Nationalism and Ethnicity in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran

Course content

In spite of earlier scholarly predictions concerning its eventual disappearance in the 1980s, nationalism has clearly remained a dominant paradigm throughout the world. While in Central Asia nationalist ideology gained new momentum following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it had emerged as an ideology and a political force in the region long before the 1990s. In Iran, the Islamic Revolution promised an alternative to the secularism and nationalism of the Shah, but in fact produced its own religious nationalism. Although the countries of the macro-region of Central Asia, Iran and Afghanistan all have their own specific history and brand of nationalism, they also display patterns which, due to a number of common denominators, render them comparable. In this course, theories of nationalism will be discussed with reference to its roots, emergence and relationship to ethnicity, using the specific case studies of the contiguous regions of the Central Asian –stan states, Iran and Afghanistan.  Questions to be explored include:  Are nations imagined and invented, as critics claim, or ancient and enduring, as nationalists assert?  Are nationalism, communism, and religiosity necessarily in tension?  Are indigenous (ethno-)nationalisms more authentic than “official nationalisms”? 


Studieordning for tilvalget på bachelorniveau i Centralasien- og Afghanistan, 2013

Mellemøstens sprog og samfund med specialisering i de centrale fag Arabisk, Assyriologi, Hebraisk, Nærorientalsk arkæologi, Persisk, Tyrkisk og Ægyptologi, 2010

Studieordning for tilvalget på kandidatniveau i Centralasien- og Afghanistan, 2015

Studieordning for kandidatuddannelsen i Mellemøstens sprog og samfund, 2008

Learning outcome

BA Tilvalgsordning 2013:

Tematisk emne (Fagelementkode, HPEB10111E)

Analytisk emne (Fagelementkode, HPEB10121E)

Frit emne (Fagelementkode, HPEB10131E)

BA 2010-ordning (Tyrkisk eller Persisk):
Udvalg tema om Tyrkiet og/eller den tyrkisk sprogede verden) (fagelementkode HTRB01301E)  

Moderne kultur fra den iranske kultursfære (fagelementkode HPEB00611E)

KA Studieordning 2008 (Mellemøstens Sprog og Samfund)

Emnekursus B (fagelementkode HMØK03721E)


Class teaching, lectures, discussions, student assignments

A detailed course program will be uploaded on Absalon

Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assessment

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Exam
  • 74
  • Preparation
  • 300,5
  • Guidance
  • 10
  • English
  • 412,5