Nationalism is not unique to any country, yet it is a very important aspect to analyze in the field of political-economy. There are different types of nationalism and these types do not always fit together comfortably.
The first type of nationalism emerges from expanding a nation in what I call the Conquest-Model like the growth of Rome. This brand of nationalism was accomplished well by Rome only because it sought to create an economy building roads and expanding investment opportunity with a common language and monetary system. Others who have sought to create empire, such as Spain, failed to view its possessions as equals and instead sought to exploit their resources. Britain expanded around the world but it too did not actually embrace the different cultures as did Rome. Rome permitted its conquered states to retain their own religion and customs, but created a single economy through language that the EU has failed to even understand. The USA expanded from East to West building a common language and economy in the same manner as Rome.
The second type is often considered the only type that is defined very broadly to include all of the people and religious groups that have traditionally lived in a given the territory creating the image of one country v another. This is truly perhaps the most common for it is typically the one furthered by the state and political leaders for it supports greater power in their hands. The key desire of these nationalists is often inspired by the state for the goal is to reintegrate the territory after a fall, or defend it against the world when the economy declines such as Germany post-WWI. These two flavors within the second type provide subcategories that are distinct. This second form nationalism is also one of pride where a lot of Russians ascribe to this seeing the old empire as a dream and respond that taking Ukraine is good because Russia is getting bigger once again. They do not see the economic impact.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 6, 2014.