Nation Building and Money Making

Nation Building and Money Making

In order to succeed, a small group of visionaries must reach out and enroll other groups who may be less committed to the national cause. Without recruiting others, the nation will remain a fantasy of a mere few. But recruiting others requires orchestrating heterogeneous perspectives and preferences. To understand how national movements orchestrate the interests and perspectives of diverse groups, this research examines the mechanisms the Irish and Zionist national movements developed to secure a flow of money from the Irish American and Jewish American diasporas.

Fund raising may not seem like an obvious place to examine how groups negotiate their position in the nation. Money is typically understood as a resource, as something that enables movements to do certain things. In national context, we typically assume that people give money when they identify with the nation. From this perspective, fundraising is secondary and dependant on prior identification. But money can also be understood in a different way, as a medium through which social ties are negotiated, stitched together or dismantled. Fundamentally, therefore, fundraising mechanisms are not simply ways of maximizing resources, but also organizational tools that, when successful, bind and even create groups.

Manufacturing National Bonds: Gift Giving, Market Exchange and the Construction of National Attachments 2012 Theory and Society 41(1) 73-106

Boundary Objects, Zones of Indeterminacy and the Formation of Irish and Jewish Transnational Socio-Financial Network 2013 Organization Studies 34(4): 515-532

Organizing Moral Transactions: Gift Giving, Market Exchange, Credit and the Making of Diaspora Bonds 2013 Sociological Theory 31(2): 145-167


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