Nationalism: problem of definition and interpretation

Svetlana Storozhuk

Abstract




The article reviews the main approaches to the interpretation of nationalism. To this end, the author reveals the etymological origins of the word «nationalism», focusing attention on its meaningful relationship with care for the people and patriotism, and highlights the philosophical principles of prevailing today polar approaches to its assessment. On this background, it is stressed that the methodological difficulties of defining nationalism are caused by the diversity of its social and cultural expressions – it is regarded as an ideology, as a political movement, as a spiritual guidance and as a political credo etc. In the article special attention is paid to the analysis of social and cultural origins of nationalism, so by distancing from economic reductionism the legitimacy of constructivist approach is emphasized. In the frame of the latter nationalism is reviewed as phenomenon consciously constructed by political elite. It is demonstrated that the intentions of constructivist interpretation of nationalism are closely correlated with the traditionalist (especially, perennialist) approach. Among other things, the historical origins and socio-cultural conditions of widespread of ideas of nationalism and the causes of appearance its authoritarian and reactionary forms are analyzed.


Keywords


nation; patriotism; authoritarianism; tradition; instrumentalism.

References


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