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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

Reviews

  • “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...”

Blog

  • An Open Letter to the British Left

    This essay was first published in Jacobin


    (2015 Plan B conference: Stefano Fassina, Oskar Lafontaine, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and Yanis Varoufakis. via melenchon.fr)

    Dear friends and comrades,

    To a foreigner who has been living and working in the United Kingdom for the last sixteen years, the immediate post-referendum situation appears highly paradoxical. It seems as if the shock has been of such a magnitude that even the most celebrated British virtues — sense of humor, understatement and, above all, solid common sense — have faded away.

    On the losing side, which includes, of course, most of the media and the economic and political establishment, the impact is as devastating as it is unexpected. The markets are plunging all over the world and the City of London, the economy’s central nervous system, faces disaster.

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  • Benedict Anderson 1936-2015

    Verso is very sad to report the death of Benedict Anderson, one of our most respected and gifted authors whose works we have been proud to publish over the decades. Imagined Communities in particular has, since it was first published in 1983, helped to sustain our publishing house intellectually and financially. It was translated into over two dozen languages.


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  • 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.

     

    I

    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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Other books Edited by Gopal Balakrishnan Introduction by Benedict Anderson