What is Nationalism?

Nationalism is the spirit of nationality. It is a kind of political consciousness of belonging to a group. Very often you will find that the term ‘patriotism’ is related to nationalism. It is a force holding together a community in a defined territory, maintaining their rights against aggression from outside.

According, to Alfred De Grazia, nationalism combines both love of one’s country and suspiciousness of foreigners. One loves one’s country because of shared values with others who live in it and foreigners are suspected because they do not share the same values. Modem Nationalism is characterised by the movement of a nationality aiming at achieving independence and forming a state organization of its choice.

Nationalism is a psycho-political concept. Psychologically it is love and pride in the cultural heritage, customs, traditions, institutions and all other aspects of one’s society and politically, nationalism centres around the nation-state, loyalty to the state by each and every person. Nationalism has been a powerful political force in modern times leading to the emergence of many new nation-states in Asia and Africa. Nationalism in simple words means a feeling of oneness.

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