Nation Work

The world since the 19th century has been a patchwork of nations constructed around mutually exclusive identities. The model emerged from the European experience of small competing states, but it became global in the 19th century, as old empires and newly formed states in the Third World struggled to assert diplomatic equality and autonomy. This collection of essays explores this struggle, focusing in particular on the role and strategies of political elites from South Asia to Japan to carve for their nations a place in the new international order. Not all such elites were successful in creating political entities able to survive the conditions in which they emerged, and many even today continue to dream of becoming nations.

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