Hi John & Nikos,
Nice discussion going here. I am currently working in Belgium and dealing with issues of nationalism (or subnationalism). I like your elaboration Nikos. I think it shows several issues
- the contextual nature of nationalism, e.g. which persons are present, which group are you in, where are you etc.
- multiple identities (but I think it is interesting to note the different levels at play as well)
- primordialism and instrumentalism
I do not want to get an old debate starting, but since Nikos raised the issue of racism, I just thought this should be mentioned. Of course the relationship between nationalism and racism is quite strong, in some cases stronger than others but emic primordialism is quite common. In Belgium, like in other countries, many people discussed differences in mentalities and souls, but again one should watch in which situation and with what purpose. I think that as researchers our challenge is to exactly analyze that. Now what I find interesting in this issue, an issue which actually came up in a colloquium after reading work of our colleague Andrea Riester on Burkina Faso, is how do we researchers reify, or reiterate emic conceptualizations of nationalism? how to deal with this without actually contributing to it? Although I might have some suggestions I'd like to hear your responses!