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PLT2152 - Nationalism: Interpretations

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: James Walter


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


The unit delves behind the debates surrounding national identity and the changing structures of the nation-state. Tracing changes across the modern and postmodern, the unit explores the political meaning of contemporary nationalism, including the politics of identity and embodiment, time and space, and the embedded nature of invented traditions. It asks to what extent the boundaries and identities of the nation-state are sustained as the world becomes increasingly globalised. Throughout, the abiding concern is to rethink the underpinnings of the nation-state as it undergoes momentous change into the new century.


Upon successful Completion of this subject it is
expected that students will have:

  1. A capacity to relate different interpretative approaches in the field of nationalism to political developments across the globe today.
  2. An understanding of some of the problems
associated with using different theories of nationalism, and an ability to critically assess their strengths and weaknesses.
  1. An analytical appreciation of changes in the
social form of nationalism across contemporary history.


Essay (2500 words): 50%
Take-home examination (2000 words): 40%
Seminar participation: 10%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week


A first-year sequence in Politics, Anthropology or Sociology.


PLT3152, COS2552 and COS3352