Ethnicity Without Groups, Rogers Brubaker [Excerpt]

March 30, 2005

Ethics Without Groups

Bill Kissane, reviewer

Ethnicity Without Groups, a set of essays on various themes in the study of ethnicity and nationalism, contains all the virtues of Brubaker's early work: theoretically informed analysis, a sure grasp of comparative European history, and a willingness to explore new fields of enquiry. The book contains much that is interesting and novel: an illuminating exploration of how research in cognitive psychology can inform our understanding of ethno-national identity; an essay on the return of a soft version of assimilation as a desideratum for immigrants in the West; a trenchant critique of the use of the ethnic/civic distinction in nationalist studies; a rich analysis of how the 1848 revolutions were commemorated in 1998 in Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia; and a sensible review of the literature on nationalist and ethnic violence. The analysis is lucid and well written throughout and makes for a worthwhile collection. . . .


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