"Culture and the Politics of Third World Nationalism" provides insights drawn from a deep understanding of specific political systems in the Third World and a thorough knowledge of nationalist activity within these systems. Dawa Norbu combines these insights with a theoretical framework that seeks to draw out the universal significance of the events. The author's personal experience of nationalism in Tibet, in India, and in the United States, together with a sociological analysis of ten case studies, inform an argument that is focused on the ways that nationalism is shaped by local cultural factors. The areas discussed include South Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe, and Latin America. Dawa Norbu provides an analysis of the relationship between Marxism and nationalism, and argues that the importance of nationalism as an enduring social force in international politics is especially evident from its appearance in societies that are explicitly founded upon transnational ideals.

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