Education was recognised and pursued as a key means of nation-building in nineteenth century German states, prompting one historian to comment that 'Germany became a land of schools'. This chapter focuses on contemporary depictions of national heroes, with reference to school textbooks. National heroes are understood as a product of nation-building, or the government-led construction of national identity, memory and history in order to promote an 'imagined community'. The chapter sets out to show how heroes function as the embodiment of national unity and pride. The veneration of Vietnamese heroes has a, spiritual dimension, which is closely linked to the worship of guardian spirits in village communal houses, or dình. The chapter concludes that Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) nation-building does indeed systematically disseminate nationalist ideology by perpetuating a patriotic discourse through symbolic and didactic information channels.
This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume, which is about the connection between the United Nations' (UN) evolving approach to intra-state conflicts and the value system of the international community. This study takes issue with the relatively reductionist explanations of what the UN is and how it relates to peace and security. It explores the interest-norm complexes within which the cases in the Congo, Cyprus, Angola, and Cambodia were handled by the UN. This volume shows how relevant actors' normative preferences were resolved in specific peacekeeping environments where the UN was especially active in addressing intra-state conflicts.