Comparative Nationalism: Assessing the Role of Nationalist Ideology in Independence Movements within Multinational States

Presenter: Benjamin Osheroff (Security & Intelligence)

Advisor: Dr. Tatyana Nestorova (International Studies)

This project compares the phenomenon of nationalism in two distinct independence movements in the post‐Cold War period. The goal is to illustrate the different ways in which nationalism manifests itself in the Balkans and in the Caucasus, and to reveal what aspects have aided a movement’s success in achieving some measure of international recognition. Using Anthony D. Smith’s model of symbolic nationalism set forth in his work Nationalism and Modernism, which includes the elements of common myth, language, and religion, the researcher examines the role of such aspects in the nationalist movements of Bosnia and Abkhazia in order to offer a greater understanding of the impact of nationalist ideology in both movements.

Through the comparison of these cases, the researcher will be able to determine what aspects of nationalism contribute the most to the effort to achieve international recognition, in addition to measuring the forces of competing nationalism in multinational states, in this case the former Yugoslavia and the republic of Georgia.

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