This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Douglas Hutchinson CON 3.21


This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Conflict Studies, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in Political Sociology, MSc in Politics and Communication, MSc in Sociology and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at one group.  The deadline for enrolments will be 12 noon, on Monday, 3 October 2016. Students must provide a rationale for taking the course on application. You will be informed of the outcome by 12 noon, Wednesday, 5 October 2016.

Course content

An examination of the causes and role of ethnic identity and nationalist movements in the modern world, and of the relations between nations and states. There are three principal concerns:

1. Theories of nationalism and ethnicity, including primordialist, ethno-symbolic, modernist and post-modernist approaches. These will be compared and critiqued.

2. The development of various kinds of nations, nation-states and nationalisms from pre-modern Europe to the global present, and a consideration of the concepts (e.g. civic/ethnic, political/cultural, Asian and African forms of nationalism) frequently used to understand these histories.

3. Nationalism and the international system, including problems of state sovereignty, secession and national self-determination; the European union, globalisation and religious fundamentalism.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Students must also attend the lectures of course GV247.  In MT week 6 will be a reading week for private study; in LT week 6 there will be a reading week for preparation for the dissertation.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to write two non-assessed essays of 1,500-2,000 words and to make two seminar presentations during the course.

Indicative reading

E Kedourie, Nationalism, Hutchinson, 1960; E Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, Blackwell, 1983; H Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism, Macmillan, 1967; H Seton-Watson, Nations and States, Methuen, 1977; A D Smith, Theories of Nationalism, 2nd edn, Duckworth, 1983; B Anderson, Imagined Communities, 2nd edn, Verso Books, 1991; J Mayall, Nationalism and International Society, Cambridge University Press, 1990; E Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1780, Cambridge University Press, 1990; L Greenfeld, Nationalism, Five Roads to Modernity, Harvard University Press, 1992; J Breuilly, Nationalism and the State, 2nd edn, Manchester University Press, 1993; J Hutchinson, Nations as Zones of Conflict, Sage 2004; W Connor, Ethno-Nationalism: The Quest for Understanding, Princeton University Press, 1994; J Hutchinson & A D Smith (Eds), Nationalism, Oxford University Press, 1994; J Hutchinson & A D Smith (Eds), Ethnicity, Oxford University Press, 1996; A Hastings, The Construction of Nationhood, Cambridge University Press, 1997; A D Smith, Nationalism and Modernism, Routledge 1998, M Hechter, Containing Nationalism, Oxford University Press, 2000; Jonathan Hearn, Rethinking Nationalism: a critical introduction, Palgrave 2006; Umut Ozkirimli, Theories of Nationalism, Palgrave 2010; A.D.Smith, Nationalism, Polity Press, 2010.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 19.7
Merit 36.4
Pass 37.9
Fail 6.1

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2015/16: 16

Average class size 2015/16: 16

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 82%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)