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Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism: Vol. 9, No. 3, 2009

Nationalism Reconsidered:The Local/Trans-local Nexus of Globalisation Sandra Halperin Royal Holloway, University of London sandra.halperin@rhul.ac.uk

Abstract The emergence and generalisation of the nation-state model was a product of an earlier phase of capitalist globalisation and the resulting dualistic process of expansion that, throughout the world, worked to increase the cultural distance between cities and their surrounding hinterlands. This dualism had a simultaneous globalising and localising dynamic: it linked together the upper strata of communities around the world in a trans-local system of trade and inter-cultural exchange; but, by restricting access to the material and cultural products generated by this system, it simultaneously reinforced a separate set of conditions of life for the wider local population. It was in the context of both the mobilisation of labour forces and the increasingly different systems for trans-local and local interests and actors that dominant groups began to assert the national idea as a means of providing a new basis and cultural framework for social cohesion and order.

I. Introduction Since its inception, capitalist development has been essentially trans-national in nature and global in scope, based on the expansion and integration not of national markets but of the advanced sectors of dualistic economies throughout AfroEurasia and the Americas. This expansion worked to link together cities around the world while simultaneously increasing the socioeconomic and cultural distance between cities and their hinterlands. The idea of the nation-state posited an organic social unity in the context of this increasingly dualistic capitalist globalisation. Consequently, the form of state that remained the locus of power and production for centuries, and that continues to predominate throughout the world today, is closer to the city-state than to the putative nation-state form. A crucial chapter in capitalist globalisation and the emergence of the nationstate imaginaire was the dismantling of eighteenth-century Europe’s welfare and locally regulated market systems and the set of interconnected global developments that this helped to accelerate. The reorganisation of production in Europe 465


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triggered a rapid expansion of trans-local/cross-regional circuits of capital and commodities, the development of interdependent, dualistic economies and an accelerated sharing and intermixture of cultural institutions, ideas and identities throughout the world. Throughout the subsequent century, a vast mobilisation of resources and human labour power and the creation and linking of export sectors in Europe and other regions produced goods and services, not for mass local consumption but largely for exchange among ruling groups and privileged elements around the world, underpinning a global economic expansion that, while enriching elites around the world, left traditional social structures largely intact and local markets weak and poorly integrated. This generated the emergence of a sharp dualism of the type we associate with contemporary ‘third-world’ ‘dependent’ development but that actually characterised European and global development throughout the nineteenth century and, except for the 1950s and 1960s, much of the twentieth century. Processes of urbanisation, industrial concentration and rural deindustrialisation were central to this dualistic expansion. Over several centuries, cities had become increasingly linked together to create a trans-local/global economy based on intraelite exchange; and, with industrial production, they became the basis of the ‘dualistic’ pattern of expansion that linked together the expanding sectors of foreign economies but left ‘national’ economies weak and underdeveloped. Consequently, the question arises of whether and to what extent the supposed leap from city-state to nation-state ever took place. With the reorganisation of social relations for industrial production, cities continued to evolve through processes of urbanisation and industrialisation, the deindustrialisation of rural areas, and alliances between urban notabilities and rural landowners. It may be, then, that the consolidation of cites and their hinterlands into larger territorial domains produced a form of state that remained, and remains in most of the world today, far closer to the city-state systems of the past 5000 years than to the nationally integrated state form of national cultural imaginaries and nation-state ideology. The formation of large territorial units resulted in a redefinition of the state, rather than the emergence of an essentially different state form. Historically, nationalism was both a product and a means of reproducing the dualistic economic development generated by capitalist globalisation. The consolidation of dualistic (trans-local and local) economies was the context within which dominant groups in Europe began to articulate an interpretive framework that situated increasingly disparate urban and rural worlds within a common culturally and politically bounded whole. Like other cultural products, institutions, relationships and norms, the ‘national’ idea became generalised through translocal exchange. II. Globalisation and Capitalist Development In current discourses, ‘globalisation’ tends to be characterised wrongly as a development that breaks radically and absolutely with the past. Globalisation is not new: capitalism ‘globalised’ from the start. However, in the history of capitalism there have been phases of nationally embedded and global free-market 466


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capitalism – periods when capital is relatively more and relatively less free from national state regulation. The notion of markets as embedded and dis-embedded was inspired by Karl Polanyi (1944). Polanyi argued that, before the rise of the unregulated market system at the end of the eighteenth century, exchange relations were governed by principles of economic behaviour (reciprocity, reallocation and house-holding) that were ‘embedded’ in society and politics. However, at the end of the eighteenth century, states began to deregulate capital and to institute other changes that formed the basis of the unregulated market and the essentially dis-embedded capitalism characteristic of Europe’s subsequent development. Polanyi’s notion of ‘dis-embeddedness’ focused on the commodification of land and labour. However, European economies were dis-embedded in another sense – one closely associated with the current campaign to dis-embed capital. Throughout the nineteenth century and even in the most protectionist and interventionist states, capital was largely invested either abroad or in home production that was largely for export. Thus, external markets were developed in lieu of internal ones, and labour functioned solely as a factor of production and not of consumption. The deregulation of European economies in the eighteenth century set in motion a process of development that was based on the expansion and integration not of domestic markets but of networks of exchange among cities, sectors, and supraand sub-regions. These networks had been built up over the course of previous centuries, creating synchronous developments among the mercantile port cities in north Africa, the Indian Ocean and south-east Asia. This development was principally driven and shaped not by nations but by circuits of exchange among powerful families, and business and merchant communities around the world. Over centuries, technology, institutions and cultural ideas, values, consumption practices and innovations spread not across broad ‘national’ fronts but along routes of contacts, and these had shaped the direction of social change across large areas in broadly similar ways. European military expansion into this system did not displace or destroy it. In fact, events in Europe, which culminated in half a century of global war and revolutionary turmoil, brought developments throughout this network into closer relations of interdependence. The Aristocratic Assault on Europe’s Eighteenth-century ‘Moral’ Economic Order With the increasing incursion of Europe into the Asian system of trade that had developed over several centuries, ‘absolutist’ rulers and aristocracies in Europe entered into a protracted struggle over control of production and trade and the distribution of its rewards. Over time, this struggle became focused on attempts to expand or limit state autonomy. The modern state is generally assumed to be characterised by a sphere of public authority that is distinct and autonomous from the sphere of private social relations. But the degree of autonomy that the state enjoys relative to social forces depends on the extent to which the state has access to, and autonomous control of, resources. 467


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Rulers in Europe, as elsewhere, sought to gain autonomy in relation to powerful social groups by staffing their central administration with eunuchs or celibate priests, state-owned slaves or members of otherwise disenfranchised or excluded groups. Whenever possible, they recruited their officials from foreigners, whose kin links were distant, and who consequently were completely dependent upon the rulers’ patronage. Monarchs also sought to raise and maintain armies recruited from disenfranchised elements or foreigners who could neither seek nor find close ties with dominant groups. An increasingly favoured policy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was to attract foreign ethnic or religious groups for both raising capital and undermining the position of resident groups. Elsewhere, states gained autonomy through the direct regulation of economic resources and activities. Through these means, absolutist rulers were able to gain sufficient autonomy to establish the basis of Europe’s eighteenth-century ‘moral’ economies. Absolutist states ensured that basic needs were met by regulating local markets, providing welfare, removing occupational barriers and establishing equality before the law, the free circulation of property and goods, and religious toleration.1 However, as the century progressed, absolutism was increasingly attacked by its opponents for its over-regulation. Conventional accounts tend to portray this opposition as principally concerned with a variety of ‘freedoms’. What these accounts neglect to emphasise is that the specific state policies and reforms that were the target of the campaign against absolutism were ones that, today, we associate with the welfare state and the relatively more progressive liberalism that emerged in some regions after the Second World War.2 The aim of much of this regulation was to provide for the local community and ensure fair practice by enforcing legislative measures to prevent monopoly and speculation, and shortages and high prices. For instance, in England marketing, licensing and forestalling measures set maximum prices on staple foods such as meat and grain, prevented middlemen merchants from bypassing or cornering the market and ensured quality control, a ‘just price’ and an adequate domestic supply of goods (Lie 1993:282). Magistrates enforced these measures: they surveyed corn stocks in barns and granaries, ordered quantities to be sent to market and attended the market to ensure that sellers adhered to regulations and statutes governing quality and price. In sum, the ‘freedom of trade’ that was demanded during the eighteenth century was freedom from ‘the requirement to trade inside open markets, by means of open transactions, and according to the rules and regulations which ensured fair practices and prices’.3 The campaign to deregulate markets in eighteenth-century Europe was accompanied by demands to end the state’s role in the provision of welfare. Governments across Europe had moved aggressively to eliminate poverty over the previous two centuries. They had pushed for legislation to set up new institutions for poor relief, and had established a system of hospitals to provide medical care for paupers. By 1700, England had established a national welfare system.4 Later in the century, France established a nationwide welfare system. By 1770, Prussia had introduced measures establishing a cradle-to-grave welfare system that guaranteed every Prussian subject adequate food, sanitation and police protection.5 468


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In order to escape these and other aspects of the ‘moral’ economic order, entrepreneurs in Britain sought to expand production for export and increase longdistance trade. Initially, this led to an increase in competition for labour, making it possible for workers ‘to take on less work and spend more time at leisure without endangering their traditional standard of living’ (Gillis 1983:41). Workers were able to bargain for wages and regulate their work time; and because economies in Europe were based on local markets and face-to-face relations between seller and consumer at the time, they were also able to exercise economic power as consumers.6 In sum, Europe’s eighteenth-century ‘moral economy’ was the product of government regulation that enabled workers to exercise power both as labourers and consumers. Governments regulated markets on behalf of local people, instituted price and wage controls and other labour protections, and were active in providing welfare. However, at the end of the eighteenth century a broad campaign to dismantle the regulations tying production and investment to local economies succeeded in ‘dis-embedding’ capitalist development and accelerating the globalisation of capital. This campaign was a further development of the centuries-long struggle between absolutist rulers and aristocracies in Europe. Their aim was to seize control of the state in order to preserve their privileges and prerogatives, to privatise new sources and means of producing wealth, to dismantle much of what today we would consider socially enlightened about ‘liberal absolutism’, and to retain much of what was not in a new guise. With this campaign, the struggle against absolutism assumed a new name: ‘nationalism’. Both sides in the feud had attempted on occasion to gain support from the masses in order to shift the balance of power in their favour. In the eighteenth century, aristocrats in France calling themselves nationalists [i.e. proponents of the view that the natio (aristocratic owners of wealth) should rule rather than the king] sought to gain support from the masses by claiming that they, the natio, represented the interests of the people. Thus was born the notion of nationalism as a movement that represented the interests not of a privileged few but of whole societies. Nationalism was a means of decreasing the autonomy of the state bureaucracy by ensuring that civil servants would be drawn from local, indigenous, privileged groups. This ultimately brought about the ‘feudalisation’ of the state bureaucracy and forestalled its development as an autonomous institution. Nationalism allowed the nobility to gain control over the economic resources and activities that had provided the basis of autonomous state power. It targeted foreign and minority elements. It transferred economic power to a dominant ‘national’ group through restrictions on land ownership and confiscation of properties owned by groups now defined as foreigners or minorities within the national territory. Nationalism eliminated mercenary armies as a source of autonomous state power. In some newly established nation-states, such as Italy, the personal armies of the noble landowners became the foundation for the new national army. Nationalism ensured that the coercive apparatus would not have purposes and goals different from those of the dominant classes. By means of the institutions of the nationstate, urban and rural notabilities gained control of capitalist development and channelled it into non-competitive, ascriptive, monopolistic forms. 469


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Globalisation and Dualistic Expansion The dismantling of regulations tying production and investment to local economies in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century brought groups, sectors and urban centres around the world into closer relations of interdependence. The development of these linkages, and the concomitant weakness of local markets, produced the dualistic pattern of expansion that became the model for economic expansion both in Europe and throughout the world. The notion of dualistic development refers to the lack of integration of various parts of the domestic economy because of strong linkages between portions of the economy and foreign economies. It is not meant to describe natural or more or less automatic processes of unbalanced growth between rural and urban, or between successful and less successful, sectors of the economy. It is meant to describe structures that are the result of conscious policies pursued by owners of wealth, including foreign-oriented enclaves producing profits that are either reinvested there or exported, a lack of investment in, and diffusion of technology to, agriculture or cottage industry, and the structural division of society by different rules, processes and institutions. Dualism is a feature of development highlighted by dependency theorists as being typical of the colonial economy and supposedly distinctive to the contemporary third world. According to dependency theory, this emerges when an intrusive modern economic sector fails to transform the rest of society, and slave and feudal relations combine and coexist with capitalist and state-owned enterprises. Some dependency theorists conceptualise this dualism as emerging from the ‘internationalization of the domestic market’. They argue that dependent development prevents the indigenous bourgeoisie from acquiring either political or economic hegemony and that, as a result, an ‘internationalised bourgeoisie’ forms within third-world countries. This bourgeoisie is dominated by ‘a complex of activities, social groups and regions in different countries . . . closely linked transnationally through many concrete interests as well as by similar styles, ways and levels of living and cultural affinities’ (Cardoso and Faletto 1979:135). This offers a good description of historically normal capitalist development. As in many contemporary third-world countries, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany and much of the rest of Europe had modern industrial sectors oriented to and dependent on international markets. Dualism, dependence on a narrow range of export goods and a few trading partners, inequality (both of income and of landtenure structures) and a growing gap between elites and masses; these and other features highlighted by dependency theories to describe and explain what is assumed to be an idiosyncratic contemporary third-world development were characteristic of development in Europe and around the world throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dependent, dualistic development was a model that Europeans first developed at home and then encouraged or helped to develop abroad. If development is dualistic – i.e. characterised by limited and weakly integrated domestic economies, but with strong linkages between expanding sectors and those of foreign economies – then the changes that unfolded throughout the 470


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nineteenth century proceeded neither across broad national fronts nor through the expansion and integration of national societies and economies, but along networks that linked export sectors to each other. From its inception, capitalism was essentially trans-national and global, involving not whole societies but the advanced sectors of dualistic economies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and elsewhere. Studies of the development of different regions of the world and their integration into a world economy provide abundant evidence of this process. It was not whole, nationally bounded societies but sectors or regions within them – and principally the cities and areas from which they drew resources – that became integrated into, and formed the basis of, an expanding world economy. Since at least the end of the eighteenth century, industrial capitalism has been essentially trans-national in nature, involving the growth of a network of cities, sectors and sub-state regions throughout the world. It is nationally organised development that is relatively new: nationally oriented development emerged only after the Second World War and only in a few countries. Moreover, besides being fairly recent and geographically limited, national development may also prove to be essentially short-lived: a relatively brief interlude in the history of industrial capitalism over the past two centuries. III. City-states or Nation-states? Conventional accounts of the rise of both the modern state and the contemporary state system tell the story of the military conquest of cities by rural-based rulers, and of how territorial political units, uniting urban and rural areas, were consolidated into modern centralised states. However, cities and city-states in Europe continued to expand throughout centuries of state-building. As urban ruling classes, by means of capital, ‘extend[ed] their influence through the urban hinterland and across far-flung trading networks’ (Tilly 1992:51), cities remained or became the basis of states, representing centres of wealth-accumulation, culture and power within the larger territorial units that formed around them.7 Although they became welded to increasingly larger, more militarily powerful territorial domains, the deindustrialisation of urban hinterlands and the concentration of labour and resources in cities ensured that their power increased and remained greater relative to that of the surrounding areas. Eighteenth-century Europe had seen an explosion of textile production in the countryside. In the nineteenth century, this production and the proto-industrial rural proletariat shifted to the cities and to large, spatially concentrated units in which workers laboured under close surveillance. As Charles Tilly points out, because the countrysides in Europe were essentially peasant and agricultural in the nineteenth century, we have assumed – wrongly – that ‘the countrysides of earlier centuries must have been even more essentially peasant and agricultural’ (Tilly 1983:135). But before the nineteenth century, Europe’s hinterlands saw a large expansion or manufacturing and the massive proletarianisation of its population (ibid.). And contrary to the assumption that improvements in agriculture and increasing agricultural productivity released workers for, and supported them in, industrial jobs in the city, it was more often 471


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deindustrialisation in the countryside and the concentration of industry in cities that provided urban industry with its workers. Workers came not from agriculture but from other industrial centres – ‘especially the de-industrialising towns and villages of the hinterlands’ (Tilly 1983:138–39). Cities and city-states throughout the world – not only in Europe, but in Asia, Africa and the Americas – were conquered by large armies and heavy artillery, and were incorporated into large territorial units. But as the Asian urban network reached into Africa, and eventually into Europe and the Americas, it was cities and their hinterlands that were incorporated into the world system. Moreover, the integration of cities into cross-regional urban networks meant that cities became increasingly powerful both in absolute terms and relative to rural areas. The power of cities relative to their hinterlands was derived, in part, from their essentially ‘glocul’ nature. Cities ‘presuppose connections’: they ‘form at the end of transport, and/or at the junction of two transport routes either of the same or different kind’; so they are embedded in webs of connection that ensure that they are never entirely local (Bosworth 2000:273). These factors, as well as the ‘dualistic’ pattern of growth that was consolidated with industrial production and that characterised the expanding global economy, worked to reproduce the citystate form, rather than supplanting it by nationally integrated territorial states. The Italian city-state system expanded into a European state system (see Lane 1973) as each city-state subjugated its own peripheral hinterland or contado. Florence and Milan conquered and dominated contadi that included formerly independent cities and their hinterlands; Venice also conquered territory – including many other cities – on the Italian mainland (Tilly 1994:17). In the nineteenth century, Italy consisted of a ‘system of small territorial states each dominated by the oligarchy of a single city’ (Tilly 1994:18). Other European states were formed through broadly similar processes of conquest and expansion. England was created by London, and comprised provincial economies that were really satellites of London (Braudel 1979:365). France was formed by the Ile de France, the region around Paris – and areas outside this region remained subordinate to it throughout subsequent centuries.8 There is a large literature that defines a distinction between the city-states of renaissance Italy and the emergence of the English state that, in standard accounts, provided the model for, and marked the beginnings of, the modern nation-state. Robert Brenner (2003) and Ellen Meiksins Wood (2002) have argued that the configuration of social relations associated with the rise of agrarian capitalism formed the basis of the English state and made it qualitatively different from renaissance city-states. The difference was that in early modern English society the landed elite no longer had to rely on the state to provide the non-economic coercion necessary to extract surplus value from the English peasantry but could rely, instead, on competitive economic rents. Also, English society as a whole was less dependent upon its position within the overseas networks of commercial activity for its social reproduction. Domestic producers were becoming more dependent on the emergence of an integrated domestic market resulting from the development of linkages between capitalist agriculture and emerging industries. As a result, the established community of mercantile oligarchs situated in London engaged in the trafficking of luxury goods and profiting from royal protections 472


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granted by the Crown were challenged by merchants who were engaged with the production of staple goods for the local economy. Elsewhere, I have challenged these claims (Halperin 2004). In Britain, the mode of production that predominated until the World Wars fused economic power and political power for the extraction of surplus. Rural Britain was characterised by the increasing concentration of land ownership, the incomplete proletarianisation of peasants, the persistence of feudal obligations, wages in kind, highly repressive labour conditions, limited mechanisation and high-cost, single-crop, staple agriculture. Until the World Wars, elites in Britain were predominantly traditional and aristocratic, land-owning and rent-receiving, and oligarchic. These elites dominated the state apparatus and used it to ensure the continuity of rural, preindustrial, feudal and autocratic structures of power and authority. Britain’s nineteenth-century expansion was characterised not by an ever-widening industrialisation but by the feudalisation of the industrial sphere. Consequently, on the eve of the First World War, British industry was highly concentrated, sectorally and geographically limited, and under-mechanised. State institutions did not operate to advance ‘state’ or ‘national’ interests. Despite the large and influential body of writing concerning the ‘new’ liberal age, there was no separation of economic (class) power from political (state) power, but rather a structure of power that fused both for the extraction of surplus, locally and abroad, by extra-economic compulsion.9 The argument that a different kind of state developed in England as a result of the supposed importance of its domestic market is equally problematic. Britain’s expansion was fuelled by exports: its export industries grew at a relatively quicker rate than those industries producing for home, and export industries expanded faster than the economy as a whole throughout the century.10 The City of London, where greater fortunes were made than in the whole of industry, and which remained ’enmeshed in a pseudo baronial network of gentlemanly non–competition’ (Hobsbawm 1968:169), depended ‘only slightly’ on Britain’s economic performance (Boyce 1987:18–19). Like the advanced sector of a third-world ‘dependent’ economy, it worked to build strong linkages between British export industries and foreign economies, rather than to integrate various parts of the domestic economy. By the eighteenth century, Europe was ‘organized as a series of regions, each containing a dominant city, a subordinate hierarchy of cities, and an agricultural hinterland from which the cities drew the major part of their subsistence’ (Tilly 1983:132). The expansion of trade after the fifteenth century had generated incentives to establish more durable connections between urban centres and their hinterlands; to weld more securely cities to hinterlands and to larger, more powerful military capabilities; and to create ‘an expanded capacity to monitor, contain, seize, and redistribute resources’ within larger territorial domains (Tilly 1994:26). And it created financial systems to facilitate this. In the integration of cities and urban hinterlands – and, in some cases, the absorption of cities and citystates into neighbouring land empires – cities remained dominant. While the new territorial political units that emerged in Europe operated ‘chiefly as containers and deployers of coercive means, especially armed force’ (Tilly 1994:8), cities 473


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controlled and channelled capital flows. States were dependent on commercial revenues and so had to support commercial activity. Dependence on commercial revenues meant that merchants often enjoyed high status; in some regions, such as Holland, ‘they were the state’ (Christian 2004:394). Consequently, processes of consolidation ultimately produced a form of state that is closer to the city-state form than to the mythic ‘national’ state.11

IV. Nationalism and Globalisation The concentration of wealth and production largely for export produced increasingly dualistic societies in which extremes of wealth and poverty created different worlds. Dualism had a simultaneous globalising and localising dynamic. It linked together the upper strata of communities around the world in a trans-local system of trade and inter-cultural exchange; but, by restricting access to the material and cultural products generated by this system, it simultaneously reinforced a separate set of rules, processes and conditions of life for the wider local population. It was in the context of both the mobilisation and greater mobility of mass labour forces, and the increasingly different systems for trans-local and local interests and actors, that the national idea emerged as a means of providing a new cultural framework and a basis for social cohesion and order. In Europe, disintegrative processes generated by the acceleration of dualistic expansion had made the ‘social question’ a focus of increasing concern.12 The fear of disorder and revolution, and the inability of traditional social instruments to maintain social order and stability, provided the conditions for the development of a new interpretive framework, one that situated increasingly distant (trans-local and local) economies within a common culturally and politically bounded whole. This was the context within which dominant groups in Europe began to assert the national idea: the existence of culturally and politically bounded whole societies locked into a vertical relationship with other similarly bounded organic wholes. Like other cultural products, social institutions, relationships and norms, the ‘national’ idea became generalised through trans-local exchange. In the eighteenth century, ruling groups in Europe began increasingly to define themselves as ‘nations’; as the European sphere of influence expanded, groups in different countries facing problems similar to those that had given rise to the national idea in Europe adopted the model and adapted it to local conditions. The doctrines of nationalism defined and ‘naturalised’ a vertical division of the world into communities possessing a unique character and individuality. The whole apparatus of national culture and nation-state ideology worked to render invisible the trans-local networks that linked together, and sometimes created, the top strata of local societies; the dualistic processes that generated and were reproduced through the institutionalisation of national identity and culture; and the existence and interdependence of a trans-local social field (a mercantile capitalist elite then, and an increasingly global finance capitalism today) that, 474


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from the start, transected national realms and continues to this day to shape relations and developmental outcomes across, between and within them. It is frequently assumed that nationally integrated countries in Europe evolved ‘naturally’ and gradually from pre-existing national communities. But nationbuilding and national integration were central concerns of almost every European country until the Second World War. As many scholars have noted, elites in Europe were more closely tied by culture and concrete interests to an international class than to the classes below them. The pan-regional elite, while bearing something like a family resemblance to one another, were often physically distinct from peasants within their own countries; often they were of a different nationality or religion, or spoke a different language. Even where they had the same nationality and religion, their mode of life had in all respects more in common with elites elsewhere in Europe than with the lower classes within their own countries. Although France is considered to have been the ‘birthplace’ of nationalism, the French nobility considered itself to be a separate nation, one tied to an international aristocracy rather than to the French classes below them.13 Elite practice as a whole remained more or less distinct from those of subordinate classes. But with the promotion of the idea of ‘nation’ some features characteristic of lower social strata were adopted by elites so as to make the entire population of a territorial domain more distinct from people in adjacent countries; language was the biggest change, for example, in the case of French-speaking Russian elites.14 Cities were the focus of nationalist and nation-building movements. But cities are open systems that constantly absorb and assimilate new populations and even change their nationality sometimes.15 It is the rural population that remains ‘national’. That is why groups and educated urban classes articulate national identities in terms not of the values of modern urban culture but of the traditional forms of life of the rural population. In Europe, urban elites revived peasant costumes, dance and celebrations; ‘Old German or Italian aristocratic families concealed their knowledge of Latin, French or German, and began to speak Tzechish or Slovenian when they were in the country’ (Naumann 1916:88). Observers in early twentieth-century Europe (e.g. Renner 1902; Naumann 1916; Luxemburg 1967:1910–17) assumed that this was part of an effort to hold down the rural population. But the development of national institutions tied the entire mass of labour to a bounded political and cultural realm and, in this way, provided a system for controlling the more mobile and productive labour force needed for the expansion of trade and industry. V. Conclusions Dualistic development led to increasingly bitter rivalries for external markets and, ultimately, to two World Wars and a Great Depression. In most of Europe, the dualistic system collapsed during the Wars and, after the Second World War, state policies put economies on an entirely different footing. In contrast to pre-War economic policies, post-War policies were designed to expand domestic markets 475


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through increased production, rather than to divide up and exploit national markets through restrictive practices; to encourage competition rather than cartelisation; to raise the level of earnings and of welfare of the working class; and to increase and regulate domestic investment. After 1945, policies were designed to produce sustained growth characterised by a more equitable distribution of income as well as rising income per head of population. Governments focused on sustained investment, balanced growth, the elimination of monopoly and the production of higher levels of welfare for the population. Until the 1970s, development in the ‘first’ and ‘second’ worlds was based on policies that centred more on production and services and on local and national needs than had hitherto been the case; consequently, it was more internally oriented and nationally integrated. However, in the so-called third world, the enclave-like, dualistic economic expansion that had developed during the nineteenth century was consolidated and reproduced after 1945; it remains a characteristic feature of societies there today. In the newly ‘independent’ states established after the Second World War, nationalist movements became fused with a programme of capitalist expansion that consolidated dualism. Thus, for most of the world (which we call the third world), decolonisation and the end of European empire did not mark the end of dualistic development, but rather the emergence of a modernised, more efficient form of it. The nationalist elites who won ‘independence’ from European imperial powers were more effective than colonial administrators had been in policing local labour and maintaining different transnational and local systems; although they had identified nationalism with national development as a means of legitimising themselves as ruling groups, they blocked farreaching reforms in economic and social structures and pursued the narrow-based development that had been promoted by retreating colonial administrators and a wide set of transnational elites. Once in control of state power, nationalist elites continued to build up export industries within restricted foreign-oriented enclaves. This enabled them to accumulate wealth and enjoy Western standards and styles of living without transforming their largely traditional and non-industrial economies and societies. With masses of weapons purchased from Britain and the USA, they maintained these enclaves as sites for local elite accumulation and consumption. After the 1970s, a campaign to reverse the post-Second World War social settlements in Europe and the USA, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, inaugurated another phase of accelerated globalisation. Therefore, the emerging trend is of reintegration of the second world and, increasingly, the first world into a system of local and trans-local relations similar to the one that, in those areas of the world, pre-dated the crisis of the World Wars and the Great Depression. Consequently, as time goes on, the 1950s and 1960s may appear to have been a brief interlude in the history of the worldwide expansion of capitalism. The discussion of previous sections suggests that, with an acceleration of globalisation and a return to the sharp dualism that emerges when economies are increasingly based on production not for local markets but for export, we will see not a diminution but a resurgence of nationalism; not a weakening of nation-states but a reassertion of the nation-state imaginaire. 476


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Notes 1

In France, Louis XIII (r. 1610–1643) attempted (unsuccessfully) to eliminate the purchase of offices and of courts based on class. Louis XV (r. 1715–1774) attempted to abolish feudal rights and guild restrictions and to introduce a general property tax, a tax on aristocratic incomes and the abolition of numerous feudal burdens of the peasantry. In the Hapsburg Empire, Joseph II (r. 1765–1790) decreed the abolition of serfdom and the guilds and toleration for the denominations. Frederick William I of Prussia (r. 1713–1740) instituted far-reaching educational, fiscal and military reforms. Frederick II (r. 1740–1786) introduced legal reforms and sought to extend freedom of religion to all his subjects. 2 Historians have handed down to us, and we have accepted, the term ‘absolutism’ – an epithet coined by those who opposed these policies and reforms and used it to describe the states that advanced them. 3 Lie (1993:283). There was only a very selective dismantling of the regulative apparatus of the mercantilist system that had developed under absolutism. While a mass of government rules and restrictions on economic activity ‘were swept out of the statute books’ between 1760 and 1850 (Deane 1979:220), many mercantilist policies and doctrines were retained; monopoly, protection and state intervention came increasingly to characterise European economies. 4 Pat Thane observes that ‘There is a real question as to whether the vastly richer Britain of the twentieth century is relatively more or less generous to its poor than the England of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’ (Thane 1998:55). 5 The legal measures were never fully implemented because of resistance from the aristocratic office-holders whose job it was to apply them. 6 During the century, British exports increased by sixty-seven per cent, while production for the home market increased by only seven per cent. However, despite this growth, it was the home market that was the impetus for British industrial growth between 1750 and 1780 (Eversley 1967:221; see also Mathias 1983:16, 94). 7 With the emergence of industrial production, states that were not based on cities – e.g. the Balkans, Poland – remained weak and were easily absorbed by other states. 8 In the eighteenth century, Montesquieu wrote that ‘In France there is only Paris – and a few outlying provinces Paris hasn’t yet found time to gobble up.’ At the end of the century, Tocqueville wrote, ‘It is no exaggeration to say that Paris was France.’ The metropolis attracted to itself ‘all that was most vital in the nation’ (Tocqueville 1955:72–73). The Marquis de Mirabeau observed that the provinces existed in ‘a state of dependence on the capital, their inhabitants treated as a sort of inferior species’ (quoted in Tocqueville 1955). ‘Paris,’ wrote Turgot, ‘swallow[s] up all the riches of the state’ (Oeuvres 1913 I:437, quoted in Braudel 1979:328). Unequal exchange between Paris and the provinces ensured that Paris would continue ‘to grow more handsome and more populous . . . at the expense of the rest of the country’ (ibid.). 9 Locally, the state-controlled system of paramilitary and police forces, and concentrations of regular troops on permanent garrison duty in the working-class areas of industrial towns; elsewhere, the opening up and control of territories for exploitation by armed aggression. 10 As can be seen by comparing British industries that remained overwhelmingly dependent on home consumption (flour milling, bread, biscuits and pastry, the home meat trade, sugar production and leather manufacture) with those that relied mainly on export markets (cotton and woolen industries, iron and steel, shipbuilding, heavy engineering, coal mining, and glass, earthenware and jute industries) (Halperin 2004:85–86). 11 European imperial powers maintained or created city-states abroad. The Portuguese created a city-state in Goa and ruled over city-states established on the major ports along the

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east African coast. The Spanish recreated the old ‘city states’ of pre-Colombian times in the administrative divisions of ‘New Spain’ (Darwin 2007:64). Deindustrialisation of countrysides and the concentration and monopolisation of industrial production in cities took place under European influence in India, the Middle East and Latin America. Cities oriented to overseas trade and the exploitation of their own subject territories became transit points in the export of agricultural products from their hinterlands, or manufactured goods produced with resources and labour from their hinterlands. 12 Eric Wolf defines the ‘social question’ as follows: ‘The specter of disorder and revolution raised the question of how social order could be restored and maintained, indeed, how social order was possible at all’ (Wolf 1982:8). 13 The Comte de Boulainvilliers, a French nobleman, argued at the beginning of the eighteenth century that France was divided into ‘two races that have at bottom nothing in common. They speak a common language, but they have neither common rights nor a common origin’ (Histoire de l’Ancien Gouvernement de la France 1727, Tome I:33, quoted in Arendt 1958:162). The outbreak of the revolution forced great numbers of the French nobility to seek refuge in Germany and England, and a few years later the French exiles tried to form an internationale of aristocrats in order to stave off the revolt of those they considered foreign enslaved people. 14 Numerous scholars have noted the broadly similar nationalist policies and rhetoric that emerged across different regions of the world after the end of the eighteenth century. See, for example, Tilly (1992) and Greenfeld (1992). 15 Karl Renner observed that during the nineteenth century German cities in AustriaHungary, especially Vienna, absorbed and assimilated an immense influx of nationalities and that a number of cities ultimately changed their nationality, becoming Hungarian or Czech rather than German (Renner 1902, cited in Luxemburg 1976:260, 262). Cities that were not trans-local hubs and that lacked commercial strength were designated or created as national capitals to reinforce the national project as distinct from the trans-local economy. Examples include The Netherlands (the Hague rather than Amsterdam), the United States (Washington DC rather than New York) and Germany after the Second World War (Bonn rather than Berlin).

References Arendt, Hannah. 1958. The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Meridian. Bosworth, Andrew. 2000. ‘The Evolution of the World-city System, 300 BCE to AD 2000’, in Robert A. Denemark, et al (eds), World System History: The Social Science of Longterm Change. London: Routledge. Boyce, Robert W.D. 1987. British Capitalism at the Crossroads, 1919–1932: A Study in Politics, Economics, and International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Braudel, Fernand. 1979. The Perspective of the World. Civilization and Capitalism, 15th–18th Century, Vol. 3. New York: Harper and Row. Brenner, Robert. 2003. Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change and Political Conflict in England, 1550–1653. London: Verso. Cardoso, Fernando Henrique and Faletto, Enzo. 1979. Dependency and Development in Latin America. Trans. Marjory Mattingly Urquidi. Berkeley: University of California Press. Christian, David. 2004. Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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Darwin, John. 2007. After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405. London: Allen Lane. Deane, Phyllis. 1979. The First Industrial Revolution. 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Eversley, D.E.C. 1967. ‘The Home Market and Economic Growth in England 1750–1780’, in E.L. Jones and G.E. Mingay (eds), Land, Labour, and Population in the Industrial Revolution. London: Edward Arnold. Gillis, John R. 1983. The Development of European Society, 1770–1870. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Greenfeld, Liah. 1992. Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Halperin, Sandra. 2004. War and Social Change in Modern Europe: The Great Transformation Revisited. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hobsbawm, Eric. 1968. Industry and Empire: An Economic History of Britain since 1950. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Lane, Frederic C. 1973. Venice: A Maritime Republic. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Lie, John. 1993. ‘Visualizing the Invisible Hand: the Social Origins of ‘‘Market Society’’ in England, 1550–1750’, Politics & Society 21, 3: 275–305. Luxemburg, Rosa. 1976. The National Question: Selected Writings, Ed. Horace B. Davis. New York: Monthly Review Press. Mathias, Peter. 1983. The First Industrial Nation: An Economic History of Britain, 1700– 1914. 2nd edn. New York: Methuen. Naumann, Friedrich. 1916. Mitteleuropa. Berlin: G. Reimer. Polanyi, Karl. 1944. The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. New York: Farrar and Rinehart. Renner, Karl. 1902. Der Kampf der osterreichischen Nationen um den staat. Leipzig and Vienna: Franz Deutike. Thane, Pat. 1998. ‘Histories of the Welfare State’, in William Lamont (ed.), Historical Controversies and Historians. London: UCL Press. Tilly, Charles. 1994. ‘Entanglements of European Cities and States’, in Charles Tilly and Wim P. Blockmans (eds), Cities and the Rise of States in Europe AD 1000 to 1800. Boulder, CO: Westview. Tilly, Charles. 1992. Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990–1992. 2nd edn. Oxford: Blackwell. Tilly, Charles. 1983. ‘Flows of Capital and Forms of Industry in Europe, 1500–1900’, Theory and Society 12, 2: 123–142. de Tocqueville, Alexis. 1955. The Old Regime and the French Revolution. Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor. Turgot, Anne-Robert Jacques. 1913. Oeuvres de Tungot et documento le concernant. Edited by Gustane Schelle. Paris: Fe´lix Alcan. Wolf, Eric. 1982. Europe and the People Without History. Berkeley: University of California Press. Wood, Ellen Meiksins. 2002. The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View. London: Verso.

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Sandra Halperin is a professor in international relations in the Department of Politics and International Relations and co-director of the Centre for Global and Transnational Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her main research areas include global development, the historical sociology of global relations, the causes and conditions of war and peace, and Middle East politics. She is the author of War and Social Change in Modern Europe: the Great Transformation Revisited (Cambridge University Press, 2004), co-editor (with Gordon Laxer) of Global Civil Society and Its Limits (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2003) and author of In the Mirror of the Third World: Capitalist Development in Modern Europe (Cornell University Press, 1997), as well as articles on globalisation, development theory, historical sociology, nationalism, ethnic conflict, Islam and democracy in the Middle East. Currently, she is completing a manuscript for Routledge entitled Social Power and Global Development: A ‘Horizontal’ Perspective.

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I. Introduction 465 Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism: Vol. 9, No. 3, 2009

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