes:
• Ability to critically assess theories and approaches that explain the origins and persistence of nationalism

• Ability to develop viable arguments about the interaction between nationalism and potent contemporary

• Capacity to nuance, unpack and conceptualize the various manifestations of nationalism and understand
variation in terms of the form and intensity that nationalism may take depending on case specific

• Ability to apply relevant theoretical materials on case studies

Additional outcomes:
• Gain an overall understanding of nationalism as a movement, ideology, political phenomenon and cultural set of

Outline content:
Indicative content:
1. Introduction- welcome to the course and broad overview of definitions and approaches
2. When is the nation? Theories and approaches on the origins of nations and nationalism (with focus on the
modernist, ethno-symbolist and perennialist debates)
3. The Ethnic-Civic distinction: theories and approaches that distinguish between different types of nations and
nationalism, depending on their historical origins, their levels of exclusivity and the determinants of their
national identity.
4. Nationalism, fascism and the contemporary extreme right: is nationalism an irrational doctrine always
associated with far-right wing extremist movements?
5. Nationalism and the left: are nationalism and the left incompatible?
6. Nationalism and multiculturalism: Is multiculturalism an effective way of recognising ethnic or national
differences without undermining the unity and sovereignty of modern states?
7. Nationalism and Globalization: does globalization undermine nationalism, or the other way round?
8. Nationalism and the European Union: Is nationalism the key driving force of Euroscepticism? Is it likely to
decline in significance with increased EU integration?
9. Nationalism, conflict and war: what role does nationalism play in contemporary wars, ethnic conflicts,
genocides and ethnic cleansings?
10. Nationalism and religion: Is religious fundamentalism replacing nationalism, or is it a form of nationalism itself?

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
• A set of ten lectures
• A weekly seminar
• Student presentations and directed discussions during the weekly seminar
• One essay, assessed and worth 50% of the overall mark
• Individual consultations with lecturer.
• Independent study.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 15 2
Guided independent study 173
Total hours by term 198.00 2.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
One 4,000 word essay worth 50% of the final module mark.

Visiting students will follow the same assessments but only those enrolled for the summer term will sit the examination. Those visiting students who are here for Autumn term only but wish to gain full credits will also write a 4,000 word essay in place of the examination, to be submitted by the first day of Spring term. Visiting students who are only studying for half credits will submit one 4,000 word essay in total.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will give an oral presentation

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    3 hour examination.

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Candidates who fail their final year normally have the right to be re-examined on one further occasion at the next opportunity. These candidates will not normally be eligible for Honours (ie., only a ‘Pass’ classification would be attainable). Students who are eligible for re-assessment have the right to re-assessment in all elements (coursework and re-examination) even if they have previously passed one of those elements. It is expected, however, that the majority of students would probably elect not to repeat an element in which they had already passed, in which case the confirmed marks would be carried forward.

    Examination: Re-examination takes place in August/September of the same year.

    Coursework: Failed or missing coursework should be re-submitted by 1st August, emailed directly to politics@reading.ac.uk, AND submitted on Blackboard.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding: There may be optional costs associated with photocopying or printing sources listed on the reading list relating to this module. Please note that the Library charges approximately 5p per photocopy.
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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