sense of particular identity was sharpenedrnh the confrontation of whiternand red men on the violent edge of thernAmerican states. As is so often the case,rnthe clash with the “other” helped to fusernthe Christian, English-speaking, northernrnEuropean eommunities along thernAtlantic seaboard and beyond into arnnation, a nation that would remain thernvital core of what we now call “America.”rnThe events surrounding the Texas revolutionrntook place some 30-odd years beforernmost modern observers, includingrnman political scientists, developmentalrntheorists, and sociologists would venturernto sav that an American nation, fullvrndeveloped or nascent, was in any wavrnpresent on the North American continent.rnA minority would differ; and here,rnin the clash between “modernists” andrn”primordialists,” lies the essence of thernconflict over the study of nationalism.rnEor the primordialist, nationalism isrnan extension of “primordial” family,rnelan, and tribal ties to a larger group. Nations,rnlarge groups of people who arernconscious of such a bond, existed longrnbefore nationalism as an ideologv developedrnin the 18th century. The ancientrnEgvptians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romansrnall possessed a sense of identity,rnuniqueness, and destiny that closely resembledrnthe self-defining characteristicsrnof modern nations. They also conductedrnwars, made treaties, collected tributernand taxes, composed epics about theirrnancestors, formed religious cults, and liberatedrn”their” lands from foreigners.rnThey told mythic tales of their nation’srnfounding, of Romulus and Remus, Abrahamrnand Moses, never doubting thatrnPro idcnee had selected them for specialrntasks. Nationalism, then, is a natural,rnthough not inevitable, development ofrnthe kinship tic.rnThe “modernist” views this claimrnas so much sentimental claptrap, andrnasserts that nations are a unique developmentrnof the modern age, a productrnof structural transformations in earlyrnmodern Europe’s economic, political,rnand social superstructure. New commercialrnrelationships demanded both therndestruction of the old order and therncreation of new social bonds in place ofrnthe old communal ones. Industrialismrndemanded a more mobile and fluidrnpopulation. The centralized bureaucraticrnstate would serve both purposes well:rnstate-sponsored intellectuals wouldrndream up “national” mythologies, andrncentralized educational systems wouldrnstandardize language and homogenizernregional cultures, making Germans outrnof Bavarians and Prussians, Frenchmenrnout of Normans and Gascons.rnThe modernists claim that a s stem ofrnhomogenization developed that more orrnless made people interchangeable partsrnin the vast machine of the industrializedrnworld. Their economic and structuralrndeterminism strongly influenced developmentalrntheorists, who saw “nationbuilding”rnas a route to modernity forrnthe developing world, and the “nationbuilders”rnaccepted the modernists’ determinismrnas a justification for their ownrnuniversalist tendencies. Liberals or socialistsrnfor the most part, the “nationbuilders”rnsaw no reason why, if nationsrnare completely artificial products of eeonomie,rnpolitical, and social structuralrnchanges, a “world nation” might not bernin mankind’s future. “Nation-building”rnwas a “progressive” development for thernSecond and Third Worids, but the FirstrnWorld, where the whole modernist projectrnhad originated, had already—or so itrnseemed to them—transcended the “national”rnphase, formmg the core of therndeveloping New World Order.rnT he fly in the universalists’ ointmentrnis that such Utopian dreams are notrnsupported by real world observation, andrnthe party pooper who seems to haverndone the most homework on the subjectrnis Walker Connor of Connecticut’s Trinit’rnCollege. Ethnonationalism synthesizesrnsome 30 years of Connor’s researchrninto nationalist movements in variousrnparts of the wodd, work that leads him tornsome very disheartening (for “nationbuilders”rnand other universalists) eonelusions.rnConnor asserts, among otherrnthings, that the “age of nationalism” isrnfar from over, that multinational statesrnare likely to suffer severe nationalistrnconflicts in the next century, and thatrnattempted assimilation of disparaternnational groups by “immigrant states” isrna verv shaky proposition.rnB contrasting “the literature on politicalrndevelopment with actual political developmentfi,”rnConnor concludes thatrn”structuralist” sociologists have grosslyrnoverestimated the power of economicrngrowth to overcome particular identities,rnwhile grossly underestimating thernstrength and resilience of those identities.rnOverall improvements in the standardrnof living have not, for instance,rncurtailed the growth of black nationalismrnin America, nor has the prospect ofrneconomic dislocation prevented Slovaksrnand Ukrainians from forming their ownrnstates. Of course, economic disparitiesrncan provide some national groups with arnuseful tool in a propaganda battle (hencernthe popularity of Marxism with variousrnpost-Wodd War II “national liberation”rnmovements), but nationalism appears torn”operate remarkably independent fromrnthe economic variable.”rnAccording to Connor, there are twornproblems that have led interpreters ofrnnationalist phenomena down false trails.rnFirst, many influential scholars (k’arlrnDeutsch appears to have done the mostrndamage) have confused the situationrnby employing the language of “nationbuilding”rn(they mean state-building)rnin studying nationalist phenomena. Ifrn”nation-building” means state-building,rnthen “nation” means state; “nationstate”rnmeans a centralized industrialrnstate (Connor calls them “integratedrnstates”); “patriotism” means loyalty tornthe state; a “citizen” of a “nation” is arnformal member of a legalistic polity; andrn”nationalism” is merely a form of modernistrnpolitical ideology. Modernists andrn”nation-builders” have discounted thern”ethnic” factor in state-building projects,rnand have become confused—again byrnfuzzy language—about what, exactly,rnthey are talking. In Sub-Saharan Africa,rnfor instance, a nation is called a “tribe,”rnand “nation-builders” tend to speak ofrn”race” as an entirely separate ingredientrnof the socioeconomic “national” soup.rnPrimordialists and modernists havernsimph been talking about two differentrnphenomena, one that is related to humanrnkinship and another that is not arnstate of consciousness or being but a processrnof social organization.rnConnor clears the air bv offering arnmore precise definition of “nation”; a nation,rnhe says, is the largest group thatrnimagines itself to be ancestrally relatedrn(thus his preference for the term “ethnonationalism”).rnNational identity,rnsince it is an extension of kinship (real orrnimagined), will trump all others in a testrnof lovalties. It is largely an internalizedrnpsvchfjlogical state that does not dependrnon the maintenance of external factorsrnalone—such as language, religion, orrnrace—and that can survive the loss ofrnmany of those external boundaries betweenrn”us” and “them.” The Irish, forrnexample, who are physically indistinguishablernfrom other inhabitants of thernBritish Isles, have lost their language, butrnIrish identity thrives. Indeed, over 40rnFEBRUARY 1996/31rnrnrn