State of Nationalism (SoN)

State of Nationalism (SoN): Nationalism and Private Property



This article reviews research on the relationship between property rights and nationalism. A property rights perspective to the study of nationalism is relevant to understanding the origins and development of nationalism and nation states. Yet, key theorists of nationalism have mostly ignored the relationship between property rights and nationalism, or looked at it only indirectly. There are a variety of ways in which ownership or possession more generally can be related to nationalism, for instance through colonialism, racism, and dispossession (Bannerji et al. 2001; Bhandar 2016; Bhandar & Toscano 2015). This review, however, in order to build a consistent perspective on the historical emergence of nation states and nationalism, will have its main focus on property rights, property regimes and state-building. The literature on state-building and democratization bears important insights about this relationship which can be applied to the study of nationalism. This review will therefore draw on such literature, in addition to works on nationalism where the topic of property has been mentioned, to show how an integrated property rights perspective to the study of nationalism may yield important insights to our understanding of nations and nationalism. The article is structured as follows. First, it offers a brief discussion of what property rights are and why they are key to understanding the long-term historical development of nations and nationalism. After this, it outlines the links between property regimes and the formation of nation states, followed by a discussion of the conceptual links between nationalism and private property. The final section offers some brief reflections on Marxism, property and nationalism.

Keywords: property rights, property regimes, state-building, nation-states, private property, Nationalism studies

How to Cite: Magnus Fuglestad, E. (2022) “State of Nationalism (SoN): Nationalism and Private Property”, Studies on National Movements. 9(1). doi: