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Why Nationalism$
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Yael Tamir

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691210780

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691210780.001.0001

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Living beyond Our Psychological Means

Living beyond Our Psychological Means

Chapter:
(p.43) 6 Living beyond Our Psychological Means
Source:
Why Nationalism
Author(s):

Yael Tamir

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691210780.003.0006

This chapter examines the bottom-up justification for the formation of the modern nation-state. It suggests that borderless states are dystopian, noting that in order to be democratic and promote justice, states must depend on a clear definition of territory and membership. The chapter elaborates how the borders and demarcation helped individuals define their identity, providing them with interpretive tools to decipher reality and make sense of their daily actions. It then explains the term human, human features, and identity. The chapter also explicates the need to belong to a cultural community, a nation, or any other particular group. It argues that it is an epistemological need for systems of interpretation that will allow us to understand the world and choose a way of life as well as a creative need for means of interpretation, exchange, and expression. Ultimately, the chapter assesses the negative effect of divided communities on human behavior.

Keywords:   modern nation-state, territory, membership, borders, demarcation, identity, human behavior

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