International Studies | Nations, States, & Boundaries
I206 | 8811 | Sela, R.
This course provides an introduction to the development of modern
nations and states and their mutual relations. We will cover
selected aspects of the complex interrelationships among individual
identity construction, social group formation, citizenship, and the
international system. Particular emphasis will be placed on the
historical processes that led to the formation of nations, states
and boundaries as we know them today and to the dynamic interactions
between ethnicity and individual and national identities. Among the
topics to be covered are the effects of imperialism, decolonization
and globalization on the contemporary configuration of group
identities and national boundaries, how ethnic conflict affects the
development of civic culture and concepts of democratic citizenship,
how religions – particularly Islam – respond to national identities,
and the challenges that face the modern state and stateless peoples.
Students should gain a better understanding of the complex
connections among the processes of social and political change
associated with nationalism, ethnicity, globalization, and
governance. Since these topics recur throughout many areas of
contemporary research in the social sciences and the humanities,
this course should provide a foundation for more advanced courses in
many fields of study.
1. Walter C. Opello, Jr. & Stephen J. Rosow, The Nation-State and
Global Order: A Historical Introduction to
Contemporary Politics (Lynne Rienner Publishers; 2nd Edition,
2. Nationalism, edited by John Hutchinson & Anthony D. Smith
(Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).
3. Additional materials are listed in the syllabus.
Student grades will be based on two exams, a group project,
responses to the readings, and class participation.