By Atsuko Ichijo
This ebook is the 1st to use the idea of a number of modernities to the examine of nationalism, analyzing the modernity of nationalism via 3 significant case-studies: Anglo-British, Finnish and jap.
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Extra info for Nationalism and Multiple Modernities: Europe and Beyond
This chapter is more interested in examining English nationalism as a form of societal self-understanding based on intensive self-reflection: whether it was an exercise of human agency in its attempt to master the environment. This section therefore re-examines evidence that has been put forward to argue for the birth of English nationalism to see if it also addresses the criteria suggested by the theory of multiple modernities. Hans Kohn’s work on the genesis of English nationalism adopts a history of ideas approach and combines a general historical narrative with examination of various writings from the Elizabethan era onwards for reference to a sense of being English – a particular state of being that may well evoke pride (1940).
When modernity is conceptualised as a civilisation, the macro-historical context of modernity is better captured. In particular, the dynamic relationship between the Axial civilisations and modernity, that the latter is both continuity and rupture of the former at the same time, is more easily comprehended (Arnason 2010; Delanty 2004). The civilisational analytical perspective also highlights a range of interconnections between culture and other areas of the social world and can explain better how the tension between the Enlightenment and Romanticism relates to the economic and political dimension of modern social life, for instance.
This probably reflects widely shared concern over theorisation of modernity in the field. With the emergence of globalisation as the locus of theorisation of contemporary society and the rise of postmodernism, the question of modernity was attracting renewed attention when the theory of multiple modernities was first proposed. Raymond Lee (2006) sees the theory of multiple modernities forming part of a larger trend to recapture modernity together with ‘reflexive modernity’, proposed by Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens, and ‘liquid modernity’, put forward by Zygmunt Bauman.