Nationalism of Spain and Russia -- Destabilization Essay

  • Length: 6 pages
  • Sources: 4
  • Subject: Literature - Latin-American
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #42263692
  • Related Topic: Spain, Russia, Russian Culture

Excerpt from Essay :

Nationalism of Spain and Russia -- Destabilization and Change

This paper discusses how nationalism has been able to handle destabilization and various changing process. The two major countries chosen for this paper include Spain and Russia and their overall growth of nationalist identity will be focused on in this paper to make a thorough and encompassing comparative analyses.

Destabilization and Change - Spain and Russia


According to various scholars, Russia was popularly known for its nationalism that incorporates its culture, fiction and cartoons. The identification or nationalism of Russia shows how western answers and Russian traditions have impacted each other. For the purpose of this comparative paper, the extent of cultural torn that have occurred since the Mongolian yoke will be discussed. The divorce was between the position of anti-westerniser and westernisers. Further illustration will be given that explained how Russia was portrayed by the westerns. Moreover, it also demonstrates Russians 'self' was defined based on the expectations of westerns (Kaempf, 2010).


In the preceding years many scholars complained about not getting the desired research about the nationalism of Spain. The related article explains the gap between civic and ethnic of Spanish nationality in the previous two centuries. Thus, it was concluded that nationalism of Spain was not considered as unified; however, the ideology has two varieties. In the 19th century, the nationalist of both liberal and conservative traditionalist were formulated. Later on, they competed against each other to achieve supremacy. After few years, it was observed that both these discourses became a strong backbone for various political regimes. Yet, soon after the introduction of Catalan and Basque movements, the Spanish nationalist once again unified for the identification of various regions. It is said that the Spanish nationalism is clearly seen in the 20th century which is followed by great struggle among the periphery and the centre (Muro and Quiroga, 2005).

Compare and Contrast

According to the people, the nationalism of Spain had been a mixture of both civic and ethnic components. Based on various political circumstances, the emphasis on civil and ethnic features was changed. The conservative rulers tried to highlight and focus the ethnic elements. However, as observed, the nationalism of Spain has never been purely civic or ethnic (Rogozen-Soltar, 2007). Different elements of culture were introduced in civic nationalism in order to justify the reality of political community. Simultaneously, there was a need to give a political identity to cultural community. In the mid of 19th century, it became easier to understand the identity of Spanish nationality with the help of traditional and liberal conceptions. Further in the 20th century, there came the emergence of another movement known as peripheral nationalist. This was followed by rapid changes in the people of Spain and their idea of nationalism. Introduction of new variants was the reason behind this change. Further, ethinization took place by the rulers that were based on liberal features adopted earlier. The Spanish liberal idea is mainly democratic and multicultural in nature. It is basically the bygone development that had much to execute with the antagonism to the National Catholic canon. Due to this opposition, the political coalition's liberal forces extended with peripheral nationalists during the authoritarian era (Muro and Quiroga, 2005).

After the 1978 constitutional agreement in Spain, nationalism has not only directed to an aggregate consensus on the democratic nature of the nation but also decentralized structure of the state. The democratic nature and decentralization of state became the reason of change of modern Spanish nationalism and get reorganization by the different cultural and national groups within Spain. This Spanish nationalism in its self-depicting is an illustration of 'civic' nationalism, which is antagonistic to the 'ethnic' peripheral nationalisms. Still, there was no indication that there was end of the conflict between Spanish 'civic' nationalism and peripheral 'ethnic' nationalisms, let alone the unaccompanied vanishing of Spanish nationalism. As it had been seen, this new sort of nationalism was not completely "civic," but also incorporated the historical determinism and more importantly the cultural topographies in its description of Spain (Muro and Quiroga, 2005). For instance, the nationalism stress on the regional cultures and has meant that in Andalusia, in particular, the legislators, culture labors, literati, and at times others had been hyperaware of the question of "how the state has been observed nationally?" (Rogozen-Soltar, 2007)

The 21st century new challenges are probable to alter the political dialogue of both Spanish 'civic' nationalism and peripheral 'ethnic' nationalists, in order to reformulating their relationship that was hidden since 1990s. The recent role of the state, the makeover of the unions, like European Union (EU), Islamic fundamentalism (IF) and the ultimate influence of non-European immigration in Spain, are existing concerns that will drive to the extra reforming of national distinctiveness in the Iberian Peninsula (Muro and Quiroga, 2005).

Whether this reforming of national distinctiveness will take a peripheral ethnic nationalism or Spanish civic nationalism line is challenging to conclude. The hegemony of the civic nationalism elements over the ethnic nationalism ones in the constitutional nationalistic dialogue is by no means certainty for the forthcoming event. Advance research on this extent will have to pact with the epistemological issue of differentiating between the additional communal expressions of 'Spanishness' and the more official and associative features along with the varying nature of Spanish nationalism in a progressively unified world. In all mentioned cases, both the civic nationalism and ethnic nationalism trends are likely to remain significant in the developing dialogue of Spanish nationalism (Muro and Quiroga, 2005).

By reviewing the Russian debates about Europe, that had been stretched over the previous two centuries; Iver B. Neumann had claimed that the procedure of outlining a Western country 'Other' from the Russian 'Self' had performed an essential part in Russian distinctiveness and creation of nationalism. The discussion about the Western countries in Russia itself had, subsequently, also been an argument about what Russian nationalism is and ought to be. Therefore, in order to reply to the query of whether Russia had been portion of or distant from the Western countries, this section of the paper will emphasize on how Russian notions had replied to the critical query of 'What is Russia?' Due to the cultural framework of Russian society, it has been claimed that the stiffness between Western-oriented liberal and romantic nationalist opinions had never been fully fixed. A cultural fabricated research of Russian society, as put forward here, would expose the trouble (or, as some would debate, the hopelessness) of negotiation in Russian culture (Kaempf, 2010).

Both Westerniser and anti-Westerniser status in political dialogue and fiction had been significant for the transfer of societal philosophies in Russia. Therefore, in order to apprehend the crux of their views, this section of the will observe the value structures of Russian culture. It will be claimed that there had been a lot of inclination in Russian beliefs to see the West-side as the abundant 'Other' in relation to which the Russian 'Self' had been perceived as either a tyro, a mate, or the right symbolic of humanism (Kaempf, 2010).

Therefore, Russia will be exposed as a society and nationalism that had been culturally busted between Westerniser and anti-Westerniser status. This crucial characteristic of Russia had discovered its origins in the difficulty realm of always having to move in its phases of progress from embryonic stage into maturity stage, thus being continually pushed to bypass the necessary era of adolescence. Strictly related to this feature is Lotman's argument about the trouble of settlement in Russian society, which can be further debated on an academic and cultural level. Therefore, the emphasis will be retained on the correlation between the unlike thoughts of Western Protestant and Russian Orthodox ethics, with the former's conceptualisation of Gesellschaft and the latter's imagining of Gemeinschaft. This investigation will pursue to deliver an image of the dissimilar formations of the noble life between the Western and Russian societies and the stiffness between the two thoughts within Russian culture and nationalism (Kaempf, 2010).

By succeeding this cultural approach, it will not be recommended that classifications such as the Western 'Other' or the Russian 'Self' establish something that had been archeologically stable, logical, or even cohesive. No matter what, those classifications had been unsolidified and complex and had been transformed during the course of history - something that this paper has established without attempting to 'essentialize' or to 'generalize'. Likewise, while the emphasis in this paper had been located on the fictional aspects of the Russian nation-state, this had not refuted the function that other useful justifications (such as class or sex) had performed in Russian culture and society. In addition to this, no assumption has been made in this paper regarding infinite recurring of historical patterns experienced by Russia in past. In 1960s, Isaiah Berlin stated that if a society has experienced similar historical patterns for at least 200 years, the chances are that they will occur in future as well. Neuman argued in 1996 that patterns may or may not recur;…

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