POLS316 Nations, Ethnicity, Nationalism



The study of nationalism as a political doctrine and the historical development of nations requires an interdisciplinary approach, encompassing a series of humanities and social sciences. The doctrine of nationalism has a long history from progressive and liberal to reactionary ideology, often being an example of "bad" practice in public relations. This clas aims to present the roots ant the history of Nationalismq its development and meaning in academic sort of occurrence and also the content of ethnicity and nation in the past and present days.

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Politics and Society (in English)


Assoc. Prof. Boyan Dumanov, PhD
Asst. Prof. Metodi Metodiev, PhD

Course Description:



After completing successfully this course the students will:

1) know: The students will know the main and most important regularities and peculiarities in the development of national ideas in Europe and USA and will gain a basic understanding of their relationship with other political doctrines.

2) be capable of: Students will be able to formulate and present in comprehensive, academic language the nature of the process leading to the formation of modern nations and respond to current challenges, concerning the importance and the need of the nation and national identity today.


Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:


  1. Basic definitions. Ethnicity, ethnic group, ethne, ethnic identity, ethnogenesis, ethnic identity, dominant ethnicity, people, nation, nationality, Nazism, patriotism, race, racial types, regionalism, kin and stock, family, social group, tribe, populism, historical myth, historical fiction, historical ethnography, assimilation, integration, acculturation, minority. Common errors with the use of "nationalism", "patriotism", "Nazism."
  2. The ancient ethnicity. Did the ethnic identity existed in antiquity? Meaning of the concepts of “patria, gens, natio, populus, imperio” in the system of antique ethnography. Roman imperialism vs. regional identity. Ecclesiastical ecumenism and ethnicity in the Middle Ages. Appearances on the East and West. Ethnic and social structures of the medieval monarchic states.
  3. Geographical determinants in the formation of the modern nations. Race and racial theories. Physicogeographical abd climatic premises in the formation of identity and ethnic mentality. North vs. South. Territorial homogeneity and variety. France as an example of early achieved territorial unity contra German regionalism. A short introduction to racial types and the part of race in the ethnicity and the ethnic formation.
  4. Nations and the Birth of Modernity. Transformation of the Old World. Renaissance and Reformation. Economic preconditions for the conception of nationality and its opposition to the universalism. Nation against the tirany of Monarchy and the Church. Нацията срещу монархическата и църковна тирания. Meaning and relevance of Tudor revolution.
  5. Seminar lesson - „Ethnicity in Antiquity and Middle Ages”.
  6. The Sovereign nation. Ethnic foundations of the nation – aspects of overestimation and criticism. Foundations and principles of the formation of national states. Nation as social contract and its economic, politic and ideological premises. Relations to other kind of collective formations and groups. The dominant ethnicity and minorities.
  7. Nations without states and “nationless” states. The national revolutions. Alternatives of the national states in Europe and Asia. Religion as factor of state building and unity, political expansion and protector of identity. The nations within the Habsburg Empire, Russiam Empire, and Ottoman Empire till the twenties of the 20th c. Dynastic nationalism.
  8. The American model. Does American nation exist? Nation as form of social contract in USA. Interactions between white elites and local ethnic entities. Emigration, segregation, assimilation and integration.
  9. Seminar lesson – „Nations and national ideas in the Balkans till the twenties of the 20th c.”
  10. Nation and Communism. Theory and practice of Communism. The opposition of “Class” and “Nation”. The reaction of Nationalism. The emergence of radical nationalism and its manifestations. Nationalsocialismus. Nazzism. Meaning of the Bolshevik’s Revolution. Origins and significance of National Communism.
  11. Nations in crisis. Trends in the development of nations and national ideas during the Second World War and beyond. „The Fault” of Nationalism. Nation and ethnicity in USSR and the Soviet satellite states. Forms of asserting identity.
  12. National identity and modern Nationalism. Relicts and new trends. The reaction of nationalism to the modern political doctrines. Globalism. Does the nationalism bring the isolation? Populism and Pseudo-patriotism. Modern mediums of radical Nationalism – Neo-Nazism and football firms. The ways of opposition.
  13. «The Bulgarian model». Ethnic and cultural foundations of the Bulgarian nations. The significance of the historical myth. The Bulgarian nationalism – form and manifestation. The Essence of Bulgarian gentilismus. Ethnic and social groups in Bulgaria. State policy, forms of integration and assimilation.
  14. Seminar lesson - «Modern nationalism in East Europe»


Suggested Readings

Carew Hunt, R. N. The theory and practice of communism. Aylesbury, 1950.

de Cobineau, A. The inequality of the human races. London, 1915.

Hingley, R. (ed.) Images of Rome. Perceptions of ancient Rome in Europe and the United States in the modern age. Portsmouth, 2001.

Gellner, E. Thought and Change. London, 1964.

Gellner, E., G. Ionescu (eds.) Populism, its meanings and national characteristics. London, 1970.

Hutchinson, J. Modern Nationalism. Oxford, 1994.

Hutchinson, J., A. Smith (eds.) Ethnicity. Oxford, 1996.

Knight, F. Economic theory and nationalism. New York, 1935.

Kohn, H. The idea of Nationalism. A study in its origins and background. New York, 1945.

Leoussi, A. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Nationalism. New York, 2001.

Smith, A. Nationalist movements. New Yorkq 1976.

Smith, A. Nationalism in the Twentieth century. Oxford, 1979.

Smith, A. Ethnic revival of the Modern world. Cambridge, 1981.

Smith, A. Theories on Nationalism. London, 1983.



TEST 25 %


CASE 25 %