Fall 2008

Citizenship and National Identity


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, cultural and racial diversity within their borders? What have been the most important 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 transnational movements or commerce and migration undermined the national frameworks for assimilation and exclusion and altered the very meaning of patriotism, national belonging and citizenship? Are regional, transnational and cosmopolitan identities capable of weakening or displacing national identity? What could replace national identity? What would be the social and political gains or losses in a world of post-national identities? These and related questions will be addressed theoretically, historically and comparatively. To this end, we will consider a comparison of citizenship, patriotism and national identity in the United States, Europe and Israel/Palestine. Fall semester. Professor Levin. Professor Machala.