Bernard Yack's most recent book to be subject of symposium at LSE

Oct. 21, 2013

Nationalism and the Moral Psychology of Community

Nationalism and the Moral Psychology of Community

Professor Bernard Yack's most recent book, Nationalism and the Moral Psychology of Community, has been selected as the topic for a symposium at the London School of Economics. The symposium, hosted by the Nations and Nationalism program and the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN) is scheduled for November 13th. In addition to Professor Yack, speakers include Chandran Kukathas (London School of Economics) and David Miller (University of Oxford). The discussion will be chaired by Jonathan Hearn (University of Edinburgh).

Click here to download a flyer for the symposium (in Adobe PDF format). More information on the event is also available at the London School of Economics Nations and Nationalism Debates website

According to the University of Chicago Press, Professor Yack's Nationalism and the Moral Psychology of Community "sets out a revisionist conception of nationalism that cannot be ignored."

"Nationalism is one of modern history’s great surprises. How is it that the nation, a relatively old form of community, has risen to such prominence in an era so strongly identified with the individual? Bernard Yack argues that it is the inadequacy of our understanding of community—and especially the moral psychology that animates it—that has made this question so difficult to answer. 

Yack develops a broader and more flexible theory of community and shows how to use it in the study of nations and nationalism. What makes nationalism such a powerful and morally problematic force in our lives is the interplay of old feelings of communal loyalty and relatively new beliefs about popular sovereignty. By uncovering this fraught relationship, Yack moves our understanding of nationalism beyond the oft-rehearsed debate between primordialists and modernists, those who exaggerate our loss of individuality and those who underestimate the depth of communal attachments. "