Volume 16, Issue 1/2, 2006
Nationalism and Patriotism
The Contribution of Andrzej Walicki
This article surveys briefly the main concepts of the nation and nationalism, and notes the wide range of interpretations. A distinction is drawn between Liberal and integral nationalism, the use of the Polish term nacjonalizm, and the alleged basic difference between nationalism in Western and Eastern Europe.
The second part of this article is devoted to Walicki’s theses and contributions. They are characterized by a rejection of the concept of the artificiality of the nation, of “constructivism” and the “imagined community” model. He does it not only on purely theoretical grounds but on the basis of an examination of the origins and development of Polish nationalism and patriotism which the above-cited writers have ignored. He concludes that only a profound knowledge of Polish history—sadly lacking in Western literature—would permit a more nuanced presentation of the general phenomena of nation and nationalism in Europe.