Postgraduate Course: Identity and Conflict in Multinational States (PGSP11599)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course examines the fundamental features and political dynamics of multinational states, such as the UK, Spain, Canada, Bosnia, India, Nigeria, and Iraq. The contingent legitimacy of such states can lead to major political crises, with consequences for both the societies concerned, and the world at large. The course seeks to understand how multinational states come about, what accounts for their internal political dynamics, including secession and breakup, and how those who govern them manage, or fail to manage , those dynamics. Cases covered may include Spain (Catalonia/Basque Country); UK (Scotland/Northern Ireland); Iraq (Kurdistan); Bosnia (Serb and Croat movements), Sri Lanka (Tamils), Nigeria, and a number of others.
This course examines the fundamental features and political dynamics of multinational states. The contingent legitimacy of such states can lead to major political crises, with consequences for both the societies concerned, and the world at large. The course seeks to understand how multinational states come about, what accounts for their internal political dynamics, including secession and breakup, and how those who govern them manage , or fail to manage , those dynamics. Cases covered may include Spain (Catalonia/Basque Country); UK (Scotland/Northern Ireland); Iraq (Kurdistan); Bosnia (Serb and Croat movements), Sri Lanka (Tamils), Nigeria, and a number of others.
The foundation of the course are the key features of multinational states, with a focus on the conditional legitimacy of their political-institutional framework and their borders. Indicative themes include: the historical divergence between nation-states and their multinational counterparts; political mobilization for self-government and secession in multinational states; the management of identity conflict through policy and institutional means (federalism/power-sharing); the politics of secession, including non-violent and violent secessionist outcomes; and the international political and legal aspects of secession.
Student learning experience:
The class will be delivered via weekly seminar sessions. These will include discussion of key concepts and theories, engaging with the ambiguities and problems of multinational statehood. Creative interplay of student opinions in interaction with the class material will be balanced against rigorous examination of the assigned material. This approach is meant to facilitate student comprehension of social science literature in general, and to improve their understanding of the research process.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Literature review (1500 words): 40%
Essay (2500 words): 60%
||- Preparatory guidance at the start of the class will be provided to help students initiate their major research project (consisting of a literature review and essay)
- Written feedback on each written assignment in advance of the next assignment.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Critically understand the core differences between nation-states and multinational states
- Have a critical awareness of the sources and likely lines of conflict in multinational states
- Propose and compare a broad range of policy and institutional measures for the management of conflict in multinational states, and assess their social, economic, and political implications
- Critically interpret the international legal and normative principles guiding intra-state conflict, including rights to secession, self-determination, and international recognition of statehood.
|Beissinger, Mark. 2002. Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. |
Caspersen, Nina. 2012. Unrecognized States: The Struggle for Sovereignty in the Modern International System. Cambridge: Polity.
Gagnon, Alain-G., André Lecours and Geneviève Nootens. 2011. Contemporary Majority Nationalism. Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press.
Lluch, Jaime. 2014. Visions of Sovereignty: Nationalism and Accommodation in Multinational Democracies. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Mikulas Fabry. 2010. Recognizing States: International Society and the Establishment of New States Since 1776. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Griffiths, Ryan. 2016. Age of Secession: The International and Domestic Determinants of State Birth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O'Leary, Brian, Ian Lustick & Thomas Callaghy. 2001. Right-Sizing the State: The Politics of Moving Borders. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rae, Heather. 2002. State Identities and the Homogenization of Peoples. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Roeder, Philip. 2007. Where Nation-States Come From: Institutional Change in the Age of Nationalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||1. Improved conceptualization skills and ability to absorb, contrast, and synthesize disparate theoretical arguments.
2. Enhanced research and presentation skills as a result of the combination of in-class material, and its link to the course assignments.
3. Advanced ability to interpret and understand political developments with the aid of theoretical tool-set acquired.
|Course organiser||Dr Karlo Basta
Tel: (0131 6)50 6372
|Course secretary||Mrs Gillian MacDonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 3244