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A belief held by members of a large group that, because of common traits, they are unique and vital. The common traits may include language, religion, race, common historical expereince or some combination of these four. Because the nationalist project usually involves the unification of the nationality in one contiguous national terrioty and the exclusion of other nationalities, the nationalism of one group often conflicts with the nationalism of another and then the idea of being unique and vital easily degenerates into the notion of being unique and superior. Nazi Germany is the prime example. Nationalism, therefore, has the worst connotations because of its degenerative form and it is often avoided as a tool of analysis except to disparage an opponent or pariah nation. For example, in the conflict in Northern Ireland, the Irish were commonly described as nationalists but the British seldom if ever. Similarly in the Middle East, a pan-Arab nationalist threat is sometimes mentioned but never a pan-Anglo nationalist invasion.

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