The Idea of Nation and Nationalism: Miroslav Hroch

Nation and nationalism are contested ideas yet inseparable from our lives. Every time, debates, discussions, controversies and even wars arise because of these powerful ideas.

In this particular post, I do not write anything new. This post simply tries to provide a helpful introduction to the scholarly views of nations and nationalism. These are sourced from The Nationalism Project. I hope you find it useful not only as a student of Political Science or Sociology, but as a conscious human being willing to understand the world better.

This is PART 3 in the series: NATION & NATIONALISM


Defining “Nation”: Miroslav Hroch

miroslav hroch
Miroslav Hroch

Miroslav Hroch is an important Czech political theorist. The essay cited here offers an important definition of “nation.”

“Now the nation is not, of course, an eternal category, but was the product of a long and complicated process of historical development in Europe. For our purposes, let us define it at the outset as a large social group integrated not by one but by a combination of several kinds of objective relationships (economic, political, linguistic, cultural, religious, geographical, historical), and their subjective reflection in collective consciousness. Many of these ties could be mutually substituable- some playing a particularly important role in one nation-building process, and no more than a subsidiary part in others. But among them, three stand out as irreplaceable: (1) a ‘memory’ of some common past, treated as a ‘destiny’ of the group- or at least of its core constituents; (2) a density of linguistic or cultural ties enabling a higher degree of social communication within the group than beyond it; (3) a conception of the equality of all members of the group organized as a civil society.”

mapping the nation
Mapping the Nation


*Hroch, Miroslav. “From National Movement to the Fully-formed Nation: The Nation-building Process in Europe,” in Balakrishnan, Gopal, ed. Mapping the Nation. New York and London: Verso, 1996: pp. 78-97. See especially p. 79.


Except necessary changes, all the contents of this post are sourced from The Nationalist Project. You can read more about the project HERE.

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