Land-centred nationalism and the state: a re-evaluation of Jewish national revival

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This paper examines the concept of ‘land-centred’ nationalism and suggests that it is important for distinguishing among different types of nationalism and for better understanding the role of land and place in this ideology. In order to demonstrate what land-centred nationalism actually means, the article examines Zionism as a case study, arguing that some of the leading, early intellectual schools of this national movement (cultural, socialist, and religious Zionism) tended to underscore the role of the Land of Israel in collective identity rather than the role of the political community. Despite many differences in their general outlook, these schools all celebrated the land's spiritual role while neglecting or even opposing the idea of a Jewish state. This devaluation of the bond among citizens in favour of the bond of a people with their ancient land contributed to Zionism's contemporary difficulties and manifests the dangers of land-centred nationalism more generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-957
Number of pages21
JournalNations and Nationalism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Erez-Israel
  • Palestine
  • Zionism
  • land
  • nationalism


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