Ethnicity, Nationalism and the State

University of Galway

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Ethnicity, Nationalism and the State

  • Host University

    University of Galway

  • Location

    Galway, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    International Relations, International Studies, Justice Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Science, Social Work

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Students must have approval from the professor to take this course

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description: The term ?ethnic cleansing? is now an inexorable entry to the modern political vocabulary. First used to describe events in post-communist Yugoslavia, particularly within the Bosnia-Herzegovina region, today it still conjures up chilling images of the systematic slaughter of innocent people for no reason other than that of being ?different?. Real or imagined, these peoples? ?differences? were deemed sufficient to justify their ?cleansing?. One major motivation for these atrocities appears to have been to ensure that whatever new political state would emerge in the region following the collapse of the FRJ, it would be one based as far as possible on the notion of a single ethnic group forming both the governing and administrative elites, as well as all of its citizens. Rulers and ruled would be drawn from the same ethnic pool; ?the others? had no place within the plan. These images from the recent past within Europe are also of course timely reminders that it is not just in the continent of Africa where contemporary states face challenges to their legitimacy based on ethnic mobilization, and where bloody confrontations evoking the ethnic and the nation ? often as interchangeable terms ? have led sometimes to radical changes in some states, sometimes the fragmenting of others, and the appearance of new ones. This module is designed to address these issues: it does so by looking at the concepts of ethnicity, nationalism, their relationship to each other as well as to that of the state. It does that not simply by considering them in a dry abstract sense, but also in the somewhat more concrete way of looking at their interaction in specific instances of state formation that have occurred in recent years, particularly in the context alluded briefly to above.

    Methods of assessment and examination: Assessment is by means of one short essay worth 20%, a 1 hour exam worth 20% and 1 long essay (60%)

    Core text: Assigned readings.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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