Faculty of Arts


Nationalism and Internationalism in Political Thought

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for POLITICS 343.


Few ideas have had such a powerful influence upon our modern world as nationalism. From its early appearance as a concept and a sentiment in eighteenth century Europe, coinciding with the emergence of the modern nation state, it has spread across the globe, motivating and inspiring people to join together in mass movements, to kill and die for their country and to discard ancient political allegiances and form new societies. It has redrawn our maps of the world, and reshaped our inner sense of who we are, as people and citizens. 

In the first half of this course we will explore the development of the ideas of nationalism in post-Enlightenment political thought, tracing it from the Romantics, through to the liberals and socialists of the Nineteenth Century, and into twentieth century ideologies, including fascism. We will also explore nationalism’s counter, internationalism, which emerges in this period in the twin and competing contexts of empire and cosmopolitanism. In the second half of the course we will examine nationalism and internationalism in contemporary political theory, focusing on liberal versus ethnic nationalism, the political uses of national identity, anti-colonial nationalism and indigenous movements and the nation. Throughout the course we will explore the relationship between nationalism, internationalism, cosmopolitanism and ideologies such as liberalism, socialism and fascism. 

This course will appeal to students who are interested in political thought and the history of ideas, and also those studying nationalist movements who wish to understand the concepts that underlie and shape them.

Availability 2018

Not taught in 2018




Omar Dahbour and Micheline R. Ishay, eds. The Nationalism Reader. New York: Humanity Books, 1995.

Nationalism course reader, available for purchase from the University Bookstore.


POLITICS 343: 15.0 points


30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or 15 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations and 15 points at Stage II in History or Philosophy, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points at Stage II in Global Politics and Human Rights or International Relations and Business



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