Oslo Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies 2004


Nationhood and Nationalism

Dates: 26. - 30. July 2004

Lecturer: Professor Rogers Brubaker,
Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angelse, USA

The participants:
Synnöve Bendixen, Linda Berg, Rebecca Chen, Valentina Clemente, Michael Fortner, Denis Frank, Lina Gaski, Espen Gran, Raul Diaz Guevara, Tobias Harding, Marc Helbling, Laerke Holm, Jin-Lin Huang, Anna Korhonen, Rossalina Latcheva, Vitus Nanbigne, Camilla Nordberg, Kari M. Osland, Josep Vicent Penadés i Aliaga, Dorota Pudzianowska, Erle Rikmann, Elmar Schlüter, Andreas Selliaas, Simon Sorokos, Henning Süssner, Marianne Takle, Chunli Xia, Regula Christina Zuercher, Johan Öhman and Professor Brubaker


Nationhood and nationalism are among the defining phenomena of the modern epoch. Yet they remain remarkably elusive and - despite a burst of recent scholarship - strikingly understudied by comparison with other central phenomena of modernity such as states, classes, cities, revolutions, industrialism, and capitalism. A few outstanding earlier works notwithstanding, it is chiefly in the last two decades that a considerable theoretically and historically informed literature has begun to emerge.


After an introductory lecture that addresses conceptual and definitional issues, lectures 2-6 consider macro-analytic perspectives on the origins, development, and possible transcendence of nationalism, including those that emphasize social and economic transformations (Gellner and Deutsch), political transformations (Hobsbawm, Geertz, Meyer and others), cultural transformations (Anderson), and the pre-modern roots of modern nationalism (Smith). Lectures 7-8 consider micro-analytic cognitive and cultural perspectives. The final two lectures are based on the instructor's field research in a Transylvanian town.

Basic Readings*

* Students need to obtain and read the basic readings in advance of the lecturing.

Lecture Outline and Corresponding Readings

The readings marked with � implies that they are included in the booklet the participants receive prior to the course.

Lecture 1

What are we talking about when we talk about nations and nationalism? Definitions and classic perspective


Lecture 2

Classic modernist perspectives: nationalism and social and economic transformation


Lecture 3

Political perspectives: nationalism and the development of the modern state


Lecture 4

Cultural contexts


Lecture 5

The critique of modernism


Lecture 6

Beyond nationalism?


Lecture 7

Cognitive perspectives


Lecture 8

Nationhood and everyday experience


Lecture 9 and 10

A contemporary case study: Nationalist politics and everyday nationhood in a Transylvanian town


The Lecturer

Rogers Brubaker is a professor of sociology at the Deptartment of Sociology at UCLA. He was educated at Harvard, Sussex and Columbia. His main topic of research has been nationalism in the old and the new Europe. He is the author of Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996; Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992; The Limits of Rationality : An Essay on the Social and Moral Thought of Max Weber. London: Allen & Unwin, 1984.