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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.20

Contemporary conceptualization of nationalism in the Czech Republic and Gellner's theory


  • Zdeněk UHEREK

Primary authors


Under the notion of nationalism, a wide range of expressions of solidarity, aggressive behaviour or other social manifestations is included in both the unqualified public and members of the anthropological community. Not all of these manifestations correspond to Gellner's theory of nationalism, which conceptualizes nationalism as a prerequisite for the emergence of national states. My contribution aims to suggest answers to the question of what human behaviour is related to Gellner's theory of nationalism, and in what direction nationalism and its conceptualizations have shifted after Gellner's death. I choose examples from the Czech Republic, where the nationalism is conceptualized in the context of negative endpoints, and the notion of patriotism, which has no strong political connotations, was used instead for the behaviour associated with the nation-building processes. The concept of nationalism then stands in opposition to the notion of internationalism or cosmopolitanism. The question of my contribution is how the semantic fields of these concepts evolved and how the meaning of the notion of nationalism and of the groups that are termed the term is changing. The Czech Republic is specific in linguistic terms, but similar conceptual manipulations can be found in other Central European countries. The data source for my contribution is drawn from speeches of selected personalities and analysis of selected media sources.