As a form “imagined community”, the nation is both example and instigator of the process by which identities that are constructed or imagined come to assume the force of nature . One useful way to approach the significance of the nation as a source of modern identity is to think about the relationship between nations and nationalism. Our usual, common-sense way of understanding the relationship is to see the nation—a people defined by collective belonging to an extensive community, usually defined in relation to a specific territory—as primary, with nationalism as a frequent, though not inevitable by-product. Recent theories of the development of nations (Anderson, Gellner) suggest that the relationship might best be understood as working the other way around: that is, nations are how the ideological impulse of nationalism is legitimated and given concrete shape. See also Close-Up box 7.3 in textbook.