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Andreas Wimmer argues that nationalist and ethnic politics have shaped modern societies to a far greater extent than has been acknowledged by social scientists. The modern state governs in the name of a people defined in ethnic and national terms. Democratic participation, equality before the law and protection from arbitrary violence were offered only to the ethnic group in a privileged relationship with the emerging nation-state. Depending on circumstances, the dynamics of exclusion took on different forms. Where nation building was 'successful', immigrants and 'ethnic minorities' are excluded from full participation; they risk being targets of xenophobia and racism. In weaker states, political closure proceeded along ethnic, rather than national lines and leads to corresponding forms of conflict and violence. In chapters on Mexico, Iraq and Switzerland, Wimmer provides extended case studies that support and contextualise this argument.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521011853
ISBN-10: 052101185X
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Pages: 332
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 6-Jun-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Andreas Wimmer

Andreas Wimmer is Professor of Political and Cultural Change and Director at the Center for Development Studies of the University of Bonn.

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