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The continuing relevance of George L. Mosse to the study of nationalism

Hutchinson, John ORCID: 0000-0002-2088-8305 (2020) The continuing relevance of George L. Mosse to the study of nationalism. Journal of Contemporary History. ISSN 0022-0094

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0022009420907661


This article explores four aspects of George L. Mosse’s legacy in the field of nationalism. First, it examines his wrestling with the normative complexities of nationalism, reflected in his horror of integralist nationalism (exemplified in fascism) that was in tension with his sympathy with liberal Zionism. Second, it discusses Mosse’s innovative anthropological approach to nationalism as a form of culture that aligns him with the ethno-symbolic school of nationalism, associated with Anthony D. Smith. A third contribution was his pioneering studies of the rituals of war commemoration and their changing forms as central to national legitimation. Finally, Mosse has been recognised by leading feminists as an important early investigator of sexuality as it relates to the construction of repressive national codes of respectability. What links these topics is Mosse’s tendency to view nationalism as reinforcing the coercive aspects of modern industrial societies. In none of these areas was Mosse a systematic thinker, but the interdisciplinary character of his work and his concern with fundamental problems of identity continues to inspire research into these issues.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2020 08:42
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:50

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