Ethnic Loyalty in Asia and Europe

4/18/2018 4:00 PM

Ethnic Loyalty in Asia and Europe
Ethnic Loyalty in Asia and EuropeWEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2018, 4 – 5PM EDT
Location Modern Languages 201
School Emory College
Department / Organization Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures
Speaker/Presenter Victor Lieberman
Event Open To All (Public)
Contact Name Tonio Andrade
Contact Email

Where and when did nationalism and democracy originate? The standard explanation is that they arose in Northwest Europe after c. 1750, but Lieberman argues that nationalism and democracy should be seen as peculiar mutations of a considerably older phenomenon -- "political ethnicity” -- not limited to Europe. Indeed, in Japan, Korea, mainland Southeast Asia, and Sri Lanka political ethnicity emerged in a manner broadly comparable to pre-18th century Europe. The question then becomes: Given overarching similarities across these various areas, why did political ethnicity evolve into nationalism only in Northwest Europe? Focusing in particular on two surprising case studies – Myanmar and Britain – Lieberman argues that in Britain medieval religious and legal legacies joined the democratizing thrust of post-1650 commercial/maritime expansion to foster political forms that were as original as they would become globally transformative.

Victor Lieberman is an expert in Southeast Asian and Global History whose prizewinning books include Strange Parallels (two volumes), Beyond Binary History, and Burmese Administrative Cycles. He is a faculty member at the University of Michigan, where he holds the the Raoul Wallenberg Distinguished University Professor Chair of History as well as the Marvin B. Becker Collegiate Chair of Southeast Asian History.

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