Not available in 2015/16
GV4G6      Half Unit
Nationalism and Global Politics

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof John Breuilly CON3.04


This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Global Politics and MSc in Global Politics (Global Civil Society). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Also available as an outside option where regulations permit.  It is capped at 1 group. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, 10 October 2014.

Course content

In political science nationalism is often treated as preceding globalisation which in turn poses challenges to nationalism and the nation-state, leading to debates about whether these will be weakened, strengthened or transformed by such challenges. This course explores another view, namely that globalisation both preceded and shaped nationalism and nation-state formation, the relationship changing with epochal shifts in the nature of global politics. The course will be divided into three parts: conceptual, historical, contemporary. It begins by examining theories, concepts and debates about nationalism and globalisation and how to relate these to each other. It then looks at nationalism in different epochs of global politics: Anglo-French conflict, British hegemony, global imperialism, the era of world wars, the Cold War. Contemporary issues start with the collapse of the Soviet Union and how that changed global politics, and go on to consider nationalism as response to, amongst other things, western interventionism, to diaspora movements and to intra-state conflict.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of lectures and 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

Each student will write two short (1500-2000 words) formative essays and give one seminar presentation.

Indicative reading

CONCEPTUAL: D. Held & A. McGrew (2007), Globalization / Anti-Globalization: Beyond the Great Divide; J.A. Scholte (2005), Globalization: a critical introduction; U. Ozkirimli, (2010), Theories of Nationalism.

HISTORICAL: J. Osterhammel & N. Peterssen (2005), Globalization: a short history; J. Breuilly (2011), `Nationalism as Global History’, Nationalism and Globalisation: Conflicting or Complementary? Edited by D. Halikiopoulou & S. Vasilopoulou); C.A. Bayly (2004) The Birth of the Modern World 1780-1914; J. Darwin (2009), The Empire Project: the rise and fall of the British world system, 1830-1970; J.Mayall, (1990), Nationalism and International Society.

CONTEMPORARY: M. Beissinger (2002), Nationalist mobilization and the collapse of the Soviet State; Robin Cohen (2005), `Diasporas, the Nation-State and Globalization’, in Bruce Mazlish & Akira Iriya (eds), The Global History Reader; Leo Suryadinata (ed)., Nationalism and Globalization: East and West (Singapore, 2000).

As a general resource: J.Breuilly (ed), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism (2013).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2014/15: 5

Average class size 2014/15: 5

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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