To What Extent Is Nationalism a Single Doctrine?

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TO WHAT EXTENT IS NATIONALISM A SINGLE DOCTRINE? WRITTEN BY RICHARD ROBSON Nationalism has been strongly divided, mainly by the ideas of liberalism, conservatism, expansionism and anti-colonialism. These strands of nationalism have advocated differing forms of nationalism, with liberals and anti-colonialists stressing political nationalism, and conservative nationalists and expansionist nationalists stressing the importance of cultural nationalism. Nevertheless, nationalism can be said to be a single coherent doctrine as all forms of nationalism place the nation as the core unit of political control. The nation is therefore key to political organisation. Liberal nationalism has followed the political nationalist agenda of seeking national self-determination and thus the creation of a nation-state. The ultimate goal of liberal nationalism is a world of independent nation-states. All nations are seen to have an equal right to freedom and self-determination. For Woodrow Wilson, only a democratic republic could be a genuine nation-state. Wilson also argued that the nation-state is capable of upholding peace and international order because nation-states would naturally respect the sovereignty of their neighbours. Furthermore, conflict would cause disorder within, so there is an inward motivation as well. This belief in the natural peacefulness of nation-states leads liberal nationalists to the belief that internationalism and nationalism are compatible concepts. Internationalism is the theory or practice of politics based on global cooperation. This has lead liberal nationalists to advocate free trade as a means of increasing interdependence between states, so that the material costs of a potential conflict become virtually unthinkable. Furthermore, they have advocated supranational bodies, such as the United Nations, which are seen to be capable of bringing order

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