Argues that nationalist exclusion and ethnic conflict are characteristic of a modern society that is fragmented into nation states.
Turning the current understanding of ethnicity and nationalism on its head, Wimmer (political and cultural change, U. of Bonn, Germany) argues that the political and economic bases of modernity itself rest on ethnic and nationalist principles. He argues that there was a shadowy side of the modernist project of the democratic nation-state, in that new forms of exclusion based on belonging to a national or ethnic group were developed. In contrast to authoritarian pre-modern empires that integrated a hierarchical, yet universal political order, principles of political participation and equality before the law were intimately connected to excluding certain peoples. Focusing on Mexico, Iraq, and Switzerland, Wimmer explores the process of exclusion and looks at the process by which the marginalized, after the growth of their own bourgeoisie, begin to assert their rights to be included in citizenship. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)