Nationalism is inherently aggressive and expansionist. Discuss
Nationalism is a political ideology based on the principle that a group of people bound by common values (a nation), have the right to form a state. Because it is a doctrine as opposed to an ideology, nationalism is compatible with various opposing political beliefs. This means that there are many forms of nationalism based on both how to define a nation, and the ideas of different political ideologies. In this essay I will discuss whether each of these are inherently aggressive and expansionist.
Firstly, a nation can be defined by ethnicity and culture. This is the belief behind ethno-cultural nationalism. Ethno-cultural nationalism gives a very crude and simplistic…show more content… It therefore believes that every nation is equal, and no nation should interfere with the ruling of another nation. Liberal nationalism encourages a neutral body (such as the UN or League of Nations) to settle disputes between nations. This means that Liberal nationalism is inherently peaceful and not in any way expansionist.
Another example is Conservative nationalism, which applies key Conservative features such as tradition, hierarchy and a pessimistic view of human nature, to nationalism. It uses nationalism as a method of preserving society's structure. Conservative nationalists view the nation as delicate and organic, which must be preserved. They therefore believe in limited immigration into a nation, to prevent new ideas and cultures being brought into the nation. This makes Conservative nationalism quite exclusive, which could lead to conflict. Conservative nationalism is often very patriotic, for example in the USA. This can sometimes lead to aggressive and expansionist policies. Conservative nationalism is also associated very much with imperialism. For example during the 19th century, Britain, France, Russia and Germany all used nationalism to justify their imperial expansionism. I therefore believe that Conservative nationalism is inherently aggressive and expansionist.
The final type of Nationalism I will look at is Expansionist nationalism. As the name suggests, this form of nationalism is inherently