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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter builds upon the insight that around 1900 different concepts and institutions such as ‘nationalism’ and ‘nation’ began to spread globally. Outside the West, nationalism soon emerged as the leading ideology and privileged form of political discourse and eroded more encompassing definitions of belonging in places as diverse as Egypt and India. Non-European actors had a variety of ways they could go about selectively appropriating European ‘achievements’. The reference to the ‘West’ was for a long time mainly restricted to educated groups and intellectual and political elites, whose own concepts of nationalism were neither simply anti-Western and traditional nor did they consist of a straightforward appropriation of Western models. Instead the ideas and activities of thinkers and politicians such as Gandhi and Senghor were highly ambivalent, combining elements of Western ideas and concepts with a critique of Western culture and the praise of indigenous traditions. However, as the case of Tanzania shows, not only great thinkers but complex and internally contested local discourses also gave impulses to nationalist doctrines and movements.

Keywords: Elites, Gandhi, global mobility, intellectuals, Senghor, tradition, Westernization

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