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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Charles Tilly as a Theorist of Nationalism

  • Author(s): Brubaker, Rogers
  • et al.

This paper considers Charles Tilly as an important but underappreciated theorist of nationalism. Tilly’s theory of nationalism emerged from the “bellicist” strand of his earlier work on state-formation and later incorporated a concern with performance, stories, and cultural modeling. Yet despite the turn to culture in Tilly’s later work, his theory of nationalism remained state-centered, materialist, and instrumentalist—a source of both its power and its limitations.

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