The collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union has been the subject of numerous published works. The rise of nationalism since the mid-1980s has also been the focus of a great deal of scholarship in the fields of International Relations, Sociology and History. However, few of the works which examine the downfall of Communism take a long-term perspective on the role that nationalism played in eroding the foundations of the Communist bloc.1 Similarly, those works which focus on nationalism and ethnicity in the post-Communist period seldom look for explanations of the contemporary situation by examining the relationship between nationalism and Communism in Eastern Europe between 1948 and 1989 and in the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1991.


National Identity Political Culture French Revolution National Community Class Struggle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    There are, however, several books written before the collapse of communism that deal with the relationship between nationalism and communism. See e.g. Walker Connor, The National Question in Marxist—Leninist Theory and Strategy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984); Ronaldo Munck, The Difficult Dialogue: Marxism and Nationalism (London: Zed Books, 1986); John Schwarzmantel, Socialism and the Idea of the Nation (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991); Roman Szporluk, Communism and Nationalism: Karl Marx versus Friedrich List (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988); J. L. Talmon, The Myth of the Nation and the Vision of Revolution (London: Secker & Warburg, 1980); and Peter Zwick, National Communism (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Geoffrey Stern, The Rise and Decline of International Communism (Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1990), p. xii.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto (London: Penguin Books, 1985), p. 79.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    A. J. P. Taylor, Introduction, in The Communist Manifesto, p. 18.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Lenin made a similar distinction between Social Democrats and Communists during the First World War. See Isaac Deutscher, Stalin (London: Penguin, 1990), p. 147.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    V. I. Lenin, The State and Revolution (London: Penguin, 1992; first published in 1914), p. 31.Google Scholar
  7. Ephraim Nimni, ‘Great historical failure: Marxist theories of nationalism’, Capital and Class, 25 (Spring 1985), p. 70.Google Scholar
  8. Alex Callinicos, The Revenge of History: Marxism and the East European Revolutions (Oxford: Polity Press, 1991), p. 15. For one of the most complete examinations of Stalin and Stalinism, see Part 1 of Seweryn Bialer, Stalins Successors: Leadership, Stability, and Change in the Soviet Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  9. 20.
    See Leonard W. Doob, Patriotism and Nationalism: Their Psychological Foundations (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964); Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), Nationalism (A report by a study group of the members of the RIIA, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1939), p. 28; and John Breuilly, Nationalism and the State (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1982), as well as Istvan Hont, ‘The permanent crisis of a divided mankind: “contemporary crisis of the nation state” in historical perspective’, Political Studies, 42 (special issue 1994), pp. 166–223.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    See Walker Connor, ‘A nation is a nation, is a state, is an ethnic group, is a…’, in Ethnic and Racial Studies, 1/4 (October 1978), pp. 379–88.Google Scholar
  11. 26.
    The study of nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon. Although some books, like Carlton J. H. Hayes, Essays on Nationalism (New York: Macmillan, 1926) and Rudolf Rocker, Nationalism and Culture (Los Angeles: Rocker Publications Committee, 1937) date from the inter-war years, the first major wave of study came after the Second World War. Edward Hallett Carr, Nationalism and After (London: Macmillan, 1945), Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism (New York: Macmillan, 1945) and Carlton J. H. Hayes, The Historical Evolution of Modern Nationalism (New York: Macmillan, 1948) were the three studies which best exemplify the new urgency with which historians and sociologists sought to explain nationalism’s overwhelming significance in shaping world events. Subsequently the debate flourished, until by the 1980s nationalism became a course of study in many, if not most, academic institutions. Interest in nationalism was heightened by its positive effects in 1989/90 and its explosively negative characteristics which manifested themselves with particular vehemence in the early 1990s. Two major schools of thought on nationalism have evolved. One sees nationalism as a subjective condition — see Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983) — while others feel that nationalism stems from a more objective set of circumstances: see e.g. Smith 1991. These two views are not mutually exclusive, as witnessed by Gellner 1983. Other seminal texts on the subject of nationalism are E. J. Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism since 1780 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); Miroslav Hroch, Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); and Elie Kedourie, Nationalism (London: Hutchinson, 1960). A general survey of the subject can be found in John Hutchinson and Anthony D. Smith (eds.), Nationalism (Oxford Reader, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994). A useful bibliography is contained in Paul James, Nation Formation: Towards a Theory of Abstract Community (London: Sage, 1996).Google Scholar
  12. 33.
    Peter F. Sugar and Ivo J. Lederer, Nationalism in Eastern Europe (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1969), p. 40.Google Scholar
  13. 34.
    For more see Walter Kolarz, Myths and Realities in Eastern Eumpe (London: Lindsay Drummond, 1946).Google Scholar
  14. 38.
    Tom Nairn, ‘The modern Janus’, New Left Review, 94 (November-December 1975), pp. 3–29.Google Scholar
  15. 42.
    As cited in ft M. Barnard (ed.), J.G. Herder on Social and Political Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), p. 173.Google Scholar
  16. 43.
    John Hutchinson, Modern Nationalism (London: Fontana Press, 1994), p. 50.Google Scholar
  17. 47.
    As cited in R. W. Seton-Watson, A History of the Czechs and Slovaks (London: Hutchinson, 1943), p. 152.Google Scholar
  18. 48.
    Karl W. Deutsch, Nationalism and its Alternatives (New York: A. A. Knopf, 1969), p. 45.Google Scholar
  19. 51.
    Anthony D. Smith, Nationalism in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1979), p. 143.Google Scholar
  20. 52.
    Barnard (ed.) 1969, p. 31. See also Grosby 1995.Google Scholar
  21. 53.
    See Anderson 1983. For an alternative look at the notion of ‘imagined communities’, see Anthony D. Smith, ‘Gastronomy or geology? The role of nationalism in the reconstruction of nations’, Nations and Nationalism, 1/1 (March 1995), pp. 3–23. For a look at the concept of ‘invisible entities’, see Maurice Bloch, ‘The past and the present in the present’, Man, 12/2 (August 1977), pp. 278–92.Google Scholar
  22. 54.
    Robert A. Kann, The Multinational Empire: Nationalism and National Reform in the Habsburg Monarchy 1848–1918 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1950), p. 157. For more on the role of elites in nationalism, see George Schöpflin, ‘Nationalism, politics and the European experience’, Survey, 28/4 (Winter 1984), pp. 67–86.Google Scholar
  23. 55.
    Tom Nairn, The Break-Up of Britain: Crisis and Neo-Nationalism (London: NLB, 1977), p. 340.Google Scholar
  24. 58.
    Charles D. Elder and Roger W. Cobb, The Political Uses of Symbols (London: Longman, 1983), p. 143.Google Scholar
  25. 61.
    See David W. Paul, The Cultural Limits of Revolutionary Politics: Change and Continuity in Socialist Czechoslovakia (Boulder, Colo.: East European Quarterly, 1979), p. 3 and Introduction.Google Scholar
  26. 62.
    Lowell Dittmer, ‘Comparative communist political culture’, Studies in Comparative Communism, 16/1&2 (Spring/Summer 1983), p. 23.Google Scholar
  27. 64.
    David I. Kertzer, Ritual, Politics and Power (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1988), p. 6.Google Scholar
  28. 66.
    Archie Brown (ed.), Political Culture and Communist Studies (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1984), p. 186. See also Stephen White, Political Culture and Soviet Politics (London: Macmillan, 1979).Google Scholar
  29. 69.
    Breuilly 1982, pp. 1 and 2.Google Scholar
  30. 76.
    Hans Kohn, Nationalism in the Soviet Union (New York: AMS Press, 1966), p. x.Google Scholar
  31. 81.
    Carlton J. H. Hayes, Nationalism: A Religion (New York: Macmillan, 1960), p. 23.Google Scholar
  32. 82.
    Julius Braunthal, The Paradox of Nationalism: An Epilogue to the Nuremberg Trials (London: St Botolph, 1946), p. 16.Google Scholar
  33. 84.
    George Weigel, The Final Revolution: The Resistance Church and the Collapse of Communism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 11.Google Scholar
  34. 85.
    Ferenc A. Vali, Rift and Revolt in Hungary: Nationalism versus Communism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961), p. 498.Google Scholar
  35. 87.
    For more on communism as a religion, particularly in Russia, see Emil Lengyel, Nationalism: The Last Stage of Communism (New York: Frank & Wagnells, 1969), pp. 22–58.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Walter A. Kemp 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter A. Kemp

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations