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Nationalism and national identities in Europe

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Presentation on theme: "Nationalism and national identities in Europe"— Presentation transcript:

1 Nationalism and national identities in Europe
Challenges of belonging in the face of globalization

2 Structure of presentation
Introductory: on nation, belonging and the international order What characterizes European nationalism? Salient historical developments European nationalism and EU identity

3 Structure, cont’d Globalization and the EUropean nation-state
Global challenges to European nationalism Is nationalism an anachronism? Perspectives

4 On nation, belonging and the international order
Self and other(ing) – borders and passports Political, pre-political and post-political belonging Hierarchy, nestedness, multiplicity Attachments and ascriptions Inclusiveness of national belonging Nationalism and internationalism


6 What characterizes European nationalism?
Ethnic homogeneity – congruity of politics, culture and territory The importance of ’state’ and solidarity via state and government (social contract: recognition and equality) Sacrifice and suffering as touchstones of the volonté générale Nationalism as simultaneous program, ideology and identity Nationalism as civil religion (secularism) Born against feudalism, out of colonialism Similarities and differences between states The idealism of state and power

7 National idealism in practice

8 Historical developments
Phases,essences,functionalism Unification, secession, internal colonization: Germany, Norway, France From colonialism to recognition in int’l order The question of sovereignty and power New regionalisms and neo-empire

9 European nationalism and EU identity
Post-WWII and the American role Rescue of the nation-state – or its erosion? The sovereignty question revisited Real changes: the modification, glorification and internationalization of nationalism Illusionary changes: EU identity constructions The outside card and ’situational’ belonging

10 Sign of belonging…

11 …or this rather?

12 Global challenges to European nationalism
’The Empire strikes back’: migration and mobility Cultural diversity and multiculturalism Transnational attachments and multiple allegiances – the role of religiosity Cleavages (state/nation, center/periphery) and political disenchantment – it’s the global economy, stupid! Cosmopolitanism: belonging to the globe? New identities: rival or supplementary?


14 Is nationalism an anachronism?
Some say yes: ‘The ideals of nationalism today represent at best an amusing anachronism, and at worst a considerable and possibly dangerous obstacle to the individual’s pursuit of affluence’ (Fredrick Sheppard, ‘Nationalism’, unpublished prize-winning English essay, UBC, 2001/02) ‘There was another broadside across the bows of the SNP in the Daily Telegraph this week. Andrew O’Hagen, a Scot, wrote a wonderful piece in which he damned the “mad anachronism” of Scottish Nationalism’ (Rod Liddle, ‘Scottish Nationalism is Compelling’, The Spectator, 2 May, 2007) ‘The notion of a homogeneous, independent state in either social, economic or political terms is already anachronistic (…) most of humanity would be better off proceeding directly to greater integration rather than clinging desperately to an outmoded form of organisation’ (Barry Shenker, ‘Zionism and Socialism’, The Hagshama Department, 2007, accessed 13 February 2009 at

15 Anachronism, cont’d (1) ‘The very idea of a “Jewish State” is an anachronism’ (Jerry Z. Muller, ‘Us and Them. The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism’, Foreign Affairs, March/April, 2008) ‘Nationalism in Europe (…) is quite an anachronism specially [sic] when we are trying to build up a European Union. If really we are living in a global world I think this ideology must die, like many others before it’ (Monica Ferrer, Customer review of The Red Menace,, 29 January 2004, accessed 14 February 2009); ‘Nationalism is a symptom of the past that no longer affects the bodies of truly global citizens, and the fact that nationalism can no longer be sustained in the hands of the world’s political elite makes the death of nationalism a fait accomplit [sic]’ (Earl Blaney, ‘Anachronistic Nationalism’, Korean Times, 11 May, 2008)

16 Elite globalism?

17 Anachronism, cont’d (2) Pros and cons
Affirming and denying the importance of nationalism simultaneously Analytical and normative positions in conflict Subjunctive nationalism Anachronism is subjunctive nationalism in reverse: where stateless nations routinely dream up and struggle to forge their own state, the position of ‘anachronistic nationalism’ dreams actual nationalism out of existence by constructing a dichotomy between alleged cosmopolitan reality and a nationalism consisting of mere attitude and backward-looking sentimentalism

18 Anachronism, wrap-up (3)
Nationalism today is different from the nationalism of the early and middle parts of the 20th century However, the idea of anachronism should be located mainly in the realm of epistemological processes rather than in the ontology of nationalism A by-product of the mutations that national idealism undergoes today when confronted with new conditions of survival Particularly a manifestation of the urge among certain academics and their ideological followers to spearhead virgin intellectual ground Methodological nationalism

19 So….

20 Perspectives The cohesion debate and external threats
Belonging and the economic downturn Globality and identity convergence – do they connect (or,what is left of national peculiarities)?

21 Future map of Europe?

22 Real future challenges

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