In the first part, the author provides a sustained critique of the theories of some of the main exponents of modernism, the current orthodoxy in the study of nations and nationalism, tracing its origins to the Eurocentric and evolutionist assumptions of classical sociology. Part Two backs up this challenge through an exploration of key historical and sociological issues. These include the possibility of finding `nations' in antiquity, the impact of war on ethnicity at various periods of history, the long-term routes to nationhood and their modern consequences, the nature and functions of `golden ages, and the impact of Romanticism on nationalism. The result is a more rounded and penetrating understanding of one of the most complex phenomena in the modern world.
The Antiquity of Nations will be essential reading for all scholars of nationalism and for all students taking courses on nationalism and ethnicity.
Introduction: Paradigms of Nationalism.
PART I. THEORY.
1. The Myth of the ‘Modern Nation’.
2. Memory and Modernity.
3. The Nation: Invented, Imagined Reconstructed?.
4. Nationalism and Classical Social Theory.
PART II. HISTORY.
5. Were There ‘Nations’ in Antiquity?.
6. War and Ethnicity.
7. The Origins of Nations.
8. The ‘Golden Age’ and National Renewal.
9. Romanticism and Nationalism.