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Nationalism is inherently aggressive and expansionist. Discuss.

This is nicely put together and reads well. I have made a small number of wording changes. I don't know how long your essay is required to be, and so I have added further points below, using much the same taxonomy as you did, which you might like to incorporate.

The term nationalism is derived from nasci, which means ‘to be born’. Nationalism is often regarded as a 19th century phenomenon, linked with the creation and development of the nation-state, and seen by many critics as outdated, because it is inherently expansionist, destructive, or both. Whether it is really depends on the type of nationalism that is being considered. To begin with, there are two contrasting concepts of nationalism. Cultural Nationalism sees the nation primarily as a cultural community, and thus emphasises ethnic or religious ties and loyalties. By contrast, Political Nationalism sees the nation primarily as a political community and so stresses civil and constitutional bonds and allegiances. Cultural Nationalism usually takes the form of national self-affirmation, which provides the means by which people acquire their identity and sense of belonging. Welsh Nationalism, with its stress on the Welsh language, would be an example, as would be Black Nationalism in the USA, with priority given to the ‘rediscovery’ of Africa as a spiritual and cultural homeland. Often there is a strong overlap between nation and ethnicity, derived from the over-riding idea that nations are organic, and are thus not fashioned by political forces. There is also a clear link here with religious fundamentalism, and so Cultural Nationalism is manifestly capable of breeding insularity, which can often be seen as destructive. Political Nationalism stresses civic loyalties, and so the key issue becomes one of shared citizenship, regardless of cultural, ethnic or religious loyalties. On this basis, to some extent at least, nations are artificial edifices, though with definable political characters. The UK, for example, is a union of four cultural nations.
 
Where Nationalism is a reaction against experience of foreign domination or occupation, or colonial rule, it tends to be a liberating force, and is invariably linked with the goals of liberty, justice and democracy. Where Nationalism is a product of social dislocation and demographic change, it often has an insular and exclusive character, and can then become a vehicle for racism and xenophobia, is thus destructive, and may also be expansionist. There are obvious overlaps between Cultural and Political Nationalism, though the latter is generally regarded as having four basic and recognisable forms - liberal, conservative, expansionist and anti-colonial.
 
 Liberal Nationalism asserts that states have rights, and especially the right to self-determination; in this sense, all nations are equal. This is the classic form of European Nationalism, and lay behind Woodrow Wilson's ‘Fourteen Points’ in 1918 and the blueprint for the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. There is a critical link between the nation and popular sovereignty; aristocratic or repressive empires must be resisted and over-turned. The goal is the construction of the (independent) nation-state, where the boundaries of government coincide with those of nationality; all nations have an equal right to independence and non-interference. The intended outcome is the enlargement of political freedom, while and Liberal Nationalism provides the framework for securing a peaceful world order, fortified by international law, and supervised by supranational bodies. Liberal Nationalism cannot therefore be described as either expansionist or destructive.
 
Conservative Nationalism places great emphasis upon social cohesion, which is embodied in national patriotism and in collective consciousness of nationhood. There is a shared past, and thus usually a common defence of traditional values and institutions. Conservative Nationalism tends to develop in well established nation-states, and is often inspired by the perception that the nation is under threat - from socialism, or federalism, or immigration or, increasingly, multiculturalism. Hence, for example, opponents of the euro in the UK have argued that sterling should be retained not simply because the euro represents a loss of national sovereignty but also because the £ is a symbol of a distinctive national identity. Conservative Nationalism is usually regarded as inward-looking and insular. It is certainly not expansionist, but may be destructive where it acts as an impediment to change - and particularly where it adopts an anti-immigration stance.
 
Expansionist Nationalism is aggressive and militaristic. It is invariably associated with chauvinist beliefs, and often also with religious fundamentalism. It blurs the distinction between nationalism and racialism. It is undeniably expansionist in nature - as seen, for example, in the 'scramble for Africa' in the late 19th century and in the imperialism of the 20th century. It is often associated with the irrational belief in the superiority, and thus need for dominance, of a particular group of people, who are generally defined in terms of race or ethnicity. There is a common theme of national rebirth or regeneration, and so a link between past 'glories' and future destiny. Italian Fascism and German Nazism are clear examples. War becomes the testing ground for the virility of the nation, and much the same is true of the acquisition of colonies. They have in common territorial expansion, and so Expansionist Nationalism is both expansionist and destructive.
  Anti-colonial Nationalism links the struggle for national liberation in Africa, Asia and Latin America to the desire for social development; it generally has a Marxist flavour. It is primarily associated with the collapse over time of the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese empires. Again, there can be an overlap with religious fundamentalism. It has both an economic and a political dimension, and obvious links with socialism, since it almost always results in planned economies, and is motivated by the perceived need to return to a culture of a traditional pre-industrial society. The link between Nationalism and socialism is thus critical, since both stress social solidarity and collective action. The vehicle is normally an armed struggle, designed to ensure both political and economic emancipation; often a new regime seizes power and foreign assets are seized. More recently, Islamic fundamentalism has become the most conspicuous example of Anti-colonial Nationalism, with its attack on Western capitalist values and the social permissiveness and moral bankruptcy that is said to result from them. Anti-colonial Nationalism is not inherently expansionist, though the rise of Islam, and events in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East might challenge this observation. It is, however, generally seen as destructive, since it is seldom characterised by democratic institutions and practices. Neither does it guarantee rights to individuals and minorities, especially where the resulting state is authoritarian and corrupt.   I hope this is helpful. (more)
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Does Britain Now Have a Multi-Party System

Sun Jan 2, 05 | AS Level > Politics > Homework
I am not sure how long this essay is supposed to be, and so I have not added to it a number of critical points that follow below. I have done a little rewording, and corrected one error; it is a little longer than the original. What you say is sound and accurate. You clearly understand the various concepts. You might, however, like to incorporate at least some of the following points if your word length allows.

1. The two major parties' domination of the votes cast in general elections is under threat. Between 1945 and 1974 their combined share never fell below 87.5%. But in 2001 it was only 72.4%.

2. The number of MPs who are neither Con or Lab is growing. There are now 81 in this category. The LibDems now have 53 seats - the most since 1929. Were it not for the way in which the electoral system works they would have more than double this.

3. There has been a steady growth in support for Scottish and Welsh Nationalist parties. The SNP is Scotland's second largest party. In Northern Ireland, there is an entirely different party system, and no Labour or Conservative MPs.

4. In much of the country, the 2 party system involves different parties with realistic chances of winning. In many urban areas, it is Lab vs. LibDem. In much of the South East and Wesst, it is Con vs. LibDem. In Midlands marginal seats, it is usually Con vs. Lab. In Scotland, there are many 4 way races, with the Conservatives the 4th party. In many northern English cities, such as Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle, the Conservatives now have no MPs at all.

5. Landslide victories are becoming more common and parties can be in government much longer. Hence the Conservatives were in government from 1951 to 1964, and for even longer between 1979 and 1997. Labour looks likely to win at least three consecutive elections. There were landslides (in terms of Commons majorities) in 1966, 1983, 1987, 1997 and 2001.

6. Your analysis neglects elections other than general elections. In the Scottish parliament, the SNP is the second largest party and the Conservatives the fourth; there is a governing coalition of Labour and the LibDems. There was also a Lab/LD governing coalition in the Welsh assembly until 2003; now Labour has a one seat majority. In Northern Ireland, there are no fewer than nine parties in the assembly.

7. Minor parties are gaining increasing representation in all elections, and especially where it is not conducted under First Past The Post. For example, there are 7 Greens and 6 Scottish Socialists in the Scottish Parliament. There are 12 UKIP members of the European Parliament. There are 3 Greens in the London Assembly (where Livingstone was originally elected mayor as an Independent).

So the key point is that while we still by and large have a 2 party system, it is becoming demonstrably weaker. And if you look at money spent in the 2001 general election (which is regulated by the Electoral Commission) the sums spent by Lab and Con were only half that spent in 1997, while that spent by the LDs was around £5M, so even here the gap has narrowed substantially.

I hope this is helpful.

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Voting behaviour is influenced more by political issues than by social factors. Discuss

Tue Mar 15, 05 | AS Level > Politics > Homework

There is a lot of good material here. I have corrected all the spelling and grammatical errors. More importantly, I have added a long list of other factors that you haven't considered, and might want to incorporate. In particular, your work has no reference to the most recent election of 2001, and I have rectified this by providing you with lots of information on issues such as governmental competence, dealignment, tactical voting, etc.

I hope this is helpful.

OTHER POINTS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO CONSIDER

1. Right up until the 1960s, about a third of the working class voted Conservative out of DEFERENCE – i.e. they saw it as their duty to vote for ‘the natural party of government’. Today, deference has all but disappeared.
2. There has been significant CLASS DEALIGNMENT since the 1960s – i.e. many of the working class became more affluent and often adopted middle class lifestyles, and thus voted Conservative. This ‘embourgeoisement’ was clearly seen in the 1980s, when large numbers of the ‘new working class’ (non-trade union member, non public sector worker, non council house resident) supported the Conservatives, and were attracted by their policies – on tax and council house sales in particular.
3. Partisan Dealignment has also been evident since the 1970s, and accounts for the greater volatility of the electorate, and also for the rising trend support for third parties.
4. INSTRUMENTAL voting has been a major feature of all elections since at least 1979 – i.e. the growing tendency of ‘floating’ voters to support the party that will bring them the greatest personal benefits. Voters tend, in increasing numbers, to ‘shop around’ for the best party to meet their particular needs. This links with perceptions of general COMPETENCE in office – in particular, the Conservatives were trusted to handle the economy better until after 1992; now the roles are reversed – with Labour’s transition to ‘New Labour’, the party is now seen as capable of managing the economy more successfully and prudently.
5. There are marked REGIONAL variations in voting patterns – so, for example, the Conservatives now have only one seat in Scotland, none in Wales, and none in most northern cities. In many rural and some suburban areas, the two party contest is really now between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. There are far fewer marginal seats than before, which suggests that the country is more regionally polarised.
6. Party image has become critical. In particular the electorate does not vote for divided parties (Conservatives, 1997 and 2001) or for parties seen as extreme (Labour, 1983 and 1987). The image of the PARTY LEADER has become much more important too – so, for example, Kinnock (1992) and Hague (2001) did not LOOK LIKE prime ministers.
7. Tactical voting was a big feature of the 1997 and 2001 elections – i.e where voters support the party most likely to oust the Conservative incumbent. This has helped the Liberal Democrats to target seats and to achieve their largest number of MPs since the 1920s. People are also increasingly willing to vote for smaller parties if they feel passionately about a single issue – the Referendum Party (1997) and UKIP (2001) are obvious examples.
8. Turnout fell below 60% in 2001. This suggests a growing number of voters are alienated from ALL parties. Note also that many people vote very differently in non-parliamentary elections – for example, UKIP’s support in the European Parliament elections gave them a dozen seats, the Greens have seats in the Greater London Assembly, etc.

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