Mapping the Nation

Part of Verso's classic Mapping series that collects the most important writings on key topics in a changing world

In nearly two decades since Samuel P. Huntington proposed his influential and troubling ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis, nationalism has only continued to puzzle and frustrate commentators, policy analysts and political theorists. No consensus exists concerning its identity, genesis or future. Are we reverting to the petty nationalisms of the nineteenth century or evolving into a globalized, supranational world? Has the nation-state outlived its usefulness and exhausted its progressive and emancipatory role?

Opening with powerful statements by Lord Acton and Otto Bauer – the classic liberal and socialist positions, respectively – Mapping the Nation presents a wealth of thought on this issue: the debate between Ernest Gellner and Miroslav Hroch; Gopal Balakrishnan’s critique of Benedict Anderson’s seminal Imagined Communities; Partha Chatterjee on the limitations of the Enlightenment approach to nationhood; and contributions from Michael Mann, Eric Hobsbawm, Tom Nairn, and Jürgen Habermas.

With contributions by Lord Acton, Otto Bauer, John Breuilly, Partha Chatterjee, Ernest Gellner, Jürgen Habermas, Eric Hobsbawm, Miroslav Hroch, Michael Mann, Tom Nairn, Anthony D. Smith, Katherine Verdery, and Sylvia Walby


  • “Representative of serious left-of-center thinking on the subject of nationalism, and of great use as a general introduction to the topic.”
  • “...left-leaning philosophical approaches to the subject of nationalism...”


  • Eric Hobsbawm's Introduction to the 2012 Edition of Marx & Engels 'The Communist Manifesto'

    In commemoration of the death of renowned scholar and Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, Verso presents his introduction to the most recent edition of Marx & Engels 'The Communist Manifesto' for all to enjoy.



    In the spring of 1847 Karl Marx and Frederick Engels agreed to join the so-called League of the Just [Bund der Gerechten], an offshoot of the earlier League of the Outlaws [Bund der Geächteten], a revolutionary secret society formed in Paris in the 1830s under French Revolutionary influence by German journeymen – mostly tailors and woodworkers – and still mainly composed of such expatriate artisan radicals. The League, convinced by their ‘critical communism’, offered to publish a Manifesto drafted by Marx and Engels as its policy document, and also to modernize its organization along their lines. Indeed, it was so reorganized in the summer of 1847, renamed League of the Communists [Bund der Kommunisten], and committed to the object of ‘the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the rule of the proletariat, the ending of the old society which rests on class contradiction [Klassengegensätzen] and the establishment of a new society without classes or private property’. A second congress of the League, also held in London in November–December 1847, formally accepted the objects and new statutes, and invited Marx and Engels to draft the new Manifesto expounding the League’s aims and policies.

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  • An interview with François Maspero: ‘A few misunderstandings’

    In commemoration of the death of author and publisher François Maspero, who passed away on Saturday, April 11 at the age of 83. Verso presents this translated interview with the founder of Éditions Maspero, the publishing house which has served as an inspiration for radical left publishing since the fifties.

    François Maspero (19 January 1932 – 11 April 2015)

    We see the publisher François Maspero as having played a leading role in ‘smuggling across’ the communist and anti-colonial thought of the postwar period and preserving its heritage. Indeed, Éditions Maspero is an unavoidable reference point for any discussion of critical publishing in France. Maspero’s output was the theatre of important debates on the far Left in the 1960s and 1970s, and played a pioneering role in many fields. It was Maspero who published Fanon, the political writings of Baldwin, Malcolm X and Che, anthologies of classic labour-movement works, Althusser’s ‘Théorie’ collection, the journal Partisans… We wanted to ask him about his project and the editorial ambitions that he had at the time. Here we reproduce what he calls an ‘attempt at a response’ to our questions.

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  • New Left Review> Issue 91 out now!

    The January/February issue of New Left Review is now on sale, featuring the following essays:

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Other books Edited by Gopal Balakrishnan Introduction by Benedict Anderson