Talk:Nation

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National Identity[edit]

Is this the same as the article 'nation'? Perhaps a separate article needs to be written.ok

No more essays here[edit]

We can't have Wikipedia being a venue for wikipedians writing essays where they write “Maidment and Mackerras argue”. Heading down this path lead to this article becoming what must have been a record-breaking violation of ESSAY. Everything that is put into this article must be incontestable fact widely supported by most-reliable RSs on the subject. Greg L (talk) 18:20, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Merely citing an opinion and attributing it does not violate WP:NOTESSAY (Btw this is what the policy is actually called). Citing and contrasting conflicting differing opinions is a normal part of encyclopedia editing. I only had one because I was just giving the base bones of where the article could go, but since you disliked one sentence so much I've removed it. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 18:50, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
How in the world did you decide on what points and who to cite in #Conception of nationhood?? Are you some sort of published RS and an authority on the subject of “Nation” that establishes that Wikipedia now has a true, balanced, factual balance as a result of what you just cherry picked with regard to what “Benedict Anderson argues” and what “Eric Hobsbawm argues” and what “Ernest Gellner similarly argues” and what “William Ralph Inge famously said”? This is what WP:NOTESSAY is trying to address: having college students, all giddy with how wise and knowledgeable they have become in only three short months come here to pick and choose what they think the world ought to know about a subject. Please thoughtfully consider how you are going to answer my question. What I see so far looks like a whole bunch of “essay by Blue-Haired Lawyer”. Unless you can point to the Mother Of All RSs that is a widely recognized and accepted treatise on the subject of nation and unless the individuals you seemed to have pulled out of thin air here are a darn good distillation of what is in that RS, it's not gonna fly; not by a long shot. Greg L (talk) 20:19, 8 June 2011 (UTC)


P.S. After a decent wait for a response of any sort out of you, and after watching a bunch of registered editors and I.P.s try to fix what you did with proper citations, it became apparent that this article had become an unsupportable essay wherein you had waxed philosophical with what “Ernest Gellner similarly argues” and what “William Ralph Inge famously said”. I suggest you limit yourself to what widely respected RSs such as print dictionaries, print encyclopedias, and the United Nations have to say on the subject. Greg L (talk) 16:07, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

I support Greg L's stance here. He took a great deal of time and trouble to rewrite the article five months ago and his changes proved to be stable and well-respected. Let's first discuss wholesale changes on this talk page. GFHandel   20:56, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Meaning of nation as a sovereign state[edit]

Changes to the lead having been reverted yet again, we are again faced with a lead which defines the nation as referring to a sovereign state. All the credible sources I can find, at best, define the nation as the inhabitants of a sovereign state with the use of the word nation to mean state being a metonymy. I have no access to the source cited (World Book Dictionary) for nation state meaning sovereign state but the quoted text "the people occupying the same country, united under the same government, and usually speaking the same language" appears to be more in line with nation as referring to a group of people. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 13:27, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

  • It’s not complex. The lede is authoritatively cited to two different, widely respected dictionary and references all their various definitions. The current lede is written so it isn’t contrary to either dictionary nor to any of their definitions. That citation reads as follows:
World Book Dictionary defines nation as “the people occupying the same country, united under the same government, and usually speaking the same language”. Another definition is that nation is a “sovereign state.” It also says nation can refer to “a people, race, or tribe; those having the same descent, language, and history.” World Book Dictionary also gives this definition: “a tribe of North American Indians.” Webster’s New Encyclopedic Dictionary defines nation as “a community of people composed of one or more nationalities with its own territory and government” and also as “a tribe or federation of tribes (as of American Indians)”.
This approach (sticking to actual, incontestable facts) is a gigantic improvement over previous incarnations of this article, which was the product of many a wikipedian, intent on waxing philosophical even though they aren’t themselves an RS. Greg L (talk) 06:55, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
I can read thanks! Why not quote the entire dictionary entry (and some details over which edition etc...) than your own selective reading of it. Even by your own source describing a nation as a sovereign state is "another definition", but yet this is inverted in the article which puts the sovereign-state meaning first. You continually revert my sourced additions whilst asserting that your own are "incontestable facts". The New Oxford American Dictionary and the Collins English Dictionary are just as authoritative as the ones you cite. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 12:54, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
In a nutshell you accuse me of picking and choosing sources, but you appear to do a fair amount it yourself. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 13:12, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
  • It can't be helped if you disapprove of the dictionaries I elected to quote from; it would be tedious reading and a disservice to our readership to quote from every dictionary in existence since they are in general alignment with each other. Now…

    There is no comparison between choosing which dictionaries to cite to and a pure essay by Blue-Haired Lawyer that goes “Benedict Anderson argues” and what “Eric Hobsbawm argues” and what “Ernest Gellner similarly argues” and what “William Ralph Inge famously said”. You full-well know that this is only permissible if all four statesmen and authors were quoted from a highly respected and widely accepted RS and if all four are a fair and balanced distillation of the totality of that RS without undo weight placed on a particular view. As it stands, the only apparent connection these four “authorities” on the subject have is that they are ones that Blue-Haired Lawyer cherry picked in order to wax philosophical on this subject. You aren’t an RS.

    Important details of your work, like your “famously” (as in “William Ralph Inge famously said”) just don’t withstand scrutiny. If that particular quote is that extra-noteworthy and famous (more so than other quotes attributed to him), why is it not in our current version of our article on Inge? And why is that quote not among those attributed to Inge by FamousQuotesAndAuthors.com nor Ranker? It seems that this particular quote is no more famous than many others attributed to him and it is certainly not especially famous in comparison to those made by others on the subject of “nation.” There is no connection to those four authors/statesmen/priests other than they were ones Blue-Haired Lawyer chose. Thus, that whole paragraph of yours was just a bunch of soap-boxing by Blue-Haired Lawyer, all the way down to which quote ought to be separated out for *extra-special* emphasis for being “famously said.”

    You were editorializing and thought yourself to be sufficiently expert in the subject that the rest of the world should be exposed to this thought that caught your fancy:

    [A] nation is a society that nourishes a common delusion about its ancestry and shares a common hatred for its neighbours.

You liked that idea that nationality is a “common delusion” based on “hatred for its neighbours” did you? Blue-Haired Lawyer thought the rest of the English-speaking should be exposed to this quote which was “famously said”? Did you overlook Rodney King’s “Why can’t we all just get along?”

I suggest you stop feigning great insult here to my calling you out on your efforts to use Wikipedia as a venue for original thought via “personal essays that state your particular feelings about a topic” through cherry-picked quotes from thousands on this subject. This sort of mentality lead to this version of the article, which was a pile of half-cooked tripe and which lead to comments above like #this whole article reads like a personal essay and #Sub standard.

As for the dictionary definitions being relied upon here, let me know where you find a new and novel definition of “nation” in a reliable and authoritative dictionary that hasn’t yet been captured with the current text. One thing is for sure: I wasn’t trying to espouse any particular slant of my own when I elected to cite Websters and World Book; the combination of those two resulted in the most inclusive number of definitions. Greg L (talk) 19:13, 11 June 2011 (UTC)


P.S. I really like the Inge quote you dredged up that goes “[a] nation is a society that nourishes a common delusion about its ancestry and shares a common hatred for its neighbours." It’s worth remembering. You should create your own blog somewhere on the subject of “nation.” If the totality of your work is later cited by secondary RS somewhere, Wikipedia can then draw from your work. Greg L (talk) 19:24, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Nations without a sovereign state[edit]

Cards on the table: every since Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) mentioned Wikibias.com in a recent AfD, I've been an occasional visitor to the site, and that's what led me here. Now for the serious problems with the "Nations without a sovereign state" section, which are my own observations and not anyone else's. Other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, does anyone else use the English word nation in the Palestinian context? Ahmadinejad, in all fairness, cannot be considered a reliable source as to which people do or don't constitute a nation in the encyclopedic sense. Furthermore, there are plenty of notable individuals who've argued that Jordan is the Palestinian state; so if Ahmadinajad's opinion carries any weight, so should theirs. Then there is the problem of WP:UNDUE. Palestinian nationalism is being given all of the weight of the section when equally if not more compelling arguments could be formulated for other peoples without states, in particular Kurds, Tibetans, Basques, Chechens, and so on. Let's make this an encyclopedia article and not a political manifesto.—Biosketch (talk) 03:40, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Curiously enough I recently deleted the references to Palestine only to be reverted by Messrs. Greg L and GFHandel. Without getting into the whys and wherefores there are probably more straightforward and less controversial examples. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 17:44, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

This is seriously overweighted toward one POV. It clearly calls out and pushes a political view for the Palestinians with no mention of other groups. If one is called out that way, it should be neutral. Also, no mention of Basque, Kurd, etc... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.244.4.106 (talk) 17:46, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Palestinians, like Kurds, are often referred to as "a nation without a state" [1], and this status has played a significant role in the shaping of their identity [2]. It is true that their case helps illustrates the subtle difference in meaning between "nation", "state", and "nation-state", but as they are on the path to statehood, or arguably already there given the wide recognition the State of Palestine enjoys, they may not be the best example for this section. If that stateless nation status is described in more evolutionary historical terms, as is done here, it might be better, but other examples should definitelybe included too. Kurds and Kurdistan deserve a mention as they are repeatedly discussed in RS in this context, and the case of Armenians might also better illustrate what "nation" means - i.e. while there is a state of Armenia, much of the Armenian people (or nation) resides outside the state. Sources on these distinctions can be easily found in google book searches. If no one wants to pursue adding these themselves, I'll try to dig up some time in the coming days. Tiamuttalk 20:17, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • It’s not just Ahmadinejad who speaks of a Palestinian Nation,” the issue comes up in the United Nations all the time about Whether the should U.N. recognize a Palestinian nation; which is to say, recognize it not as a people that identify themselves as a nation but to recognize them as a sovereign state. The Palestinians refer to themselves all the time as a “Palestinian Nation.” Ergo, it is the best example I know of out there for a people who consider themselves a nation that is not already a sovereign state. If someone else knows of a better example, fine; use that.

    But we won’t have deletion of the current example (because it controversial and gets some anti-Jewish panties in a bunch) without a better replacement. If someone thinks they’ve got a more drop-dead obvious example than “Palestinian Nation”, perform a Google search (like this one) and see if it comes up with a quarter million hits. If it has even more hits than that, bring it up here for discussion.

    As for including a “Kurdish Nation” in the article, this is about making a good-reading article on the subject of ‘nation,’ not about *being inclusive* to make other people yearning to have their own widely recognized sovereign nation feel all good about themselves; we’re not going to be heading down that path and turn this article into a bloody battleground for people with a political axe to grind intent on POV-pushing here. Far fewer English-speaking people know about a Kurdish Nation and far fewer nations recognize the Kurds as a sovereign state, so going there would undoubtedly be even more controversial and truly turn this article into a battleground.

    As mere wikipedians, we are not going to be engaging in primary debate and wax philosophical with our pinky fingers out as we sip our tea and discuss world politics; we go with the secondary RSs on this matter. It is clear that the best example by far for illustrating an example of a people that consider themselves a nation that is not already a sovereign state is the Palestinians. Why, our own article on State of Palestine states that The State of Palestine is quite widely recognised by states, although often in equivocal terms, so the logic is inescapable that if they are this close to being a sovereign state, they are without a doubt a “nation that is a community of people sharing a common territory and government but is not a sovereign state.”

    I see zero need for a bias tag as it appears just to be the product of WP:IDONTLIKEIT and more trying to turn en.Wikipedia into a battleground. Tag deleted. Greg L (talk) 21:30, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Greg L's reversion and explanation above make eminent sense. We are giving a good example here, not trying to list many instances. There are other pages that purport to be complete lists. I support returning the article to the state he suggests. GFHandel   23:20, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

The Palestinian Arabs already have a nation-state: Jordan. Fudusiamli (talk) 02:13, 23 June 2011 (UTC

  • And that sort of attitude underlies precisely what this issue is about: trying edit articles so as to push a politically motivated point of view rather than follow the RSs. Greg L (talk) 21:40, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
It is always a good idea to read what a template actually says before removing them. The POV template says that:
"The neutrality of this section is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved."
while the undue template says that:
"An editor has expressed a concern that this section lends undue weight to certain ideas relative to the article as a whole. Please help to discuss and resolve the dispute before removing this message."
In short they don't say that "this section is biased!" but rather that there is a dispute, and as they also say should not be removed until the dispute is resolved. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 18:08, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
But no contrary debate is forthcoming. GFHandel   19:28, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Great, Blue-Haired Lawyer, so get in the saddle and discuss; just like GFHandel is saying. Let’s see you advance a cogent counter-argument that is supported by Wikipedia’s principles, rules, and guidelines. That’s the way these things work. And in case you don’t know, the dispute is “resolved” when there is a consensus to resolve things a certain way; they are not to be used to signal that someone is dissatisfied with the consensus view and wants to cross their arms across their chests and pout. Greg L (talk) 21:30, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

My point was really one of process not result. An edit war over the appropriateness of a POV template is a dispute over the existence of a dispute. When Greg L say that: "The objections have been discussed. The complaint does not withstand scrutiny based on what the RSs say on this matter" it strikes me that instead of saying that there's no dispute, he's just saying that the other side's argument is weak. That's not a reason for removing a POV template IMHO.

As for the sources there's three:

1. A link to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speech. A primary source is hardly ideal. Ahmadinejad can hardly be considered reliable either. It's not so far from quoting Gaddafi concerning the current situation in Libya. Frankly, it's a bit of a Aunt Sally source designed to denigrate the idea of Palestinian nationhood by associating it with a madman. Hence a valid accusation of intended bias.

2. A link to an article on the international recognition of a/the Palestinian state which concerns itself with international law. It doesn't get anywhere near the of the concept of a stateless nation. It's not a topic that's even addressed.

3. An Israeli "op-ed". The best of three. It at least addresses the issue of national identity, although it hardly justifies the weasel words used in the sentence it's meant to verify.

An unverified statement:

"Palestinian nationalism in modern times arose between 1948 and 1950."

Why not just assert directly that the Palestinian nation is a fake of recent fabrication? This statement is clearly both unverifiable and biased, and completely conflicts with what's stated at Palestinian nationalism#Origins.

As for Greg L's points:

1. I'm guessing you wrote the bit about a stateless nation is a "nation that is a community of people sharing a common territory and government but is not a sovereign state," so it's hardly much of a surprise that Palestine fits. But that's not what a stateless nations is. A stateless nation sometimes has but more often than not seeks common government. That's kind of the whole point.

2. Palestine is a bad example exactly because many states recognise it as a state and not therefore as a stateless nation. Kurdistan is a place that no one recognises as a state and therefore classically fits the definition of a stateless nation.

3. Your point that Palestine is the best example you know of and shouldn't be removed just because it's controversial is daft. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 01:05, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Discussion to seek final consensus on need for neutrality tag on article[edit]

  • Fine. You have your opinion, which appears to be the product of not wanting to hear or see the truth. Let’s examine one clear point of fact: "Palestinian nationalism in modern times arose between 1948 and 1950" is uncited. In fact, I wrote Palestinian nationalism in modern times arose between 1948 and 1950. Try actually reading our own article by following the link if you contest bare facts. Take it up there if you have a problem with it.

    Now, I’ve been on Wikipedia long enough to know that there are people who will argue things to death because they don’t like things and insist that tags stay until they get satisfaction. It doesn’t work that way. Tags are not the tool of the lone holdout to force an issue into protracted, endless debate. A dictionary definition of “nation” is “a community of people sharing a common territory and government” as distinct from a sovereign state. The Palestinians themselves consider themselves to be a nation in this regard, just as American Indian nations do. The Palestinians are the most well known example of such a people.

    I think you are just smarting over the fact that YOU tried to wax philosophical beyond all comprehension with a section that read as follows:


Conception of nationhood

Benedict Anderson argues nation are imagined communities that are imagined as limited and sovereign. The imagination is made possible by extensive use of printing press, mass media and capitalism. Nations are therefore defined by how the communities are imagined.

On the other hand, Eric Hobsbawm argues nations are invented tradition, include invention of education, public ceremonies and mass production of public monuments. The nations are defined by those invented traditions.

Ernest Gellner similarly argues there is strong tie between nationalism and modernization. His belief that "[i]t is nationalism which engenders nations, and not the other way round", is often quoted.<ref>[[q:Ernest Gellner|WikiQuote - Ernest Gellner]]</ref>

English author, Anglican priest and Cambridge professor William Ralph Inge famously said that "[a] nation is a society that nourishes a common delusion about its ancestry and shares a common hatred for its neighbours."


I rightly stripped all that personal essay out and now you are ticked off, aren’t you? And fresh off of your adding that custom essay by Blue-Haird Lawyer, you are going to wikilawyer over procedures and argue about the existence of a Palestinian Nation as “a community of people sharing a common territory and government that is not already a sovereign state.”
So I ask all parties to consider the above arguments and work towards a consensus on whether a “neutrality” tag is needed.
  • Delete tags I think tagging that section is just a tool for those who are not neutral (read: biased) and who are upset with something that is neutral and factual. And also per my above arguments. This is just another case of “If we accept that the Palestinians are a ‘community of people sharing a common territory and government’ then that somehow strengthens the Palestinians’ arguments that they should be recognized as a sovereign state, which is a prospect I don’t like.” Well, that is unfortunate but the Palestinian Nation is the most well known and returns over a quarter million Google hits. Greg L (talk) 03:06, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
I was asked to visit to offer an independent opinion. Therefore, I haven't read the thread(s) above, but just had a quick look at the article. Rather short, I'd say, and the final section (tagged) is a real problem: it can't help but be POV when it trots out just a few poorly connected and unexplored statements. I suggest this section be commented out and a sandbox worked on to produce a fuller section, with careful attention to balance and referencing. Tony (talk) 04:36, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Greg, I hate to break it to you but I really don't care. I didn't write the essay (as you wish to refer to it), it was there before I came to this article. The only thing that really bugs me is your constant stream of personal attacks and incivility.
In fact I did follow the link to Palestinian nationalism but unlike you I concluded that the statement: "Palestinian nationalism in modern times arose between 1948 and 1950", is an opinion and not a fact. And I take from statements such as "In 1918, as the Palestinian Arab National Movement gained strength in Jerusalem", that Palestinian nationalism can arguable be said to have existed in modern times prior to 1948. (There's also a fair question of how "modern times" are defined.)
I am not interested in WP:The Truth. You asked me to go through the section so I did and pointed out some fairly obvious flaws. An uninvolved editor came here and also considered the section flawed. As a matter of fact I think the Palestinians have as much right to be recognised as a nation as anybody else and would hope that the UN does recognise Palestine as a state in the Autumn. But this doesn't change bad writing and crappy sources. In any event now that I've given my own opinion, something which I try to avoid, I think I'll retire from this article and debate, and try and do something more useful elsewhere. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 12:44, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I think its all about the RS support. The Jews, for example, are known as the Jewish nation. And were, even when they lost their sovereignty, and were dispersed in the Jewish Diaspora, after the 6th century BC conquest of the Kingdom of Judah. And one can point to high-level RS support for that.[1][2][3]
  1. ^ "The Jewish Problem: How To Solve It," U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, "Jews are a distinctive nationality of which every Jew, whatever his country, his station or shade of belief, is necessarily a member" (April 25, 1915), University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, Retrieved on November 30, 2010
  2. ^ Palmer, Henry, A History of the Jewish Nation (1875), D. Lothrop & Co., Retrieved on November 30, 2010
  3. ^ The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Vol. 7: Berlin Years, Albert Einstein, "The Jewish Nation is a living fact" (June 21, 1921), Princeton University Press, Retrieved on November 30, 2010

So ... as to the Jews, and any other "nation" that has such high-level support, I have no problem with them being referred to as a nation. At the end of the day, however, a fact-specific analysis is required as to each.--Epeefleche (talk) 08:45, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Can anyone offer up a better example of a non-American Indian nation than the Palestinians? It would be splendid if the replacement was a widely known example that won’t result in even more controversy? If there are less well known than the Palestinians, I can imagine a new wave of editors and I.P.s descending on us making complaints along the lines of “They aren’t community of people sharing a common territory and government; they’re just a bunch of [insert pejorative for ‘sub-human’ here] and have a few terrorist nut-wads amongst their ranks.” There has to be at least one such ‘nation’ on Planet Earth, otherwise the dictionary definitions are wrong (unlikely). Greg L (talk) 14:59, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

(*sound of crickets chirping*)

Blue-Haired Lawyer's comments on the tags are valid: Ahmadinejad, while probably quoted corrrectly, hardly makes a strong case for Palestian nationhood coming from him; the second link doesn't even relate to stateless nations, and the op-ed is pretty weak too, given that it just that - an opinion piece.
But I propose the following for consideration as a resolution: The section on nations without a sovereign states is a subsection of the overall topic, and it is covered by another main article Stateless nation. We could therefore have an link to the main article, with an introductory sentence and a few illustrative examples that fit into this category.
Additional examples of nations without states we could include are any or all of the following:
Thus the section could look something like this:
==Nations without a sovereign state==
A stateless nation is a group, usually an ethnic group, sharing a common territory and other national attributes, and considered to be a nation entitled to its own state, specifically a nation-state. Usage of the term is often political and controversial. Examples of peoples who claim, or are claimed to constitute stateless nations are...::
--Chefallen (talk) 05:13, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Question for User:Greg L[edit]

In relation to these two claims:

Nations that are a community of people sharing a common territory and government but are not sovereign states can be controversial subjects due, in no small part, to national security concerns of neighbouring countries. A notable example of a group of people who are sometimes claimed to constitute such a stateless nation are Palestinians.

These are problematic statements. First of all, expressions like "in no small part" are vague and unencyclopedic. Secondly, what is your source for saying that territoriless nations are controversial subjects due to "national security concerns of neighboring countries"? As a general rule, without anchors in specific examples, it sounds like WP:SYNTH. Who are the countries that have expressed such concerns? Who are the nations in regards to whom such concerns have been expressed? You follow what I'm getting at. And apropos vagueness, the expressions "notable example" and "sometimes claimed" are similarly problematic. What yardstick served you in measuring the relative notability of this particular "example" against other examples – assuming there are other examples in your inventory?

By the way, the section's only been made worse by the most recent additions. Now the article's become largely a polemic regarding the merits and shortcomings of Palestinian statehood.—Biosketch (talk) 09:19, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Agree. See suggestion above for addressing the topic at high level and linking to relevant article and peoples to whom this topic applies rather than the long-winded redundant and clearly unbalanced section that it is currently. --Chefallen (talk) 13:42, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I just deleted that whole section as being bad ‘cess. The section was already headed into massive POV-pushing debating world politics as if mere wikipedians are RSs. Greg L (talk) 22:35, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
That seems a reasonable (perhaps, even wise) way to prevent the tail from wagging the dog, and the entire article to become engulfed by it (which would have been a bad result).--Epeefleche (talk) 23:16, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Joseph Stalin as the main authority on nations?[edit]

Am I the only person for whom red alerts started going off when he saw that the lead to this article is, in one way or another, composed of either quotes of Stalin or responses to those quotes, in a share of more than two thirds?

Of the dozens of excellent scholars who deal with nations and nationalism...You make a lead that is mostly about a profesionally non-qualified totalitarian dictator?

Sorry, but this is nothing short of preposterous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Justice and Reason (talkcontribs) 06:12, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

  • I disagree completely, and I think that few people had such 'red alerts' going off because most people are more critical than you have been here. You are coming from the same kind of place as the people who say that we should not study Heidegger because he was a Nazi. Marxism and the National Question was written in 1913 (you would be a fool to not give him credit for his theoretical contributions to Marxism - he was a philosopher in some capacity whether you like him or not), long before Stalin's ascension to power, and if absolutely nothing else his conception of nation in the text is one of the most comprehensive from the period and remains one which is pretty well airtight. You can read the first chapter of the text for his various arguments for what criteria are necessary to say that a group of people constitute a nation. The article was previously very poorly written (and remains so - the definition of nation given is practically useless, saying that a nation might refer to one of a few already defined things; at least the inclusion of Stalin's conception actually made the article helpful) and the inclusion of Stalin's conception without that of others, but if a section about comparative conceptions of nation is included in the future then specific reference absolutely must be made of Stalin.-60.225.33.120 (talk) 15:45, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
    • BRB, quoting Mein Kampf, written long before Hitler's ascension to power, in the article Jews. --Niemti (talk) 19:03, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Complexity and the African Diaspora: Proposed Contribution[edit]

I am interested in contributing to this article aimed at defining the term "nation". As this thread of discussion suggests, this concept is extremely complicated. People have varying views on what a nation is, and no one definition is wrong or right. This is because nation is a perceived and socially constructed concept. Furthermore, the socially accepted definition of the term has changed over the centuries.

I would like to focus my contribution to first, addressing how complex of a topic this is in the opening section. In this section, I would like to draw on ideas from Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities, a work that has already been referenced in this discussion. His work is essential to understand how concepts of nationhood have been constructed in the minds of humans over the centuries. The current definition is simply one of many ways that people view nation, and I would like to flesh out that complexity in the opening.

The other contribution I would like to make to this article is to demonstrate how the term nation has changed in meaning for some people. I would like to add a section which explains how the African Diaspora has altered some opinions of what nation/nationhood is. I realize this is only a small piece of a much larger history of how the term has changed over time, but it is a very key part of how the concept has changed from a racial description to a term implying some kind of physical statehood. The 18th century brought an alteration to the meaning and came to be more narrowly referred to as a group with a recognizable and sovereign government with physical borders. This new definition aligns more with the concept of a nation-state. The nation began to emerge in the late 18th century as the leading form of government and social organization. This definition contrasts from the earlier shared view that a nation is a group of people unified by language, region and cultural background; what is now consider to be one’s ethnicity. I have researched the diaspora and have sources, relying mainly on Patrick Manning's The African Diaspora: a History through Culture.

In my contribution I will carefully word my findings, making sure that it is not an essay that does not fit within the structure of Wikipedia. I feel that this contribution is vital in understanding the complexity of what "nation" means. Kristadurham (talk) 18:41, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Mess[edit]

The lede at this time looks like this:

Nation may refer to a large group of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history. It also says nation can refer to “a people, race, or tribe; those having the same descent, language, and history.” Webster’s New Encyclopedic Dictionary defines nation as “a community of people composed of one or more nationalities with its own territory and government” and also as “a tribe or federation of tribes (as of American Indians)”.</ref> Nation carries varying meanings, and the connotation of the term has changed over time.

The second sentence begins "It also says..." but I don't know what "it" is. I'll remove that phrase, but someone may need to give an attribution for that quote. (Maybe Webster's?). There's also an end-tag </ref>. I don't know what has gone missing in the editing process, but that tag has to come out until someone can do some repair work.

I have no stake in spinning the article one way or another, it just needs to be readable.

zadignose (talk) 04:03, 20 December 2013 (UTC)