Nationalism is a key concept in political science that has played a significant role in shaping the world as we know it today. In this article, we will discuss the NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Political Science Chapter 7 on Nationalism. The NCERT textbook is widely used in schools affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and is an essential resource for students preparing for competitive exams like UPSC and others.

Our team at PSB (Political Science Blog) has worked diligently to provide comprehensive and accurate solutions to the questions present in the NCERT textbook. With our solutions, you will have a better understanding of the concepts of nationalism and its impact on society and politics.

What you will learn?

In this article, you will find answers to questions from the NCERT textbook and other competitive exams that will help you in your exams.

Solved NCERT Exercise
Additional Question On Nationalism from Political Science Exampler
Short-Answer Type Questions
Long Answer Type Questions

With our NCERT Solution for Class 11 Political Science Chapter 7 Nationalism, you will have a thorough understanding of the subject and be better prepared for your exams.

Class 11 Political Science Chapter 7 NCERT Textbook Exercise Solved

Question 1.
How is a nation different from other forms of collective belonging?


A nation is different from other forms of collective belonging such as family, tribes, clans, and other kinship groups, in terms of its characteristics. A nation is not based on face-to-face relationships like a family or ties of marriage and descent like tribes or clans.

Members of a nation may never meet each other or share common descent but still share a collective identity and vision for the future. The concept of a nation is largely “imagined” and held together by the collective beliefs, aspirations, and imaginations of its members.

It is based on assumptions about the shared history, territory, political ideals, and cultural identity of a group that aspires to have an independent political existence.

A nation is different from other forms of collective belonging in several ways, including:

  1. Shared Identity: A nation is typically defined by a shared sense of identity and belonging among its citizens. This may include shared history, culture, language, values, and beliefs.
  2. Territorial Boundaries: Nations are typically defined by territorial boundaries, which serve as the physical manifestation of the nation’s identity and sovereignty. This is in contrast to other forms of collective belonging, such as religious or ethnic communities, which may span multiple territories.
  3. Political System: Nations are typically organized around a centralized political system, with a government responsible for representing the interests of the nation as a whole and providing public goods and services to its citizens.
  4. Sovereignty: Nations are sovereign entities, meaning they have the right to govern themselves and make decisions about their own affairs without interference from other countries or international organizations.
  5. Legal System: Nations have their own legal systems, with laws and regulations that apply specifically to the territory and citizens of that nation.
  6. Economic System: Nations have their own economic systems, which may include trade policies, currency, and other economic institutions and regulations.
  7. Military: Nations typically have their own military forces, which are responsible for defending the nation and its citizens against external threats.

Overall, a nation is a complex and dynamic entity, defined by a shared identity, territorial boundaries, political and legal systems, sovereignty, and economic and military institutions. These elements combine to create a unique and distinct form of collective belonging that sets a nation apart from other forms of social and political organization.

Question 2.
What do you understand by the right to national self-determination? How has this idea resulted in both formation of and challenges to nation-states?


The right to national self-determination refers to the right of a nation or people to freely determine their own political status and to pursue their own economic, social, and cultural development. This right is based on the idea that nations should be able to govern themselves and determine their own future without external interference.

Historically, claims to self-determination have often been made by groups of people who have lived together in a given area for a long time and share a common identity. For example, in Europe in the 19th century, there was a growing demand for the creation of nation-states based on cultural or ethnic lines. This idea was used as a basis for reordering state boundaries after World War I, which led to the creation of small, newly independent states. However, this process also resulted in mass migration and violence, as well as the disadvantage of ethnic or cultural minorities within the new states.

In other parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa, the idea of self-determination was also important for anti-colonial nationalist movements. These movements sought to achieve independence from colonial powers and to protect the collective interests of their people. However, the achievement of independence did not necessarily resolve the issue of accommodating ethnic or cultural minorities within the new nation-states.

In the modern world, many states face the challenge of how to deal with movements for self-determination. Some believe that the solution to these claims is to create new states, while others argue that existing states should be made more democratic and equal, allowing different cultural and ethnic groups to coexist as equal citizens. Ultimately, ensuring the rights and cultural identity of minorities within a nation-state is crucial for building a strong and united state and for gaining the loyalty of its members.

Question 3.
“We have seen that nationalism can unite people as well as divide them, liberate them as well generate bitterness and conflict”. Illustrate your answer with examples.


Nationalism can be a double-edged sword, with both positive and negative effects on society. On one hand, nationalism can serve as a unifying force, bringing people together under a shared sense of identity and purpose. For example, during the struggle for independence from colonial rule, nationalism played a key role in inspiring people to work towards a common goal and helped forge a sense of national unity. This can be seen in the Indian independence movement, where the nationalism of Gandhi and other leaders helped mobilize the masses towards a shared goal of achieving independence from British rule.

On the other hand, nationalism can also be a source of division and conflict, particularly when it becomes tied to political, ethnic or religious tensions. For example, the rise of nationalism in the Balkans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries led to increased tensions between different ethnic groups and contributed to the outbreak of World War I. Similarly, the nationalism that developed in the aftermath of World War I and the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire contributed to the rise of fascism in Italy and Nazi Germany, leading to devastating consequences for the world.

Another example can be seen in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, where nationalism played a role in the rise of ethnic tensions between different groups, ultimately leading to civil war and the break-up of the country. In these and many other examples, we see how nationalism can be a powerful force for unity, but also a dangerous force for division and conflict, especially when it becomes tied to issues of identity, power and control.

Overall, it is important to recognize the potential of nationalism to both unite and divide people, and to be cautious in how it is employed in political discourse and decision-making. While the recognition of national identity can be a positive and unifying force, it is equally important to ensure that it does not lead to the marginalization, exclusion, or oppression of certain groups.

Question 4.
Neither descent, nor language, nor religion or ethnicity can claim to be a common factor in nationalisms all over the world. Comment.

It is true that there is no single factor that can be considered as a universal determinant of nationalism across the world. Nationalism can take different forms and be based on a variety of factors, such as language, ethnicity, religion, or descent. This means that the definition of a nation, and the basis for a sense of national identity, can vary greatly from one country to another.

For example, in some countries, language might be the primary factor in defining national identity, while in others, it might be religion or ethnicity. In yet other countries, a shared history, culture, or political ideology might play a more important role in shaping national identity.

It is important to note that the combination of factors that determine national identity can also change over time. A country that was once united by a shared language might later become divided by different religions or ethnic groups. This highlights the fluid and dynamic nature of national identity and nationalism.

In conclusion, the idea that one particular factor, such as descent, language, religion, or ethnicity, can claim to be a common factor in nationalisms all over the world is not accurate. National identity and nationalism are complex and multi-faceted phenomena that are shaped by a variety of factors and can vary greatly from one country to another.

Question 5.
Illustrate with suitable examples the factors that lead to the emergence of nationalist feelings.

Nationalist feelings can emerge from a variety of factors. Some of these factors include:

  1. Cultural differences: When people feel that their cultural traditions and values are not being recognized or respected by the dominant culture, they may turn to nationalism to assert their identity and preserve their cultural heritage. For example, the Scottish National Party in Scotland seeks to preserve Scottish culture and promote Scottish independence.
  2. Political oppression: When people feel that their political rights and freedoms are being denied, they may turn to nationalism to demand greater autonomy or independence. For example, the nationalist movement in Catalonia, Spain, seeks greater autonomy for Catalonia and the protection of Catalan cultural and linguistic rights.
  3. Economic inequalities: When people feel that they are not receiving an equal share of economic opportunities or resources, they may turn to nationalism to demand a fairer distribution of wealth and resources. For example, the Basque nationalist movement in Spain has been motivated, in part, by the desire to secure a greater share of the region’s economic resources.
  4. Historical grievances: When people feel that they have been oppressed or mistreated in the past, they may turn to nationalism to seek recognition and redress for these wrongs. For example, the Palestinian nationalist movement seeks recognition of Palestinian rights and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
  5. Perceived threats to national security: When people feel that their country is under threat from external forces, they may turn to nationalism to mobilize support for national defense. For example, the rise of nationalism in India in the late 20th century was largely due to the perception of India being under threat from Pakistan.

These are just a few examples of the many factors that can lead to the emergence of nationalist feelings. It is important to remember that nationalism can have both positive and negative impacts on society, and it is up to individuals and leaders to ensure that nationalism is used in a responsible and constructive manner.

Question 6.
How is a democracy more effective than authoritarian government in dealing with conflicting nationalist aspirations?

Democracy is more effective in dealing with conflicting nationalist aspirations as compared to authoritarian governments due to several reasons:

  1. Inclusiveness: A democratic government is based on the principles of inclusiveness and representation. All individuals and groups have the right to express their opinions and ideas, regardless of their nationality, religion, or ethnicity. This allows for peaceful negotiations and the resolution of conflicts between different groups with different aspirations.
  2. Checks and balances: In a democratic system, there are checks and balances in place to prevent any one group from having too much power. The government, judiciary, and media are separate entities that work together to maintain a balance of power and ensure that everyone is treated equally.
  3. Freedom of expression: In a democracy, individuals and groups are free to express their opinions and participate in the political process. This helps to build trust and mutual understanding between different groups and reduces the likelihood of conflict.
  4. Political participation: In a democracy, individuals and groups have the opportunity to participate in the political process and influence decision-making. This helps to prevent the emergence of extremist groups and the marginalization of minority groups, which can lead to conflict.
  5. Legal protection: In a democratic system, minority groups and their cultural identities are protected by law. This ensures that their rights and aspirations are recognized and respected by the state, reducing the likelihood of conflict.

In contrast, authoritarian governments often suppress minority groups and their aspirations, leading to resentment and conflict. In an authoritarian system, power is centralized in the hands of a single ruler or party, with little or no checks and balances. This can lead to the marginalization of minority groups and the suppression of dissent, leading to conflict and instability.

In conclusion, a democratic government is more effective in dealing with conflicting nationalist aspirations due to its principles of inclusiveness, checks and balances, freedom of expression, political participation, and legal protection for minority groups.

Question 7.
What do you think are the limitations of nationalism?

The limitations of nationalism can be seen as follows:

  • Nationalism often divides rather than unites people. Nationalist sentiments can lead to hostility towards members of other ethnic, linguistic, or religious groups, resulting in conflict and violence.
  • Nationalism can lead to homogenization of society, suppressing cultural diversity and suppressing the voices of minority groups.
  • Nationalism can lead to political and economic instability, as different groups may compete for resources and political power.
  • Nationalism can lead to narrow-mindedness, as people are encouraged to view the world through the lens of their own nationality, rather than considering other perspectives and experiences.
  • Nationalism can lead to limitations on individual freedoms, as people may be forced to conform to the norms and expectations of their nationality, rather than being able to freely express their own beliefs and opinions.
  • Nationalism can also have negative economic consequences, as resources may be diverted from more productive uses to support nationalistic goals and priorities.
  • Nationalist aspirations may sometimes result in the suppression of minority groups and their rights, as the majority group may seek to assert its dominance and control over the national identity and political institutions.

In the conclusion, while nationalism can provide a sense of identity and unity, it can also have serious limitations, especially when it is used to justify exclusion, violence, or the suppression of minority rights.

Additional Questions & Answers on NCERT Class 11 Political Science Chapter 7 Nationalism

Q1. What is the right to national self-determination?

Ans. The right to national self-determination is the right of a nation or a people to determine their own political and cultural destiny, often understood as the right to independence or sovereignty.

Q2. What are group rights?

Ans. Group rights are constitutional provisions for the protection of the cultural identity of minority communities within a country, including protection for their language, religion, and culture, and in some cases representation in legislative bodies and other state institutions.

Q3. What is the difference between nationalism and pluralism?

Ans. Nationalism is a political ideology that emphasizes the cultural and political unity of a particular nation, while pluralism recognizes and values the diversity of cultures and communities within a country.

Q4. How has the right to national self-determination evolved over time?

Ans. The right to national self-determination has evolved from a right to independent statehood for nationalities to a right to democratic rights for nationalities within a state.

Q5. What are the benefits and limitations of nationalism?

Ans. Nationalism can provide a sense of unity and collective identity, but it can also lead to conflicts and violence if it is used to exclude or oppress other groups.

Q6. Explain the importance of minority rights in a democracy.

Ans. Minority rights are important in a democracy because they ensure that all members of a society, regardless of their cultural background, have equal protection under the law and can freely express their cultural identity. Recognizing and protecting minority rights is essential for preserving social cohesion and promoting diversity and inclusiveness.

Q7. What are the challenges in recognizing and protecting the cultural identity of minority communities in a democratic society?

Ans. Recognizing and protecting the cultural identity of minority communities in a democratic society can be challenging because it often requires balancing the need to respect group rights with the need to maintain national unity. In some cases, minority communities may demand separate statehood, which can create tensions and conflicts within a country. Additionally, some groups may resist the recognition of minority rights out of fear that it will undermine national unity.

Q8. Analyze the limitations of nationalism and the importance of pluralism in a democratic society.

Ans. Nationalism, while it can provide a sense of unity and collective identity, also has several limitations. Nationalism can lead to conflicts and violence if it is used to exclude or oppress other groups, and it can undermine the recognition and protection of minority rights. Furthermore, nationalism often encourages homogenization, which can result in the suppression of cultural diversity. In contrast, pluralism recognizes and values the diversity of cultures and communities within a country, and promotes inclusiveness and respect for all groups. In a democratic society, it is important to balance the principles of nationalism and pluralism in order to promote unity and diversity.

FAQs on NCERT Class 11 Chapter 7 Nationalism

Q1. What is nationalism?

Ans. Nationalism is a political ideology that emphasizes the importance of a shared culture, history, language, or ethnicity among a group of people, often leading to a desire for independence, autonomy, or self-determination.

Q2. How does nationalism emerge?

Ans. Nationalism often emerges as a response to perceived cultural, economic, or political threats to a group’s identity. It can also emerge as a result of historical events or shared experiences that foster a sense of unity among a particular group.

Q3. What are the positive aspects of nationalism?

Ans. Nationalism can create a strong sense of identity, pride, and unity among a group of people, leading to increased political and economic stability. It can also serve as a means of resistance against oppression or domination by outside groups.

Q4. What are the negative aspects of nationalism?

Ans. Nationalism can lead to exclusion and discrimination against minority groups, as well as to conflict and violence between different nationalist movements. It can also lead to the suppression of individual freedoms and the glorification of war and violence.

Q5. How can nationalism be balanced with other values?

Ans. Nationalism can be balanced with other values such as pluralism, tolerance, and respect for human rights by recognizing and protecting the rights of minority groups within a society. It is important to foster a sense of national identity that is inclusive and allows for multiple forms of identity to coexist.

Q6. How does nationalism impact global relations?

Ans. Nationalism can have both positive and negative impacts on global relations. On one hand, it can lead to the formation of strong relationships between nations with similar cultural and political values. On the other hand, it can lead to tension and conflict between nations with conflicting interests and ideologies.

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