Reflections on Nationalism

This paper examines the linkage between a nation and the sovereign state and argues that nationalism is more complex, often including group unity and ethnic identity.

What do we mean by a nation, and what do we mean by nationalism? On the simplest level, we use nation as a synonym for a sovereign state. When we speak of the nations of the world, we mean its states; they are entities that are members of the United Nations, or that could be if they applied for admission and were admitted. Britain and Brazil are nations; Wales and the Kurds are not. People in the United States are perhaps more prone to use nation in this sense than others, because state has such as strong popular connotation of the states of the Union.