Panel Paper: How Nationalism Overcomes Collective Action Problems: The Measurement of Nationalism As the Process of Modernization and Postwar State Building

Friday, March 9, 2018
Burkle 14 (Burkle Family Building at Claremont Graduate University)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Seokdong Kim, Claremont Graduate University

Nationalism reduces transaction costs in collective action for political integration, economic growth, and redistribution, because the development of nationalism is accompanied by modernization and postwar state building. First, as the modernization process, not only the reinvention of national history through national education but also the communication through standardization of national language has contributed to development of nationalism. Second, in postwar state building, war has dismantled the previous ruling elites, and then the government exerted a strong leadership for political integration. Nationalism has been researched predominantly under the tradition of qualitative research. Meanwhile, this research proposes quantitative research like social network analysis (SNA), as national integration and national identity as quantifiable indicators identify differences in states’ coordination patterns to resolve collective action dilemmas. As nationalism reduces transaction costs with the help of the process of modernization and postwar state building, nationalism helps developmental states effectively create consensus-oriented societies.

My quantitative analysis displays whether or not each ethnic group is represented by a nation state or shared by multiple states. In developmental states as exemplars of strong states and historic states, each state and each nation has a one-to-one correspondence, such as the Japanese state for Japanese people. Meanwhile, in weak states with fragmented societies—although they were historic and non-immigrant states—ethnic groups are dispersed across several states, while their states do not create their own national identity. In this research, not only the introduction of nationalism indicators, such as national integration and linguistic integration, but also social network analysis focus on how to conceptualize nationalism and how to measure nationalism.

As for postwar state building, nationalism created strong states with strong state capacities for economic growth and redistribution in East Asia and Europe, while it did not in other regions. In postwar state building, strong nationalism has been evolved under endless interstate competitions. War is destructive in substance, but it made East Asia evolve into strong states through land reforms as the postwar process. In this paper, nationalism is measured as near-perfect national homogeneity, which is homogenization of multiple ethnic groups into one nation. Because national homogeneity implies that several ethnic groups are integrated into one national group under common national identity, it is considered as national integration. In this paper, national integration is national homogeneity as a logic of quantification. Japan could have maintained its strong mobilization system and militarism despite its large population. Two Koreas have survived and retained national identity, while they have been surrounded with the hostile, greedy great powers throughout their long history.