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Nationalist Idealisation and the State

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Walker Connor has argued that the conflation of nation and state leads to muddled thinking about both concepts. While his advisory is well-taken, the decoupling of nation and state can be taken too far, for nation and state are intimately conjoined in the modern era. There are important ideational constructs embedded in the practices and principles of modern state governance that condition the ideology of state-oriented nationalists. This idealisation of community is less marked among nationalist activists whose concerns are primarily cultural rather than political. The differences are illustrated through the words and actions of individuals and organisations involved in the nationalist movements of Quebec and Brittany.

Keywords: Brittany; Historical Institutionalism; Quebec; Sub-state Nationalism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2005

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