1st Edition

Nations and Capital The Missing Link in Global Expansion

By Zlatko Hadžidedić Copyright 2022
    136 Pages
    by Routledge

    136 Pages
    by Routledge

    Nations and Capital: The Missing Link in Global Expansion is a groundbreaking analysis of the ultimate reasons for the emergence of nations and nationalism, as a socio-political and geopolitical instrument in the global expansion of capitalism.

    The author provides the missing link in the relationship between nationalism and capitalism and offers a comprehensive critique of classical theories of nationalism, well illustrated by historical examples. He develops an original theory of nations and nationalism, relying on the assumption that the incessant widening of the gap between the capitalist elites and the labouring masses inevitably makes the endless accumulation of capital socially unsustainable. Bridging that gap without changing the structure of society becomes the paramount task for the system, which has to introduce nationalism as a social glue tailored to conceal, but also to cement, the actual polarisation of society.

    This book will be of great interest to advanced undergraduate students, postgraduate students, and researchers in political science, sociology, history, international relations, security studies, social and political theory, and nationalism studies.



    Chapter I

    How to Define the Self-Defined?

    Chapter II


    The Prehistory of the Word

    'Natio' in Latin

    'Nation' in English

    'Nation' in French

    'Nation' in German

    The Emergence of the Discourse

    Chapter III

    Givens and Adaptables


    Mobilisation Around the Concept

    Chapter IV

    The Ideal of Permanence, the Reality of Randomness

    Boundaries and Borders

    The Discourse vs. Social Phenomenon

    Mobility and Mobilisation

    Chapter V

    Reactive or Active?

    Liberal or Illiberal?


    Chapter VI

    Why Capitalism?

    Embedded and Dislodged

    Chapter VII

    The State in Capitalism

    The Nation-State as a Geopolitical Device

    Chapter VIII

    Anti-Systemic or Pro-Systemic?

    Chapter IX

    Nations and Nationalism in the 21st Century

    Nationalism Reinvented



    Zlatko Hadžidedić is the Director at the Center for Nationalism Studies in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (www.nationalismstudies.org). He is the author of Forced to be Free: The Paradoxes of Liberalism and Nationalism (2013).

    "Hadžidedić travels much further with the ambitious goal of opening up a new line of research. The result is a highly knowledgeable book which sheds light on the one of the founding relationships of the modern age. It is perhaps among the most innovative books on the theory of nationalism that has been published over the last 20 or 30 years."

    Daniele Conversi, writing in Ethnic and Racial Studies 2022

    "Nationalism is not only a political phenomenon. It is a set of social practices that also shape and are shaped by economic forces. Hence in this very perceptive and enlightening book "Nations and Capital: The Missing Link in Global Expansion,” Zlatko Hadžidedić explores the relationship between nationalism and capitalism. Most scholars agree that there are strong links between these two historical processes but very few have explored their relationship in a greater detail. Hadžidedić’s book aims to fill this explanatory gap by identifying different historical and social mechanisms that have made the emergence and expansion of nationalism in the context of capitalism possible."

    Siniša Malešević, writing in Nationalities Papers 2023

    “In Nations and Capital. The Missing Link in Global Expansion, Zlatko Hadžidedić attempts to provide a definitive account of the rise of nationalism as a necessary mechanism to ensure capitalism's global expansion from the early 'core' (mainly the Netherlands and England or Britain, later joined by the United States) to the rest of the world. The argument is clear and coherent: capitalism in the form of relentless pursuit of wealth accumulation needed nationalism to survive, grow and expand and that is the origin of nationalism. The crucial importance of nationalism for capitalism in its perpetual growth and expansion is captured succinctly in the title of the second part, entitled 'No capitalism without nationalism'. From the perspective of theories of nationalism, Hadžidedić belongs to the same camp as Ernest Gellner, since nationalism is essentially seen as an epiphenomenon of capitalism's global expansion. What moves the world, and therefore history, at the end of the day is capitalism, and nationalism facilitates its operation.”

    Atsuko Ichijo, writing in National Identities 2023