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POLISCI 34Q: Nationalism

Meet the Instructor | General Education Requirement

Course Description

From the 2016 US election, to Brexit, to the BJP’s success in India, nationalist platforms have been on the rise for years across the globe. The success of nationalist parties and candidates is often accompanied by backlash against outgroups, from immigrants to religious and ethnic minorities. Identifying with a national community often leads people to act against their material interest, from voting for economic policies that lower their personal standing, to undertaking extreme actions like self-sacrifice. Why is nationalism such a dominant force in today’s world? And why is national identification such a powerful driver of human behavior?

In this course, we will explore this question through a broad interdisciplinary lens, drawing lessons from the social sciences and history. We will ask what national identity is, where it comes from and why it has such appeal for humans. We will go back to the roots of nationalism in early modern Europe in order to understand the historical origin of national identities and modern nation-states. And we will try to identify the forces that drive the rise in nationalism today, by exploring a number of country cases across the world.

This seminar will rely on readings and active class participation. You will work on historical or modern country cases, leading class discussion and presenting your case summaries to the rest of the class.

General Education Requirement

Meet the Instructor

Vicky Fouka

Vasiliki Fouka

"I am an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Research Affiliate at the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). I study group identity and ingroup-outgroup relations with an interdisciplinary approach, using theories and methods from political science, economics, history and social psychology. Some applications of my research include immigrant assimilation, the determinants of prejudice against ethnic and racial minorities, and the long-run effects of history for inter-group relations. I am originally from Greece and studied Economics in Spain, where I earned a PhD from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona."

Learn more about Vicky Fouka