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Nationalism, development and integration: the political economy of Ernest Gellner

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  • Ugo Pagano

Abstract

In this paper, we show how in Gellner we can find a stimulating analysis of the institutional equilibria that characterise agrarian and industrial society and the conditions that make possible institutional change from one equilibrium to another. This allows a convincing account of the reasons why some countries industrialised before others and why nationalism had such an uneven impact on the development of market economies. We consider the relation between Gellner's analysis and other theories of organisation and point out how Gellner can help to solve some paradoxes that arise in these theories. We also argue that joining Gellner's contribution to the analysis of the positional nature of status and power reinforces his conclusion about the necessary stagnation of agrarian societies and the necessary (over)accumulation of different forms of capitalism. We conclude by examining the implications of his analysis for the process of globalisation and its challenge to national states. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Ugo Pagano, 2003. "Nationalism, development and integration: the political economy of Ernest Gellner," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(5), pages 623-646, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:27:y:2003:i:5:p:623-646
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    Cited by:

    1. Clots-Figueras, Irma & Masella, Paolo & Aspachs-Bracons, Oriol, 2007. "Identity and language policies," UC3M Working papers. Economics we077746, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    2. Ugo Pagano, 2013. "Love, war and cultures: an institutional approach to human evolution," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 41-66, April.
    3. Grazia Ietto-Gillies, 2011. "Strategies of Transnational Companies in the Context of the Governance Systems of Nation-states," Chapters,in: Does Economic Governance Matter?, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Kosta Josifidis & Alpar LosÌŒonc, 2014. "Some Thoughts on Power: International Context," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(5), pages 597-615, October.
    5. D'Antoni, Massimo & Pagano, Ugo, 2002. "National cultures and social protection as alternative insurance devices," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 367-386, December.
    6. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 2006. "Instituciones, recesiones y recuperación en las economías en transición," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 8(15), pages 43-68, July-Dece.
    7. Joan Costa-i-Font, 2010. "Unveiling Vertical State Downscaling: Identity and/or the Economy?," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 20, European Institute, LSE.
    8. Costa-i-Font, Joan, 2010. "Unveiling vertical state downscaling: identity and/or the economy?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27750, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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