Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Andrew Aisenberg

Reader 2

Mark Golub

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2020 Sarah M Sanchez


Traditional theories of nationalism tend to fall in one of two categories: 1) top-down, or official nationalism, which holds that nationalist sentiments are created by state actors, or 2) bottom-up, or popular, nationalism, which holds that nationalist sentiments originate with the people. However, there are major flaws in both of those theories, as well as a decent amount of overlap between them. This paper dismantles the supposed binary between these two theories, and looks for a way to view the theories in combination with one another. Looking at the places of overlap, as well as the elements of each theory that should be discarded altogether, a different theory of nationalism - a hybrid theory - emerges. This paper applies the hybrid theory to a case study, Italy from the mid-1800s to mid-1900s, to see how the theory plays out in reality.