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The modernity of nations. A tribute to Walker Connor

Nations and Nationalism

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--- - |2 Abstract To fully appreciate Walker Connor's contribution to the foundation of the contemporary study of nationalism, two main factors must be taken into account. First, the context of positivist behavioural political science within which in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, he articulated his critique of the concept of nation‐building. In this context, Connor emerged as a critic of the limitations and the naivité of positivist modernization theory. His dissenting voice called for critical rethinking and revision of the central concepts of the theory of political development, some of which enjoyed almost doctrinal status. Second, despite his criticism of modernization theory, Connor retained a strong conviction that nations and national sentiment were the products of modernity; indeed, in his judgement, they formed the primary content of modernity. This too was a critical stance within the rising tide of nationalism studies since 1989–1990, when ideology and wishful thinking influenced to a considerable extent the interpretation of nationalism. Walker Connor's intellectual legacy should thus be understood as a heritage of critical thought that is informed by a noteworthy awareness of the moral responsibilities of scholarly analysis. - Nations and Nationalism, Volume 24, Issue 3, Page 506-512, July 2018.