Territorial nationalism

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Territorial nationalism describes a form of nationalism based on the religious-like belief that all inhabitants of a particular nation owe allegiance to their country of birth or adoption.[1] According to territorial nationalism every individual must belong to a nation, but can choose which one to join.[2] A sacred quality is sought in this nation and in the popular memories it evokes.[3] Citizenship is idealized by a territorial nationalist.[3] A criterion of a territorial nationalism is the establishment of a mass, public culture based on common values and traditions of the population.[2][3] Legal equality is essential for territorial nationalism.[2]

Because citizenship rather than ethnicity is idealized by territorial nationalism, it is argued by Athena S. Leoussi and Anthony D. Smith (in 2001) that the French Revolution was a territorial nationalistic uprising.[3]

Territorial nationalism in Europe

In Western Europe national identity tends to be more based on where a person is born than in Central and Eastern Europe.[4] Scholars have argued this might be explained by the fact that states in the later two emerged from imperial states.[5] The communist regimes in the Eastern Bloc actively suppressed what they described as "bourgeois nationalism"[5] and considered nationalism a bourgeois ideology.[6] In the Soviet Union this led to Russification and other attempts to replace the other cultures of the Soviet Union with the Russian culture,[5] even while, at the same time the Soviet Union promoted certain forms of nationalism that it considered compatible with Soviet interests.[7] Yugoslavia was different from the other European Communist states, where Yugoslavism was promoted.[5]

Territorial nationalism in the Middle East

Although territorial nationalism is in contrast with the universality of Islam,[8] especially Egypt and Tunisia had territorial nationalistic policies after gaining independence.[1] This was gradually replaced by Pan-Arabism in the 1950s, but Pan-Arabism declined by the mid-1970s.[8][9]

Territorial nationalism in North America

Just as in Western Europe, national identity tends to be more based on where a person is born than ethnicity.[4]

See also