Nationalism and Its Discontents

Nation, Nation-State, and Nationalism are integral parts of an evolutionary process in societal development with multiple determinants including demographic, technological, economic, scientific, sociologic, etc., etc. This course’s approach will be a historical view. With deep roots going back to Reformation, it evolved in Europe as a by-product of Enlightenment’s search for governmental legitimacy. Like all concepts, it developed from an elites’ doctrine to a governmental political ideology (Nazism). Nationalism became a major determinant in the rise of Political Science as a discipline.

In six weeks, we will study the origins of the movement from a liberal idea to authoritarian regimes. Following its transformation after World War II, the unintended consequences of globalization and technological revolution have re-activated a novel formulation in the form of a pervasive and growing political alternative to populism. The course will be a combination of presentation of  historical background and in-depth discussion of additional recent publications provided by the group leader. At most, two hours of preparation accompanied by open mindedness are required.

Timothy Baycroft: Nationalism in Europe 1789-1945
Jan-Werner Muller: What is Populism
Additional recent publications will be provided by the group leader.

Class Recordings:

Class 1 - October 7, 2020

Class 2 - October 14, 2020

Class 3 - October 21, 2020

Class 4 - October 28, 2020

Class 4 - November 4, 2020

Class 5 - November 11, 2020


Meets on: Wednesdays 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Starting: 10/7/2020
Sessions: 6
Class Size: 24
Teaching Style: Lecture with discussion
Weekly Preparation: 2 hours
Group Leader Biography:

George Theodosiou is a retired cardiologist. Since his retirement, George has led over 25 courses at numerous institutes for learning in retirement (ILRs) including Beacon Hill Seminars and HILR.