Compare and contrast the concepts of civic and ethnic nationalism.
Nationalism is ostensibly a term which covers such elements as national consciousness, the expression of national identity and loyalty to the nation - "nation" itself being defined by Timothy Bancroft as:.
" a group of people identified as sharing any number of perceived or real characteristics - such as common ancestry, language, religion, culture, historical traditions and shared territory - the members of which can identify themselves and others as belonging to the group, united through some form of organisation, most often political.".
Bancroft, Timothy. Nationalism in Europe: 1789-1945. Cambridge University Press, 1999. p3.
This essay will briefly examine the concept of civic and ethnic nationalism, attempting to highlight some of the contrasting aspects while, at the same time, examining connections between the two ideologies as each strives for the establishment, retention or advancement of a nation state.
Civic nationalism is generally seen to be exercised in the areas in which there already exists a civil society, i.e. a group of people, each having a feeling of belonging to the same community, who are governed by and respect the rule of law. The people's national identity is said to arise from a sense of political community, within an area with defined geographical borders, which houses a culturally homogenous group, with equal rights under a legal system which is respected by the government - so indicating that civil nationalism and liberal democracy are complementary. Through education, the mass of people are more inclined to be incorporated into what Gellner labels a high culture, affording them equal rights to political decision alongside the elite, whose role it is to manage, rather than dictate to and manipulate them.
Ethnic nationalism usually refers to nationalism determined by descent.