Fall 2007

Citizenship and National Identity

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-09


N. Gordon Levin (Section 01)
Pavel Machala (Section 02)


This course explores the meanings of citizenship and national political community in the context of the modern world. Historically, have states been created as national political communities, with unifying national cultural identities and ideologies? How have they responded to ethnic diversity within their borders? What have been the historical bases of national solidarity? How has the concept of full and equal national citizenship been variously defined and regulated? In what ways, if any, has the current era of globalization undermined the blueprints for assimilation and exclusion and altered the very meaning of patriotism, national belonging and citizenship? Are religious, transnational and cosmopolitan identities capable of weakening or displacing national identity? These questions and others will be addressed theoretically, historically and comparatively. To this end, we will consider a comparison of American, French and German concepts of national identity and citizenship; tensions between state and nation in the Middle East; and the issue of race, ethnicity and immigration in the European Union and the United States. First semester. Professors Levin and Machala.