By Stephen D. Reicher, Nick Hopkins

Self and kingdom is a full of life and obtainable exploration of the problems concerning nationhood, nationalism and nationwide id. The authors problem universal assumptions of what ‘national id’ ability through addressing key techniques of id, nationwide personality, nationwide background and nationalist psychology. How do buildings of nationwide identification have an effect on the way in which humans act, are mobilized, rework societies, create international locations and reshape countries the place they exist already? This publication indicates how the valuable proposal of nationwide id is utilized by politicians and activists in aid of makes an attempt to create kinds of countries. Self and state might be crucial analyzing for undergraduate and postgraduate scholars in addition to researchers in social psychology, politics, sociology and social anthropology.

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They also show, in some detail, the ways in which specific versions of history serve to underpin specific ways of imagining specific nations. Throughout the discussion it has either been implicit or else explicit that the importance of these ways of imagining lies in the way that they relate to the practical creation of particular forms of national being. Because of this link, we find multiple historical versions and multiple versions of identity being advanced, each of which relate to a different set of practical ambitions and interests.

However, in what sense can they protect themselves from the treatment they mete out to others? This point can be illustrated by reference to the treatment of Scottish history and the assault that is mounted upon the antiquity of Ossian’s poetry, of kilts and of clan tartans. While Hobsbawm suggests that the works attributed to the ancient bard were in fact a latter-day invention by James MacPherson, others have claimed that MacPherson simply transposed old Irish works to Scotland where the boundary between Irish and Scottish was itself ambiguous (James, 1996).

Rather, it can be argued that these disciplines emerged as the handmaiden of nationalism. Pearton, for instance, argues that ‘historians had, in the most literal sense, nationalized the culture. In doing so, they had fixed the way of defining the nation, determined its characteristics – what are the essential properties of being Ruritanian? – and provided criteria for citizenship’ (1996: 7–8). Hobsbawm encapsulates the relationship in terms of a powerful image: ‘historians are to nationalism what poppy-growers in Pakistan are to heroin addicts; we supply the essential raw material for the market’ (1992: 3).

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