Identify a central feature of nationalism as a "political ideology."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that you can find many different elements of nationalism that can constitute as political ideology.  Yet, in my mind, I think that one of the strongest elements that link nationalism to political ideology is the presence of exceptionalism.  The belief that one's nation is "exceptional" serves as some of the basis of nationalism.  The political ideology extension of this is that national and international policy is carved with an exceptionalist bias.  This is where "political ideology" and nationalism converge.  The belief in a nation's exceptionalist state helps to justify policies that encourage aggressiveness, expansion, as well as the basic premise of how political discourse has to be rooted in exceptionalism.  It is here where nationalist ideological practices becomes easier to adopt and harder to resist.  In this, exceptionalism becomes one of the central features of a nationalist political ideology.  Without this notion of exceptionalism, political ideology and dogmatic ideas of the good are not as apparent.  I think that it is exceptionalism and the favored status of a specific nation in which nationalism becomes an essential part of political ideology underscoring all approaches and policies of a specific nation.

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