Nations and Nationalism module (PO31017)

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Module code


Aims of Module:
This module will provide theoretical and practical approaches to explaining nationalism. It will examine debates on nations and nationalism, the persistence of nationalism and its implications for politics and international relations. Students will gain a sound knowledge of the key theories of nationalism and related themes such as war, conflict, minorities, secession, race, religion, ethnicity, gender and globalisation.

The content of the course covers the following:

  • Introduction to nationalism studies.
  • Main theoretical approaches to nationalism and contemporary debates (modernism, constructivism, primordialism, ethnosymbolism).
  • Analysis of related themes such as war, conflict, minorities, secession, race, ethnicity, religion, gender and globalisation.
  • Case studies (primarily covered by seminars and student presentations).

Teaching and learning
The course will consist of two to three weekly contact hours per student on average. These include one weekly block lecture and seminar of two hours (1+1) and personal tutorials. Personal tutorials (up to 1 h) will assist students with seminar presentations and other coursework.

The module will also include, when applicable, guest presentations/lectures.

There will be three main methods of assessment. They will include:

  • Student presentation (including a short written submission) – 20%
  • Essay (2500 words) – 40%
  • Exam (2 hours) – 40%

Intended learning outcomes

Having successfully completed this module, students will be better able to:

  • Understand theoretical explanations of nationalism and apply them to relevant cases;
  • Identify and describe major debates within the study of nationalism in various spatiotemporal contexts.
  • Analyse the ways nationalism interacts with other political and social processes and apply appropriate approaches to issues such as conflict regulation, self-determination, territorial and ethnic/minority claims.
  • Effective communication, public speaking, clarity of oral argument and presentation. Dealing with diversity, self-reflexivity. Research skills (e.g. media, international legal documents).


30 credits