Nation Building

Here’s a topic I have never written about before… Nation Building. I just want to point you to a great article I read in the Globe yesterday that puts some meat on the question of “Nation Building,” when has it happened before? How long does it take? What is really happening? How does it start and how does it finish?

Here’s the crux of the argument in “How to build a nation” – The Boston Globe

“Identities are chosen strategically, they evolve over time, and people make decisions about what identities to prioritize,” said Jeremy Weinstein, a political science professor at Stanford University who studies ethnic politics and democratic transition in Africa. “This suggests there is room for fluidity and change.”

The lesson of history, it appears, is that tribal division isn’t a permanent condition: It’s just the default when people don’t yet have a nation they have a good reason to identify with. As it turns out, there are examples to follow. And it does not take centuries — or even more than a generation — to build a sense of citizenship. In fact, what we know about forging national identities actually makes the situation in the Middle East seem less dire than it would first appear. (from “How to build a nation” – The Boston Globe)

An excellent article.

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