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Giuseppe Mazzini and the Globalization of Democratic Nationalism, 1830-1920$
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C. A. Bayly and E. F. Biagini

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264317

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264317.001.0001

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The Moses of Italian Unity: Mazzini and Nationalism as Political Religion

The Moses of Italian Unity: Mazzini and Nationalism as Political Religion

Chapter:
(p.106) (p.107) 6 The Moses of Italian Unity: Mazzini and Nationalism as Political Religion
Source:
Giuseppe Mazzini and the Globalization of Democratic Nationalism, 1830-1920
Author(s):

Simon Levis Sullam

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197264317.003.0007

This chapter examines the nature of Mazzini's nationalism by analysing it as a ‘political religion’: a system of myths, symbols, and rituals the subordinates the collectivity to the supreme entity of the nation. It studies Mazzinian nationalism both on the level of content – looking at how Mazzini defines the genesis of the nation – and on the level of form, looking at the ‘style’ of Mazzini's political thought. The chapter shows that this style is symbolic and ritual, based on single words that operate as symbols and are ritually repeated for the captivation of the followers. Finally, it explores the boundaries of Mazzini's liberalism, showing the limits of his republicanism and his paternalistic conception of democracy as ‘education’.

Keywords:   nationalism, political religion, nation, political thought, liberalism, republicanism, democracy, education

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