MAP Education and Humanities (MAPEH) / Volume 1 / Issue 1

ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER

The Birth of a Nation: Views on the Emergence of National Identities in European and Muslim Societies

by Melisa Zukić 1

1 Srednjoškolski centar Hadžići, Hadžići, Bosnia and Herzegovina

ABSTRACT

The emergence of a nation can be understood through the prism of modernist or traditionalist ideas but both ideas agree on the fact that the struggle for territory and influence, the development of the state through the bureaucracy and the collective experience of the community are fundamental conditions for the emergence of a nation and national identity. National identity creates an atmosphere and space in which members of the nation exist, providing the possibility of socialization and cooperation between different strata of society that accept common values and traditions, which has enabled a uniform collective self-definition. The theoretical starting points for understanding the origin of the nation inevitably touch on the French theoretical aspect for which the state is a community of people in a certain area, the homeland is represented by a repository of historical memories, and the patria by a community of laws and institutions of unified political will. From the German theoretical aspect, the emphasis is on the nation as a community of birth and gender culture. The people are understood as a superfamily of common ancestors, languages, customs and religions. In addition to the above theories, the theory of the historical will to live together is unavoidable, which emphasizes the common historical destiny of people living in one country, thus creating a common identity that has a transcendent meaning. In addition to the above, the nation can be understood as a judicial-administrative product with a collective foundation in the state within which sovereignty arises. The cultural background of the creation of the nation and national identities, in its essence, opposes the modern desacralization of the world. Although Western nationalism offered an integrative force for the creation of larger states that no other ideology could provide until then, it led to bloody conflicts and violence in the transition from agrarian to industrial societies. The crises produced by nationalism have been overcome by secularized ideas, values, myths and symbols from the Judeo-Christian tradition, which is easiest to reach in Western European societies in times of crisis. Nation-states in the Muslim world did not appear until the 20th century. After the decisive secularization, nation-states became a political framework in Muslim societies as well. Nationality in its loyalty to the nation was opposed to the hitherto generally accepted loyalty to the ummah. In order to alleviate the tension in this regard, the starting point for the development of nations in Muslim societies is the secularization of traditional values. Religious feeling remains at the root of nationalism in Muslim societies, so loyalty to a nation implicitly means religious loyalty as well. Nevertheless, modern processes of globalization transcend nation and national identities as sources of interethnic conflicts. The foundations are being laid for a global pacification culture that encourages self-definition of local cultural identities and a new way of emphasizing people's sovereignty. As modernization failed in the expectation of weakening national consciousness, national identities and nationalist movements strengthened at the end of the 20th century. The nation once again has the potential to offer solutions to problems that have emerged in a globalizing world in which a sense of continuity of a common past has been disrupted, as important determinants of identity.

Keywords: nation, national identity, nationalism, ummah, globalisation

HOW TO CITE THIS ARTICLE
Zukić M. (2021). The Birth of a Nation: Views on the Emergence of National Identities in European and Muslim Societies, MAP Education and Humanities, 1(1), 38-55. doi: https://doi.org/10.53880/2744-2373.2021.1.1.38

MAP Education and Humanities

Volume 1 / Issue 1

ISSN: 2744-2373/ © The Authors.
Published by MAP - Multidisciplinary Academic Publishing.

Article Submitted: 27 June 2021
Article Accepted: 16 July 2021
Article Published: 20 August 2021


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to the author(s).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.53880/2744-2373.2021.1.1.38

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