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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the concept and measurement of nationalism and its implications for international security. It surveys canonical approaches and recent contributions to the literature that revise earlier simplistic understandings of nationalist conflict and national identification. It explores the uses of nationalism in diversionary war, self-determination movements, and great power Realpolitik competition, drawing insights from social psychology to explain the changing salience of national identity and analyzing the conditions under which nationalism can foster violent conflict within or between states. Complex connections between nationalism and war are outlined, highlighting the inherently contingent nature of national conflict. Analysts have been quick to predict the decline of nationalist conflict. The chapter considers the broad set of conditions that are consistent with such predictions, while also identifying scenarios in which nationalist conflicts can proliferate.

Keywords: nationalism, national identity, diversionary war, Realpolitik, self-determination conflict

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