Notes on the Political Economy of Nationalism

Findlay, Ronald E.

"The resurgence of nationalism all over the world in
the last few years can be said to arise, in every case, from a
lack of congruence between "state" and "nation." While each of
these terms is highly complex and controversial, we all know
the main difference between them. The state is a political and
administrative unit, claiming the "monopoly of the legitimate
use of force" over all the inhabitants of a given territory.
The nation, on the other hand, is an "imagined community,"
including the dead and the unborn, who are bound together by
the ties of kinship, language, custom and shared myths that
separate it from other similar collectivities.-7 Thus we can
have a nation without a state, as in the case of the Kurds, or
states that comprise many nations, such as the former USSR and
Yugoslavia, and a nation divided between several states, as in
the case of the Italians and Germans before unification in the
nineteenth century, or the two Germanys and two Koreas of more
recent history."



More About This Work

Academic Units
Department of Economics, Columbia University
Department of Economics Discussion Papers, 647
Published Here
February 17, 2011


September 1992.