What is a nation: The micronationalist challenge to traditional concepts of the nation-state

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Authors
Ferguson, Bennie Lee
Advisors
Dehner, George
Issue Date
2009-05
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Thesis
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Abstract

While primarily concerned with questions of legitimacy, particularly in regard to issues such as sovereignty, recognition, and autonomy as they relate to diminutive nationalistic entities (otherwise known as “micronations”), this work also seeks to resolve definitional concerns associated with the concept of “nationalism”in general. In an attempt to simultaneously realize these objectives, the “micronationalist”phenomenon has been examined in light of academic and legal research, particularly in connection with traditional international law. Research for this project entailed consultation of a variety of secondary scholarly sources, including books, journals, and “online”material. Primary sources included direct personal communication with the heads of state of various “micronationalist”entities. The governments of these states also provided material concerning political, cultural, sociological, military, and economic developments associated with their nations. Where “micronations”specifically are concerned, the motivations of those who establish them are found to be divergent in the extreme. Also, even though “micronationalism”is often associated with the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, such states have existed since antiquity. Their relationships with larger, more powerful, traditional nations have typically been characterized by disputes over the aforementioned issues of sovereignty, recognition, and autonomy. It was concluded that “nationalism”itself (or, more specifically, “nationhood”) is at best an ambiguous and nebulous term. There is an absence of consensus within both the legal and academic communities regarding this issue, as well as among the governments of traditional nations, leading to the current proliferation of “micronationalist”states.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of History
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Wichita State University
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