Yoshiko M. Herrera. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. 318p.
In her book Yoshiko Herrera crafts an impressive theoretical argument
by first noting and then rectifying an important intellectual
inconsistency in contemporary studies of nationalism. While these studies
typically view identities as multiple and constructed, they nevertheless
tend to treat economic interests as unproblematic and objective. Herrera
challenges this assumption by arguing that economic understandings are
constructed as well, and that these constructed views of economic
interests will affect the relative propensity of substate regions to press
for greater autonomy or secession. As she succinctly puts it, “The
central argument of this book is that variation in regional activism is
explained not by differences in structural economic conditions but by
differences in understandings of the economy, which, in particular
institutional contexts, resulted in differences in the imagination of
economic interests” (p. 11).