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Synopsis

This book focuses on transformations of political culture from times past to future-present. It defines the meaning of political culture and explores the cultural values and institutions of kinship communities and dynastic intermediaries, including chiefdoms and early states. It systematically examines the rise and gradual universalization of modern sovereign nation-states. Contemporary debates concerning nationality, nationalism, citizenship, and hyphenated identities are engaged. The authors recount the making of political culture in the American nation-state and look at the processes of internal colonialism in the American experience, examining how major ethnic, sectarian, racial, and other distinctions arose and congealed into social and cultural categories. The book concludes with a study of the Holocaust, genocide, crimes against humanity, and the political cultures of violation in post-colonial Rwanda and in racialized ethno-political conflicts in various parts of the world. Struggles over legitimacy in nation-building and state-building are at the heart of this new take on the important role of political culture.

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