Finally, I examine how Darwinian social evolutionary theory can help fruitfully bring the ethno‐symbolic and modernist perspectives together. Using these polemics all things that are considered modern or of modernity caused the making of nations. Pre-modernist theory of nationalism. (Gellner, 2008, pp. In Nationalism and Modernism, Anthony Smith provides a critical survey and evaluation of the classical modernist theories of nationalism.The first portion of the book focuses on the foremost varieties of the modernist paradigm, honing in specifically on the theories of figures such as Gellner, Hechter, Hobsbawm and Anderson. He argues that the geographical conflict rather than the political polemics caused unity; making common identity and shared purpose a nationalistic quality. In particular, the cultural changes that came about as an outcome of industrialisation, as well as the Enlightenment period, directly influenced nationalism, and the establishment of collective national identities. It concludes that nationalism belonged to a broader modernist discourse that thoroughly accompanied the expansion of modernity. Robert Conquest identifies how the Soviet state utilised the Provisional Government’s unsympathetic approach to the various groups within Russian society in order to harness the support of the various ethnicities across Russia. In the case of Russia, the centralisation of power across the country was pivotal in gathering all available resources for the benefit of the nation. The second element for Gellner’s theory of nation building was access to education or high culture. It is a fundamentally new feature of modern life since states in previous times were not organised on nationalist lines. Gellner, who is often viewed as a leading authority on the modernist theory of nationalism, suggests that the transition from ‘agrarian to industrial societies’ results in the emergence of what can be regarded as a nation (Gellner, 2008). Revision:Ernest gellners modernist theory of nationalism Gellner defines nationalism as " a political principle which holds that that political and the national unit should be congruent ". This article takes issue with the modernist position. (Day, 2004, pp. Michael Binyon elaborates on the importance of literacy, and the promotion of art, by highlighting the benefits of a collective understanding and appreciation of culture. It would also further solidify the sense of national identity by exposing the people to a shared experience of their nation’s cultural achievements. 85-86) In many cases as industrialisation came about people went from small villages and agrarian areas to bigger cities; thus having a need for more far reaching uniformity in governance and leadership. Ernest Gellner states that nationalism is “…a political principle that holds that the political and the national unit should be congruent” (Gellner, 2008, page 1), “…the general imposition of a high culture on society, where previously low cultures had taken up the lives of the majority” (Gellner, 2008, page 57). His concept has become very popular, mainly because of his thesis that nations are products of national- Drawing on primary and secondary Regionally specific theories of nationalism, both from modernist and modernization approaches, may play a key part in building an integrated theory by serving as an intermediary between Recent work across a range of disciplines challenges this account by stressing the role of … ( Log Out /  About this book. Gellner's theory of nationalism was developed by Ernest Gellner over a number of publications from around the early 1960s to his 1995 death. This stage in nation building can be seen in the Unification of Italy. Theorists of this ilk are referred to as using modernist or developmentalist approaches. 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