Contemporary Minority Nationalism

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Identification of state and people

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At the same time, however, it admits discourse as a variable and acknowledges social constructions of non-observable, underlying structures. This broadly constructivist approach reflects a number of theoretical commitments. Third, it follows that this theoretical approach accepts the role of ideas in explaining and understanding political action. For instance, this work shows how ideational and discursive aspects of globalization have come to play an important role in generating reactions and responses.

Such an approach is particularly well suited for exploring links between globalization and nationalism that are hard to measure and quantify. In addition, Georgia is a good example of a fluctuating nationalist mobilization before and after the Soviet collapse, which could shed some light on how the popular support and political importance of nationalism can vary in relation to globalization.

However, its intensification and militarization occurred after Spain embarked on the process of democratization, opening up to foreign influences and engaging in global integrative processes. In general, the Basque case represents a fascinating case for uncovering the sources of continuous nationalist appeal in the contemporary world. Basque nationalism has shown a remarkable vitality.

It lived through the years of repression and democratization, poverty and prosperity, underdevelopment and rapid industrialization, isolation and European integration, and not once has it demonstrated any signs of abating. The main problem with this selection is its European bias that warrants further justification. Thus according to Mary Kaldor, in other parts of the world, forms of particularism may vary and take the form of religious communalism, tribalism, clanism and so forth.


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  • nationalism | Definition, History, & Facts | Britannica?
  • The modern nature of nationalism.

As Rogers Brubaker has observed, the resurgence of nationalism in Eastern Europe and elsewhere in the last decade has sparked an equally strong resurgence in the study of nationalism. In the beginning of the s, it was common to speak about the return of ancient hatreds and deep-seated animosities in explaining the eruption of ethnic conflicts following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the speed with which ethnocentric nationalism became a dominant political force among the former communist countries.

In this view the crucial role was played by interested political entrepreneurs and national elites who take advantage of the window of opportunity created by the early stages of democratization rather than ancient animosities, deep-rooted rivalries and historical legacies. In contrast, however, realists have focused specifically on conditions of uncertainty and insecurity accompanying state failure and anarchy.

In this view, nationalism thrives under conditions of fear and insecurity, mobilizing and fracturing groups along ethnic fault lines. Ethnosymbolists believe that political resilience, popular appeal, and the power of nationalism derive from their connection to ethnic heritage and its constituent myths, symbols, rituals, and collective memories.

It is premodern ethnic ties and cultural roots that sustain nationalist politics and explain its appeal for ordinary citizens.

Chapter 1. Introduction

Nationalism, in this view, appears as a reaction and a response to the economic, political, cultural and psychological effects of globalization on contemporary societies. These effects include the reduction of state power and its allegedly declining capacity to provide social and economic security for its citizens and generate an overarching sense of loyalty and belonging; structural adjustments, changes in the traditional economies and rising volatility of employment accompanied by diminishing social provisions from the state; increasing cultural interchanges and exposure to foreign cultures; as well as an intensified psychological need to belong to a greater and tangible community in a world of increasingly atomized individuals.

Its significance lies not in the fact that it is a new and well-developed theory, which it is not, but rather in its attempt to bring together nationalism and globalization and explain how the two can be interconnected. It builds on the existing nationalism theories, borrowing elements such as consequences of the weakening of the state and an emotional appeal of cultural ties and ethnic roots, while at the same time emphasizing the role of globalization in reactivating and reinvigorating powers of nationalism and identity politics. In addition, the globalization approach has gained significant popularity among both academics and practitioners with some of its underlying assumptions acquiring almost a status of conventional wisdom.

Even proponents of alternative theories of nationalism agree on the revitalizing influences which globalization has been exercising on contemporary nationalism. Thus, Anthony Smith, while maintaining his allegiance to ethnosymbolism, accepts the globalization thesis and suggests that global processes if anything strengthen national consciousness and further intensify nationalist tendencies. Immediately after the end of the Cold War, it used to be popular to speak about the imminent demise of nationalism as a political force in the context of growing globalization.

It was expected that technological advances, the expansion of the capitalist system, democratization and socioeconomic development would encourage liberal universalism to triumph over traditional attachments of ethnicity and nationality. Nationalism, therefore, was becoming irrelevant to most contemporary economic and social developments.

And Why It Isn’t Going Away

It is a good sign that it is now circling around nations and nationalism. This shift in the debate from one polar opposite to another seemed to have been provoked by the apparent resurgence of nationalism in post-communist Eastern Europe and other parts of the world alongside the intensification of global processes. Now that enough time has passed since the dramatic changes of the past decade, it is a good opportunity to once again reevaluate some of the commonly held views and question their underlying assumptions.

Understanding the nature of contemporary nationalism and its relationship with globalization is essential for grasping ongoing political processes in all their complexity and for making adequate policy choices. Fred Greenstein and Nelson Polsby eds. Snyder argues that democratization gives rise to nationalism because it serves the interests of national elites and powerful groups who seek to strengthen their hold on political authorities.

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MacFarlane argues that democratization creates permissive conditions for nationalist conflicts to emerge and escalate. See the discussion of modernization theory in Chapter Five. You can suggest to your library or institution to subscribe to the program OpenEdition Freemium for books. Feel free to give our address: contact openedition. We will be glad to provide it with information about OpenEdition and its subscription offers. Thank you. We will forward your request to your library as soon as possible. OpenEdition is a web platform for electronic publishing and academic communication in the humanities and social sciences.

In a thinly veiled shot at U. Yet efforts to draw a hard line between good, civic patriotism and bad, ethnic nationalism overlook the common roots of both. Patriotism is a form of nationalism. They are ideological brothers, not distant cousins.

Nationalism in the 21st Century

At their core, all forms of nationalism share the same two tenets: first, that members of the nation, understood as a group of equal citizens with a shared history and future political destiny, should rule the state, and second, that they should do so in the interests of the nation. Nationalism is thus opposed to foreign rule by members of other nations, as in colonial empires and many dynastic kingdoms, as well as to rulers who disregard the perspectives and needs of the majority. This site uses cookies to improve your user experience.

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