Ethnic nationalism

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Ethnic nationalism, also known as ethno-nationalism, is a form of nationalism wherein the nation is defined in terms of ethnicity. [1]

Nationalism is an ideology and movement characterized by the promotion of the interests of a particular nation, especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power. It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, language, religion, politics, and belief in a shared singular history—and to promote national unity or solidarity. Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture, and cultural revivals have been associated with nationalist movements. It also encourages pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism. Nationalism is often combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism or socialism for example.

Contents

The central theme of ethnic nationalists is that "nations are defined by a shared heritage, which usually includes a common language, a common faith, and a common ethnic ancestry". [2] It also includes ideas of a culture shared between members of the group, and with their ancestors.

The various ethnolinguistic groups found in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and/or South Asia demonstrate differing rates of particular Y-DNA haplogroups.

Culture Social behavior and norms found in society

Culture is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture is considered a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. Cultural universals are found in all human societies; these include expressive forms like art, music, dance, ritual, religion, and technologies like tool usage, cooking, shelter, and clothing. The concept of material culture covers the physical expressions of culture, such as technology, architecture and art, whereas the immaterial aspects of culture such as principles of social organization, mythology, philosophy, literature, and science comprise the intangible cultural heritage of a society.

While some types of ethnic nationalism are firmly rooted in the idea of ethnicity (or race) as an immutable inherited characteristic (for example white nationalism), often ethnic nationalism also manifests in the assimilation of minority ethnic groups into the dominant group (for example as with Italianisation). This assimilation may or may not be predicated on a belief in some common ancestry with assimilated groups (for example with Germanisation in the Second World war).

A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society. First used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations, by the 17th century the term race began to refer to physical (phenotypical) traits. Modern scholarship regards race as a social construct, an identity which is assigned based on rules made by society. While partially based on physical similarities within groups, race is not an inherent physical or biological quality.

White nationalism is a type of nationalism or pan-nationalism which espouses the belief that white people are a race and seeks to develop and maintain a white national identity. Its proponents identify with and are attached to the concept of a white nation. White nationalists say they seek to ensure the survival of the white race, and the cultures of historically white states. They hold that white people should maintain their majority in majority-white countries, maintain their political and economic dominance, and that their cultures should be foremost. Many white nationalists believe that miscegenation, multiculturalism, immigration of nonwhites and low birth rates among whites are threatening the white race, and some believe these things are being promoted as part of an attempted white genocide.

Forced assimilation is an involuntary process of cultural assimilation of religious or ethnic minority groups during which they are forced to adopt language, identity, customs, values, and often religion of established and generally larger community by government. Also enforcement of a new language in legislation, education, literature, worshiping counts as forced assimilation. Unlike ethnic cleansing, the local population is not forced to leave a certain area. Instead the population becomes assimilated by force. It has often been used after an area has changed nationality, often in the aftermath of war. Some examples are both the German and French forced assimilation in the provinces Alsace and Lorraine, and some decades after the Swedish conquests of the Danish provinces Scania, Blekinge and Halland the local population was submitted to forced assimilation.

While in some cases the division between ethnic and civic nationalism is clear (France being the archetypal example of a national identity rooted in civic and linguistic nationalism), in other cases the division is less clear, for example with Turkish nationalism.

Civic nationalism, also known as liberal nationalism, is a form of nationalism identified by political philosophers who believe in an inclusive form of nationalism that adheres with traditional liberal values of freedom, tolerance, equality, and individual rights.

Linguistic imperialism, or language imperialism, is a phenomenon that occasionally occurs defined as "the transfer of a dominant language to other people". This language "transfer" comes about because of imperialism. The transfer is considered to be a demonstration of power—traditionally, military power but also, in the modern world, economic power—and aspects of the dominant culture are usually transferred along with the language.

Turkish nationalism

Turkish nationalism is a political ideology that promotes and glorifies the Turkish people, as either a national, ethnic, or linguistic group.

History

Herodotus is the first who stated the main characteristics of ethnicity, with his famous account of what defines Greek identity. He lists kinship (Greek: ὁμόαιμον, homόaimon, "of the same blood" [3] ), language (Greek: ὁμόγλωσσον, homoglōsson, "speaking the same language" [4] ), cults and customs (Greek: ὁμότροπον, homόtropon, "of the same habits or life"). [5] [6]

Herodotus Ancient Greek historian

Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories, a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars. He is widely considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and then critically arranging them into an historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is often referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero.

The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus, southern Albania, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world.

Characteristics

The central political tenet of ethnic nationalism is that ethnic groups can be identified unambiguously, and that each such group is entitled to self-determination.

Ethnic group Socially defined category of people who identify with each other

An ethnic group, a people group, a people, or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other, usually on the basis of a presumed common genealogy or ancestry or on similarities such as common language, history, society, culture or nation. Ethnicity is often used synonymously with the term nation, particularly in cases of ethnic nationalism, and is separate from but related to the concept of races.

The right of a people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law, binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter's norms. It states that people, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference.

The outcome of this right to self-determination may vary, from calls for self-regulated administrative bodies within an already-established society, to an autonomous entity separate from that society, to a sovereign state removed from that society. In international relations, it also leads to policies and movements for irredentism to claim a common nation based upon ethnicity.

In scholarly literature, ethnic nationalism is usually contrasted with civic nationalism. Ethnic nationalism bases membership of the nation on descent or heredity, often articulated in terms of common blood or kinship, rather than on political membership. Hence, nation-states with strong traditions of ethnic nationalism tend to define nationality or citizenship by jus sanguinis (the law of blood, descent from a person of that nationality), and countries with strong traditions of civic nationalism tend to define nationality or citizenship by jus soli (the law of soil, birth within the nation state). Ethnic nationalism is, therefore, seen as exclusive, while civic nationalism tends to be inclusive. Rather than allegiance to common civic ideals and cultural traditions, then, ethnic nationalism tends to emphasise narratives of common descent.

The theorist Anthony D. Smith uses the term "ethnic nationalism" for non-Western concepts of nationalism as opposed to Western views of a nation defined by its geographical territory. Diaspora studies scholars extend this non-geographically bound concept of "nation" among diasporic communities, at times using the term ethnonation or ethnonationalism to describe a conceptual collective of dispersed ethnics. [7]

Ethnic nationalism is also present in many states' immigration policies in the form of repatriation laws. States such as Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Turkey provide automatic or rapid citizenship to members of diasporas of their own dominant ethnic group, if desired. [2]

In Malaysia, the Bumiputera principle recognises the "special position" of the Malays provided in the Constitution of Malaysia, in particular Article 153. However, the constitution does not use the term bumiputra; it defines only "Malay" and "indigenous peoples" (Article 160(2)), [8] "natives" of Sarawak (161A(6)(a)), [9] and "natives" of Sabah (Article 161A(6) (b)). [9] Certain but not all pro-bumiputra policies exist as affirmative action for bumiputras, for NEP is racial-based and not deprivation-based. For instance, all Bumiputra, regardless of their financial standing, are entitled 7 percent discount on houses or property, including luxurious units; whilst a low-income non-Bumiputra receives no such financial assistance. Other preferential policies include quotas for the following: admission to government educational institutions, qualification for public scholarships, marking of universities exam papers, special bumiputras-only classes prior to university's end of term exams, for positions in government, and ownership of businesses. Most of the policies were established in the Malaysian New Economic Policy (NEP) period. Many policies focus on trying to achieve a bumiputra share of corporate equity, comprising at least 30% of the total. Ismail Abdul Rahman proposed this target after the government was unable to agree on a suitable policy goal.[ citation needed ]

In German nationality law, citizenship is open to ethnic Germans. According to the Greek nationality law, Greeks born abroad may transmit citizenship to their children from generation to generation indefinitely. As of 2013 this is also true in the case of the Philippine nationality law which, has conferred Philippine citizenship on children born after 15 October 1986, with at least one Philippine citizen parent.

On the other hand, civic nationalism defines membership as an individual's duty to observe given laws and in turn receive legal privileges.

A nation-state for the ethnic group derives political legitimacy from its status as homeland of that ethnic group, from its protective function against colonization, persecution, or racism, and from its claim to facilitate the shared cultural and social life, which may not have been possible under the ethnic group's previous status as an ethnic minority.

See also

Related Research Articles

Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the custom or law as being a legal member of a sovereign state or belonging to a nation.

Nationality is a legal relationship between an individual person and a state. Nationality affords the state jurisdiction over the person and affords the person the protection of the state. What these rights and duties are varies from state to state.

Nation state Political term for a state that is based around a nation

A nation state is a state in which the great majority shares the same culture and is conscious of it. The nation state is an ideal in which cultural boundaries match up with political ones. According to one definition, "a nation state is a sovereign state of which most of its subjects are united also by factors which defined a nation such as language or common descent." It is a more precise concept than "country", since a country does not need to have a predominant ethnic group.

National myth inspiring narrative about a nations past

A national myth is an inspiring narrative or anecdote about a nation's past. Such myths often serve as an important national symbol and affirm a set of national values. A national myth may sometimes take the form of a national epic or be incorporated into a civil religion. A group of related myths about a nation may be referred to as the national mythos, from μῦθος, the original Greek word for "myth".

Bumiputera or Bumiputra is a controversial Malaysian term to describe Malays and other indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia, i.e. the Malay world, used similarly as in Indonesia and Brunei. The term is derived from the Sanskrit and later absorbed into the classical Malay word bhumiputra [Sanskrit "भूमिपुत्र"], which can be translated literally as "son of the land" or "son of the soil". In Indonesia, this term is known as "Pribumi".

An ethnocracy is a type of political structure in which the state apparatus is controlled by a dominant ethnic group to further its interests, power and resources. Ethnocratic regimes typically display a combination of 'thin' democratic facade covering a more profound ethnic structure, in which ethnicity – and not citizenship – is the key to securing power and resources. An ethnocratic society facilitates the ethnicization of the state by the dominant group, through the expansion of control, often through conflict with minorities and neighboring states.

Social contract (Malaysia) Understanding that non-Malays can be citizens of Malaysia if they accept a special role for Malays

The social contract in Malaysia refers to the understanding made by Malaya's founding fathers in the Constitution, nearing its independence. The social contract refers to a trade-off through Articles 14–18 of the Constitution, pertaining to the granting of citizenship to the non-Bumiputera of Malaya, and this was carried over to Article 153 when Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963, which grants the Malays a special position in the country. The term had also stated that any immigrant breaking that contract will have their citizenship revoked. This circumstance does not apply in Sarawak as all racial groups were citizens, bestowed by the legitimate Brooke government, way before the founding of Malaysia.

Constitutional patriotism

Constitutional patriotism is the idea that people should form a political attachment to the norms and values of a pluralistic liberal democratic constitution rather than a national culture or cosmopolitan society. It is associated with post-nationalist identity, because it is seen as a similar concept to nationalism, but as an attachment based on values of the constitution rather than a national culture. In essence, it is an attempt to re-conceptualise group identity with a focus on the interpretation of citizenship as a loyalty that goes beyond individuals' ethnocultural identification. Theorists believe this to be more defensible than other forms of shared commitment in a diverse modern state with multiple languages and group identities. It is particularly relevant in post-national democratic states in which multiple cultural and ethnic groups coexist. It was influential in the development of the European Union and a key to Europeanism as a basis for multiple countries belonging to a supranational union.

Ethnic democracy is a political system that combines a structured ethnic dominance with democratic, political and civil rights for all. Both the dominant ethnic group and the minority ethnic groups have citizenship and are able to fully participate in the political process. Ethnic democracy differs from ethnocracy in that elements of it are more purely democratic. It provides the non-core groups with more political participation, influence and improvement of status than ethnocracy supposedly does. Nor is an ethnic democracy a Herrenvolk democracy which is by definition a democracy officially limited to the core ethnic nation only.

Kurdish nationalism political ideology

Kurdish nationalism holds that the Kurdish people are deserving of a sovereign nation that would be partitioned out of areas in Turkey, northern Iraq, and Syria based on the promised nation of Kurdistan under the Treaty of Sèvres.

Cultural nationalism is a form of nationalism in which the nation is defined by a shared culture. It is an intermediate position between ethnic nationalism and civic nationalism. Therefore, it focuses on a national identity shaped by cultural traditions, but not on the concepts of common ancestry or race.

Postnationalism or non-nationalism is the process or trend by which nation states and national identities lose their importance relative to cross nation and self organized or supranational and global entities. Although postnationalism is not strictly considered the antonym of nationalism, the two terms and their associated assumptions are antithetic as postnationalism is an internationalistic process. There are several factors that contribute to aspects of postnationalism, including economic, political, and cultural elements. Increasing globalization of economic factors have shifted emphasis from national economies to global ones. At the same time, socio-political power is partially transferred from national authorities to supernational entities, such as multinational corporations, the United Nations, the European Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and NATO. In addition, media and entertainment industries are becoming increasingly global and facilitate the formation of trends and opinions on a supranational scale. Migration of individuals or groups between countries contributes to the formation of postnational identities and beliefs, even though attachment to citizenship and national identities often remains important.

Many scholars argue that there is more than one type of nationalism. Nationalism may manifest itself as part of official state ideology or as a popular non-state movement and may be expressed along civic, ethnic, cultural, religious or ideological lines. These self-definitions of the nation are used to classify types of nationalism. However, such categories are not mutually exclusive and many nationalist movements combine some or all of these elements to varying degrees. Nationalist movements can also be classified by other criteria, such as scale and location.

Korean ethnic nationalism

Korean ethnic nationalism, or racial nationalism, is a political ideology and a form of ethnic identity that is widely prevalent in modern North and South Korea. It is based on the belief that Koreans form a nation, a "race", and an ethnic group that shares a unified bloodline and a distinct culture. It is centered on the notion of the minjok, a term that had been coined in Imperial Japan ("minzoku") in the early Meiji period on the basis of Social Darwinian conceptions. Minjok has been translated as "nation", "people", "ethnic group", "race", and "race-nation".

There has historically been, and continues to be, several rival nationalisms in Canada. Canadians have differing cultural and political identifications which often overlap. Loyalty towards Canada is tempered by strong regional and ethnic identities, and an affinity toward a common North American culture shared with the United States.

Supraethnicity is a scholarly neologism, used mainly in social sciences as a formal designation for a particular structural category that lies "above" the basic level of ethnicity. It is often paired with subethnicity, a similar technical term with the exact opposite meaning, also designating a particular structural category, but that which lies "under" the level of ethnicity. Both terms are used in ethnic studies in order to describe structural and functional relations between basic (common) form of ethnic identity and various related phenomena that are classified as belonging to "higher" (supraethnic) or "lover" (subethnic) levels. Formally, both categories are designating levels, not the contents. For example, there are several distinctive phenomena that are manifested on the supraethnic level, like: metaethnicity, multiethnicity (pluriethnicity), panethnicity, polyethnicity, or transethnicity, each of them having their own distinctive contents, but all of them sharing the same structural "supraethnic" level. There have been attempts to define some common, not only structural but also functional properties of supraethnicity, but such attempts were challenged by the present state of terminological diversity and inconsistency within the ethnic studies.

References

  1. "The Website of Political Research Associates". PublicEye.org. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  2. 1 2 Muller, Jerry Z. "Us and Them." Current Issue 501 Mar/Apr 2008 9–14
  3. "Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, ὅμαιμ-ος". Perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  4. "Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, ὁμό-γλωσσος". Perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  5. "Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, ὁμό-τροπος". Perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  6. Herodotus, 8.144.2: "The kinship of all Greeks in blood and speech, and the shrines of gods and the sacrifices that we have in common, and the likeness of our way of life."
  7. "Language, ethnicity and religion: a complex and persistent linkag..." ingentaconnect. 1 January 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  8. "Part XII: General and Miscellaneous, Constitution of Malaysia (Articles 152–160)", helplinelaw.com. Accessed 30 May 2007
  9. 1 2 Part XIIA: Additional Protections for States of Sabah and Sarawak, Constitution of Malaysia (Articles 161 – 161h), helplinelaw. Accessed 30 May 2007

Further reading