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This is a lively and well-written textbook, which will prove a valuable addition to the IR textbook series - mainly because the ideas it covers have changed so fundamentally in the last ten years. Nationalism and ethnicity are uniquely considered within the context of both traditional IR theory and 'new' IR (ie Cold War perspectives). Joireman explains the conflict between primordialism (the view that ethnicity is inborn and ethnic division natural), instrumentalism (ethnicity is a tool to gain some larger, typically material end) and social constructivism (the emerging consensus that ethnicity is flexible and people can make choices about how they define themselves). Case studies are included on Quebec, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Eritrea.
ethnicity, political identity, nationalism
School of Arts and Sciences
Joireman, Sandra F. Nationalism and Political Identity. New York: Continuum, 2003.