The rise of nationalism among ‘small nations’


The rise of nationalism among ‘small nations’: Europe and Ottoman Empire

Krzysztof Lalik

There are many ethnic and national theories attempting to explain emergence of modern nations and national states. Obviously, the best known in Europe are theories coined out in the West and concerning principally events unfolded in the past centuries in Europe and America focusing on historical, political, social, economic, religious or cultural developments. However, even for richly documented history of European nations and states it’s is hard to find one comprehensive, holistic and interdisciplinary theory that would satisfy adherents of most of national concepts. Similarly, one need not be surprised to find also that the concepts that can help us to understand origins of European nations not necessarily fit to current and past reality of nations of civilizations different from the western living in other parts of the world e.g. the Middle East. Things get more complicated when we want to elucidate origins of so called ‘small’ nations (by contrast to ‘state nations’), rise of national movements among ethnic minorities and processes that led or helped these events to occur.


In the following seminars I will try to search and examine national concepts of selected scholars that can be most suitable for translating processes of emergence of ethnic sentiments and nationalism among Christian ethnic groups under the Ottoman Empire, mainly in Kurdistan area, during 19th ce. I will mainly refer then consecutively to theories of primordialism, modernism, ethno-symbolism and historical perspectives.