Nation Formation: Towards a Theory of Abstract Community

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SAGE Publications, Oct 14, 1996 - Social Science - 237 pages
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What is a nation and why is nationalism widespread in the world now? In this book Paul James argues that `nation' and `nationalism' are two of the most undertheorized and misunderstood concepts in the contemporary world.

The author guides the reader through the theoretical contributions of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Gellner, Nairn and Giddens, demonstrating the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments. This theoretical survey is threaded into a discussion of recent political crises such as the war in Bosnia and the genocide in Rwanda. Throughout, the aim is not to rediscover the concepts of `nation' and `nationalism' but to use classical and contemporary approaches to offer a new way of theorizing. James argues that the n

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About the author (1996)

Paul James is Director of the Globalism Institute at RMIT in Australia, an editor of Arena Journal, and on the Council of the Institute of Postcolonial Studies. He has received a number of awards including the Japan-Australia Foundation Fellowship, an Australian Research Council Fellowship, and the Crisp Medal by the Australasian Political Studies Association for the best book in the field of political studies. He is author/editor of many books including, Nation Formation: Towards a Theory of Abstract Community (Sage Publications, 1996). His latest books are Global Matrix: Nationalism, Globalism and State-Terrorism (Pluto, 2005), and Globalism, Nationalism, Tribalism: Bringing Theory Back In (Sage Publications, 2006). His interests are threefold: first, globalism, nationalism and localism, including the changing nature of the nation-state and the effects of an emergent level of global integration; second, social theory with a concentration on theories of culture, community and social formation; and third, contemporary politics and society with an emphasis on debates over technology and social change.

With

John Tulloch is Professor of Sociology at Brunel University, UK. His research and publications have ranged from film and television studies and theatre through literary theory to history and sociology. His work in film and television theory has shifted from historical analysis to more current production/audience analyses of popular television, such as Australian soap opera and British TV science fiction. Notable influences on his work have been Raymond Williams and Stuart Hall and more recently Ulrick Beck.

Peter Mandaville is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs and Co-Director of Mason's Center for Global Studies. He has authored numerous book chapters and journal articles, contributed to publications such as the International Herald Tribune and The New Republic, and consulted extensively for media, government and non-profit agencies. Much of his recent work has focused on the comparative study of religious authority and social movements in the Muslim world. His current research includes projects on Muslim leadership in the West and the relationship between globalization and development.

Imre Szemán is Senator William McMaster Chair of Globalization and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. He is the founder of the Canadian Association of Cultural Studies and a founding member of the Cultural Studies Association (U.S.). His main areas of research are globalization, visual cultural studies, contemporary popular culture and social and cultural theory. He has published more than fifty articles and book chapters on a range of topics.

Manfred B. Steger is Professor of Global Studies and Academic Director of the Globalism Institute at RMIT University. He is also Program Leader of 'Globalization and Culture', in the Global Cities Institute at RMIT University. He has delivered many lectures on globalization, ideology, and nonviolence in the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia. He serves on several editorial boards of academic journals as well as on the advisory boards of several globalization research centers around the world.