1st Edition

State and Majority Nationalism in Plurinational States

Edited By Daniel Cetrà, Coree Brown Swan Copyright 2023

    How do states respond to minority nations’ demands? Are state nationalism and majority nationalism the same? This book brings together the leading lights in nationalism studies to turn their attention to the neglected role of the state in nationalist disputes.

    The aspirations of state and majority nationalists often conflict with the aspirations of substate nationalist movements, leading to disputes over resources, symbolic recognition, and the structure of the state. State elites are then forced to supply arguments defending the political union and to articulate strategies for its continuation. In the process, they make explicit what being ‘national’ means and the symbolic repertoires for doing so. With case studies from China, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, and Nepal, this edited volume examines state and majority nationalism in all its guises, asking how states respond to nationalist challenges from below. It is particularly timely at a moment when territorial and secessionist crises are reshaping politics.

    State and Majority Nationalism in Plurinational States will be relevant reading for students and researchers of comparative politics and international relations, including those with a deep interest in territorial politics, national identities, group rights, and representation. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.

    1. State and Majority Nationalism in Plurinational States: Responding to Challenges from Below

    Daniel Cetrà and Coree Brown Swan

    2. Making Hong Kong Chinese: State Nationalism and its Blowbacks in a Recalcitrant City

    Jean-François Dupré

    3. From Civic Pluralism to Ethnoreligious Majoritarianism: Majority Nationalism in India

    Brian Girvin

    4. Why Stay Together? State Nationalism and Justifications for State Unity in Spain and the UK

    Coree Brown Swan and Daniel Cetrà

    5. Performing Canadian State Nationalism through Federal Symmetry

    Karlo Basta

    6. The Politics of Diversity Treatment in Contemporary Nepal: From Difference Elimination to Difference Management?

    André Lecours

    7. Majority, State Nationalism, and New Research Pathways

    Alain-G. Gagnon


    Daniel Cetrà is Beatriu de Pinós Research Fellow at the University of Barcelona, Spain. He specialises in nationalism, comparative territorial politics, and the politics of language.

    Coree Brown Swan is Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Queen’s University Belfast, UK, where she works on the politics of independence and union.