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Title: Die uralte moderne Lösung : nation, space and modernity in Austro-German Zionism before 1917
Author: Marshall, Alex
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 2647
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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Zionism represents a turning point in the rise of the nation-state to its present near-ubiquity, a national movement which did not construct an identity concurrently with its embrace of nationalism, but reconstructed a diaspora to fit it. I explore how early Political Zionists, particularly Theodor Herzl, perceived both the push and pull of nationalism, and why they were drawn to adopt an ideology and political structure whose basic principles, I argue, were intrinsically hostile to Jews. I begin by examining the socialist Moses Hess as a forerunner and microcosm of later Zionism, arguing his work is underpinned by anxiety about social heterogeneity. The second chapter focuses on portrayals of diaspora, its contradictions and the ambivalence they caused towards less assimilated Jews, nonetheless used as models for national identity. I continue by investigating the countries Herzl looked to as partners on the world stage and models of nationhood, arguing his vision of nationhood was far broader than that of most nationalists and involved a recognised role among other nations. The fourth chapter concerns understandings of 'homeland' and the relationship between people and territory, concluding Zionism's effect is achieved, not just by inhabiting Palestine, but by public desire and effort to do so. I devote my final chapter to concepts of modernity, its perception as both paradoxical and inescapable, and how national historical narratives arrange history into a rational, linear structure. While Zionists left many presumptions of nationalism and modernity unchallenged, most importantly that both nation and state transcend political divides, my conclusion stresses those presumptions they accepted, those aspects they saw as inescapable, and those they pragmatically performed belief in, to achieve Gentile acceptance of Jewish nationhood. I surmise that it was this sense of inevitability, along with the difficulties of diaspora, which gave Jews reason to make displays of accepting the nation-state.
Supervisor: Robertson, Ritchie Sponsor: Alfred and Rachel Lehmann Studentship for Jewish Studies ; Brasenose Hulme Completion Grant
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Zionism--Austria--History ; Zionism--Germany--History ; Zionism--Political aspects ; Jewish nationalism--History--20th century ; Austria--Ethnic relations ; Germany--Ethnic relations