The descent of nations: social evolutionary theory, modernism and ethno‐symbolism
AffiliationUniversity of Edinburgh
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThis article explores the use of a revised conception of social evolutionary theory towards an understanding of nationalism. First, I review the debate between ethno‐symbolism and modernism, through the lens of the Warwick Debate between Gellner and Smith, arguing that both are partly right. Secondly, I outline what the revised conception of social evolution is looking first at its traditional conception before outlining a Darwinian view of social evolutionary theory. Finally, I examine how Darwinian social evolutionary theory can help fruitfully bring the ethno‐symbolic and modernist perspectives together. This is done by a sustained engagement primarily with the theories of Anthony Smith and Ernest Gellner pointing to how Darwinian social evolutionary theory can provide a link between the two theories that makes them mutually supportive rather than opposed.
CitationKerr, W., (2019). 'The descent of nations: social evolutionary theory, modernism and ethno‐symbolism'. Nations and Nationalism, 25(1), pp. 104-123.
JournalNations and Nationalism