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Modern nationalism in India and the Philippines: lessons for building nation-state legitimacy

Faculty Advisor




economics, development, India, Indian National Congress, Marcos, nationalism, Nehru, Philippines

Abstract (summary)

Why do some governments succeed in creating a greater sense of legitimacy for their nation-state than other governments? Although modernization was a part of their respective governments’ plans for both India and the Philippines upon independence, modern nationalism offers different routes to reach the objective. The Indian National Congress party under Jawaharlal Nehru went out of its way to gain as much support as it could among the masses and parts of the elites. Nehru’s plan was to use protectionism and let India’s economy develop until it was ready to compete globally, while trying to help women, the poor, and those most badly affected escape the worst excesses of capitalism. In other words, he offered something to all the classes of India. Even after Nehru’s death, his vision was more or less embraced by almost all of his successors. The same could not be said about the Philippines. It has been argued that landholding classes largely made up the small oligarchy that dominated the Philippines, and this group was only interested in benefitting itself. When the political parties were not competing democratically, there was something much worse in place, the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. This implies that the way nationalism develops pre- and post- independence radically influences development and legitimacy.

Publication Information

Siddiqui, Asif. “Modern Nationalism in India and the Philippines: Lessons for Building Nation-State Legitimacy.” Asia Pacific and Globalization Review 3, no. 1 (2013). Retrieved from



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