Simon's Teaching Blog

What constitutes the nation-state? Conventional answers to this question propose that the nation-state involves two key elements: first, the cultural and imaginative construction of the nation as a community and, second, the state apparatus that governs the territory within which this national community resides. When the nation is predominantly imagined as a homogeneous ethnic community, the state operates to reinforce this homogeneity within the bounds of its sovereignty. However the nation can also be imagined as something more ethnically inclusive. Here citizenship might be premised upon residence rather than ethnic heritage. The history of the nation-state is defined by specific versions of both the ethnic and the inclusive state. How might we consider Palestine in relation to these observations?

Palestine can be understood as a nation in the sense that it is imagined to exist by millions of Palestinians living in what was Mandate Palestine and in the Palestinian diaspora. …

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