Professor Andreas Wimmer shares his insights on researching nation building at Distinguished Public Lecture in Lingnan University
10 Dec 2018
The Department of Sociology and Social Policy in Lingnan University hosted a Distinguished Public Lecture on 10 Dec 2018 and invited Professor Andreas Wimmer, Lieber Professor of Sociology and Political Philosophy at Columbia University, to speak on “Nation Building: Why Some Countries Come Together While Others Fall Apart”.
In addition to teaching at Columbia University, Professor Wimmer has held academic appointments at renowned institutions such as Princeton, UCLA and the Universities of Bonn, Neuchatel and Zurich. He has pursued his research agenda across the disciplinary fields of sociology, political science and social anthropology, and through various styles of inquiry including but not limited to ethnographic field research, comparative historical analysis and quantitative research.
In his talk, Professor Wimmer gave insightful answers to the question why national integration was achieved in some countries while ethnic inequality or even separatism and inter-racial conflicts were seen in others. He used datasets and case studies to expound on his theory of nation building that focuses on the spread of civil society organisations, the phenomenon of linguistic assimilation and the states’ capacity to provide public goods. His research brings a long-term historical and globally comparative perspective to the questions of how states are built and nations formed, how individuals draw ethnic and racial boundaries, and which types of political conflicts result from these processes.
Professor Leonard K Cheng, President of Lingnan University, Professor Joshua Mok, Vice-President of Lingnan University and Professor Roman David, Head of Department of Sociology and Social Policy attended the lecture. The Distinguished Lecture also attracted many academics and postgraduate students from other universities to participate.