In Blood and Belonging, Ignatieff makes a thorough examination of why blood ties–inplaces as diverse as Yugoslavia, Kurdistan, Northern Ireland, Quebec. Ignatieff, well-known in British TV as the smooth host of cerebral talk shows and political documentaries, takes on what he calls the rising tide of. The author of the book travels on what he terms “the six journeys.” On these ” journeys” he encounters different cultures, as he travels to six different.
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He examines the unique expression of nationalism that each populace displays by interviewing various members of that particular society. The six areas that he travels to are specifically chosen for the clarity which nationalism is expressed in society. Nationalism is a factor contributing toward both present possible future instability in these areas.
According to Ignatieff, in Croatia and Serbia there is a desire for a separate identity between the two nations. A terror so strong and historically persistent, it has driven people to a desperate state to do anything.
This is a large contributor to the reasons for the extreme violence present there today. A Serb is someone who is not a Croat. In his travels in Germany, the author points out an important question. Does the nation make the state, or the state the nation? This question by far does not stop here, especially when Germany is the subject.
The essence of the German people is seen by some as aggressive and offensive, thus the existence of the German problem. If the nation makes the state then Germany will always be a threat. If the state makes the nation, then the ognatieff nature of the German nation, which lead the world into two global wars, can be harnessed and redirected.
The question has its roots and answers in the recent ingatieff of Germany. The Ukraine is concerned with not being Russian. It is here Ignatieff receives a complete vision of what nationalism is. Ignatieff uses the bloos of Quebec to illustrate the relationship between nationalism and federalism. The Kurds represent a nation without a state, who find themselves surrounded by other nations who are more aggressive nationalists. The term Kurdistan is a definition of the areas used by Ignatieff to explain the area of major Kurdish populace concentration.
Blood and Belonging: Journeys Into the New Nationalism
There is no real borders, no flag, no government and Kurds must acknowledge the state in which they reside i. Belonnging, the sixth journey ends in Northern Ireland. He makes the observation that this is the ideal place to conclude his project. Northern Ireland contains a recurrence of the themes that seemed so prevalent in the other journeys.
In Ireland ethnicity, religion and politics belknging all bound into one expression or identity. These are also evident in the five previous studies. The answer to this question is, yes it is. The issue is important. Nationalism presents itself as a phenomenon.
The questions of why people need to retain a cultural identity and the way they go about preserving it is still unanswerable.
The very existence of the enigma created by nationalism dictates the need to explore the subject in more depth. The situations in the book are not isolated events. Nationalism exists in every state all over the world. There is a dichotomy presented by Ignatieff between nationalism and federalism.
The various systems of government which fall under the definition of federalism are not problematic to the people; unless, of course, they are not completely legitimate. If the government is illegitimate, then ideally nationalism steps in to demand a completely self-determined government, which renders proper representation to its populace.
This situation with variation is experienced throughout the world. States are dynamic, also their government and populace. If the dynamics of the government or the state do not keep up with the pace of change in the populace, then instability will rise in the name of nationalism and shake the very foundation of the state if left unchecked or not placated.
The method used by the author of the book was personal interviews with both prominent people and the normal everyday person in the areas visited. He also uses descriptions on the surrounding areas to accent the point of discussion. His intent was to objectively take the reader on a stroll through the areas he visited.
Through his style of writing, he allows the reader to sit in on his interview by highlighting specific questions and the responses that take place in his conversations.
Finally, he creates visual images that he had viewed as ironic and analogical in support of his observations. Ignatieff comes to the conclusion that nationalism is not the problem of this world. Being yourself is something that ethnic nationalism does not allow.
Political ideologies can become blinding to its possessors. At the beginning of the book mentions that he is a liberal.
The traveling and experiences did not change that at all. Ignatieff addresses the violence factor that surrounds nationalism like a plague, concluding that, nationalist rhetoric is an excuse to mifhael acts of violence.
He observed that most of the violence is performed by young men between the ages of 18 to His explanation is that the liberal mind set forgets that not everyone hates violence.
He also says that there exists in ignagieff a basic loathing of peace. Human nature is the reason for the violence or Ignatieff thinks that it is specifically male human nature. I personally enjoyed the book and found it to be interesting reading. It had the aspect of a novel without losing its academic nature. He portrayed the destruction that he found in his journeys in a way that allowed the reader to experience the same despair and hopelessness of seeing it first hand.
Another interesting michqel that the author added to the book was his own identity.
He traveled to places that he had either lived at or where his family originally came from. His family roots add a personal touch that would otherwise have been left out.
Religion and its role in society are important concerning nationalism. The Islamic uprisings in France and the peace talks in southwest Asia between Israel and Syria are two different perspectives to the argument. Islam has a place in France, provided it is willing to stay discreet as the other religions. But Islamist are coming as colonizers. France is a representation of Europe according to the late Charles De Gaulle. France has adopted internal policies to control the growth of Islam by limiting both social expressions of that faith and by specific immigration procedures.
Are not the three million plus population of Muslims in France entitled to nationalistic expression of their identity as French Muslims? Where does that leave the Bosnian Muslims, the Turks or any other non Christian state located near or inside Europe? The second point deals with Israel and Syria.
The two countries have been at odds with each other since when Israel was recognized as a state. The main reason for the clash is the difference of religion, not national identity.
Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism by Michael Ignatieff
However, both countries have evolved since their beginnings and have strong nationalistic tendencies. Both countries are now leaning toward compromise rather than a holy war. As the talks continue for the return of the Golan Heights qnd Lebanon the Moslem Jew factor still remains tense. Of the recent peace talks is the strip of land called the Golan Heights in north of Israel. Avoiding an attempt to explain an extremely complex situation or to oversimplify the matter, it is a fact that many heads of state in the region are choosing political solutions to old religious problems.
However, the foundations of their society are religions, to be specific Islam and Judism.
This religious factor will never cease and always cause instability in the region because of fundamentalism present on both sides. In conclusion, the subject of the book, Blood and Belonging, has been discussed. This critique also addressed the conclusions drawn by Michael Ignatieff concerning nationalism and its expressions in the world.
Perhaps the world will always have to deal with the dichotomy discussed in this paper, however one can only hope that a long lasting solution will be found. Ignatieff, Michael Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Blood and Belonging, by Michael Ignatieff. Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team https: Please help us feed and educate children by uploading your old homework! It only takes seconds!