To what extend is Nationalism a coherent ideology?

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To what extend is Nationalism a coherent ideology? (45 Marks)

Nationalism has taken a verity of forms over the course of its history, from Liberalism to Marxism,  bringing into question the integrity of the ideology and begging the question – is it in fact a coherent ideology? For an ideology to be considered more than a political doctrine, it must demonstrate that its core themes fit well together and has a certain amount of independence from other ideologies. For it to be coherent it must demonstrate some consistencies between different strands. Nationalism fails to meet both criteria and is both incoherent and not an ideology.

Nationalism has been described as purely a psychological phenomenon with little substance. As such, national feelings can be seen being expressed by those who simply have an emotional attachment to their nation, or by a dislike of other nations. This gives little credibility to nationalism as a theoretical construct. However, although national sentiment, undoubtedly, plays a large role in nationalism, to describe it in these terms alone is to be defining patriotism. A certain bed rock of core themes can be found, to which nationalism’s ideological strands belong too. Thus nationalism can be said to be more than simple a psychological phenomenon.  

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A concrete set of core themes can be attributed to nationalism. Out of them, The Nation is the most overt: the belief in the nation as the central principle of political organisation – be it through language, religion or ethnicity. While Malcolm X, a primordialist nationalist, may have wanted to create a new state for Americans with roots in Africa - therefore being closed to all other cultures and ethnicities – a cosmopolitan liberal, on the other hand, would favour the integration of cultures and the breaking down of national distinctions. Although both disagree over what should happen to their or other ...

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