Nationalism is a political, social, and economic ideology and movement characterized by the promotion of the interests of a particular nation,[1] especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity,[2] and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power (popular sovereignty).[1][3] It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, language, religion, politics, and belief in a shared singular history[4][5][page needed]—and to promote national unity or solidarity.[1] Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture, and cultural revivals have been associated with nationalist movements.[6] It also encourages pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism.[7][page needed] Nationalism is often combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism (national conservatism) or socialism (socialist nationalism) for example.[2]

Nationalism as an ideology is modern. Throughout history, people have had an attachment to their kin group and traditions, to territorial authorities and to their homeland, but nationalism did not become a widely-recognized concept until the 18th century.[8] There are three paradigms for understanding the origins and basis of nationalism. Primordialism (perennialism) proposes that there have always been nations and that nationalism is a natural phenomenon. Ethnosymbolism explains nationalism as a dynamic, evolutionary phenomenon and stresses the importance of symbols, myths and traditions in the development of nations and nationalism. Modernism proposes that nationalism is a recent social phenomenon that needs the socio-economic structures of modern society to exist.[9]

There are various definitions of a "nation", however, which leads to different strands of nationalism. Ethnic nationalism defines the nation in terms of shared ethnicity, heritage and culture, while civic nationalism defines the nation in terms of shared citizenship, values and institutions, and is linked to constitutional patriotism. The adoption of national identity in terms of historical development has often been a response by influential groups unsatisfied with traditional identities due to mismatch between their defined social order and the experience of that social order by its members, resulting in an anomie that nationalists seek to resolve.[10] This anomie results in a society reinterpreting identity, retaining elements deemed acceptable and removing elements deemed unacceptable, to create a unified community.[10] This development may be the result of internal structural issues or the result of resentment by an existing group or groups towards other communities, especially foreign powers that are (or are deemed to be) controlling them.[10]National symbols and flags, national anthems, national languages, national myths and other symbols of national identity are highly important in nationalism.[11][12][13][14]

In practice, nationalism can be seen as positive or negative depending on context and individual outlook. Nationalism has been an important driver in independence movements, such as the Greek Revolution, the Irish Revolution, the Zionist movement that created modern Israel, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.[15][16] Conversely, radical nationalism combined with racial hatred was also a key factor in the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany.[17] More recently, nationalism was an important driver of the controversial annexation of Crimea by Russia.[18]


Title page from the second edition (Amsterdam 1631) of De jure belli ac pacis

The terminological use of 'nations', 'sovereignty' and associated concepts was significantly refined with the writing by Hugo Grotius of De Jure Belli ac Pacis in the early 17th century. Living in the times of the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Netherlands and the Thirty Years' War between Catholic and Protestant European nations (Catholic France being in the otherwise Protestant camp), it is not surprising that Grotius was deeply concerned with matters of conflicts between nations in the context of oppositions stemming from religious differences. The word nation was also usefully applied before 1800 in Europe to refer to the inhabitants of a country as well as to collective identities that could include shared history, law, language, political rights, religion and traditions, in a sense more akin to the modern conception.[19]

Nationalism as derived from the noun designating 'nations' is a newer word; in English the term dates from 1844, although the concept is older.[20] It became important in the 19th century.[21] The term increasingly became negative in its connotations after 1914. Glenda Sluga notes that "The twentieth century, a time of profound disillusionment with nationalism, was also the great age of globalism."[22]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Nasionalisme
Alemannisch: Nationalismus
አማርኛ: ብሔርተኝነት
العربية: قومية
aragonés: Nacionalismo
অসমীয়া: জাতীয়তাবাদ
asturianu: Nacionalismu
azərbaycanca: Millətçilik
Bân-lâm-gú: Bîn-cho̍k-chú-gī
башҡортса: Милләтселек
беларуская: Нацыяналізм
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Нацыяналізм
български: Национализъм
bosanski: Nacionalizam
brezhoneg: Broadelouriezh
català: Nacionalisme
čeština: Nacionalismus
davvisámegiella: Nationalisma
Deutsch: Nationalismus
eesti: Rahvuslus
Ελληνικά: Εθνικισμός
español: Nacionalismo
Esperanto: Naciismo
estremeñu: Nacionalismu
euskara: Nazionalismo
Fiji Hindi: Rastryawaad
føroyskt: Nationalisma
français: Nationalisme
galego: Nacionalismo
한국어: 내셔널리즘
हिन्दी: राष्ट्रवाद
hrvatski: Nacionalizam
Ilokano: Nasionalismo
Bahasa Indonesia: Nasionalisme
italiano: Nazionalismo
עברית: לאומיות
Basa Jawa: Nasionalisme
къарачай-малкъар: Миллетчилик
қазақша: Ұлтшылдық
Kiswahili: Utaifa
Кыргызча: Улутчулдук
Ladino: Nasionalizmo
latviešu: Nacionālisms
lietuvių: Nacionalizmas
Limburgs: Nationalisme
Lingua Franca Nova: Nasionalisme
lumbaart: Naziunalism
македонски: Национализам
മലയാളം: ദേശീയത
მარგალური: ნაციონალიზმი
مازِرونی: ناسیونالیسم
Bahasa Melayu: Nasionalisme
Mirandés: Nacionalismo
မြန်မာဘာသာ: အမျိုးသားရေးဝါဒ
Nederlands: Nationalisme
नेपाल भाषा: राष्ट्रवाद
нохчийн: Национализм
norsk nynorsk: Nasjonalisme
occitan: Nacionalisme
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Millatchilik
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਕੌਮਪ੍ਰਸਤੀ
پنجابی: نیشنلزم
Patois: Nashinalizim
Piemontèis: Nassionalism
polski: Nacjonalizm
português: Nacionalismo
română: Naționalism
rumantsch: Naziunalissem
русиньскый: Націоналізм
русский: Национализм
саха тыла: Национализм
sicilianu: Nazziunalismu
Simple English: Nationalism
slovenčina: Nacionalizmus
slovenščina: Nacionalizem
српски / srpski: Национализам
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Nacionalizam
svenska: Nationalism
татарча/tatarça: Милләтчелек
Türkçe: Milliyetçilik
тыва дыл: Национализм
українська: Націоналізм
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: مىللەتچىلىك
Tiếng Việt: Chủ nghĩa dân tộc
Winaray: Nasyonalismó
吴语: 民族主义
粵語: 民族主義
žemaitėška: Naciuonalėzmos
中文: 民族主義