New Perspectives on Nationalism in Spain

Carsten Jacob Humlebæk & Antonia María Ruiz Jiménez

Nations and nationalism, as organisational principles of social life, provide individuals with a sense of who they are and where they belong. While nations are not the only form of community to serve humankind in this manner, they remain privileged due to their relationship with the nation-state, the dominant form of political organisation. The Spanish nation, however, has been contested almost since its earliest existence in the beginning of the nineteenth century and the Spanish nation-state has therefore been involved in almost perpetual conflicts between various nationalisms, particularly between different versions of Spanish nationalism as well as between Spanish majority nationalism and various minority nationalisms.

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National Borders and Covid-19: The death of Globalisation?

Judith O’Connell

The end of the nation state has been touted for decades, to be replaced, allegedly, by globalisation, a world without borders. A world in which goods and people move seamlessly with a perceived loss of individuality and culture. But Covid-19 rapidly reinstated those borders, even in the European Union, an organisation which has worked hard to remove barriers to trade or people within its limits. This clearly reverberates with Michael Billig’s idea of ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ nationalisms. That idea being that nationalism is forever waiting in the wings to become inflamed in times of need or war. Nationalism heats up and becomes ignited, ready for action, as opposed to times of peace and prosperity when it is cold and dormant. The nation speedily reaffirmed its potency when confronted with a pandemic.

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COVID and Nationalism: Italy as the Canary in the Coal Mine

Katherine Everitt

In spite of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) attempt to streamline research and restrictions in light of COVID-19, states have largely taken an independent and often nationalistic approach to their battle against COVID. From the U.S. decrying the WHO as an agent of China to EU states reasserting their once dissolved borders, we have approached a stunning paradox: the resurgence of nationalism amidst a global, unifying experience.

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The attitudes of Non State-Wide Parties in Spain during the Covid-19 crisis

Ayoze Corujo

Covid-19 has exposed the fragility of the Spanish Government led by Pedro Sánchez. Mr Sánchez presides over a coalition cabinet made up of the social democrats (PSOE) and the extreme left (Podemos) with a combined number of 155 seats, in a 350 seats national parliament. Lacking an absolute majority in parliament, the government of Pedro Sánchez had, since the beginning of the legislature, to negotiate point by point every new piece of legislation and major decision with various parties such as the Basque nationalists of the PNV or the Catalan sovereigntists of the ERC. 

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Nationalism and Coronavirus in a Divided Society

Sam Pryke

An attribute of a nation, according to Miroslav Hroch, is a belief in horizontal unity, i.e. the perception that national togetherness overrides internal divisions like social class.  Britain, especially England, is historically a country steeped in class divisions.  BREXIT exposed a cultural divide, one of age, geographic location and internal nation (principally England v. Scotland) that didn’t run neatly along class lines.  The emphatic Conservative majority in the December 2019 general election settled the UK’s departure from the EU (if not the terms) and thereby ended the wrangling, but the divisions were still there as 2020 began. 

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Covid-19 crisis and nativist rhetoric in Bangladesh

Ala Uddin

In times of a major crisis such as the current one caused by Covid-19, nationalism and various exclusive and nativist views seem to gain prominence. They open windows for processes of drawing a distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’, othering, blaming, and scapegoating. This short essay offers an overview of the emergence of nativist discourses during the Covid-19 crisis in Bangladesh. 

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Renewed Scapegoating: Political Rhetoric and the Other in a Time of Pandemic

Andi Haxhiu

As the advancement in medical response has significantly impacted the ways the world deals with viruses, there is one constant search for a scapegoat that, despite the development of technology, resurfaces as the alternative that redirects attention in times of crisis. When the bubonic plague was sweeping through Europe seven centuries ago, it was the Jews who were blamed for the Black Death. Historians argue that many of them were massacred because of the collective belief that they were spreading the sickness through poisoning wells and deliberate attempts to infect others.

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Nationalism and (Covid-19) Crisis

Edinburgh Nationalism Blog welcomes the submission of short Op-Ed pieces (500-700 words) exploring the implications of COVID-19 for nationalism, nation-states and identities.

While it is clear that COVID-19 did not create nationalism or enable its comeback, for it was never gone, amid the pandemic, nationalism has gained heighted scholarly, media and public salience and is surging worldwide.

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Class War

Michael Lind—Marx or List?

Jonathan Hearn

Michael Lind’s new book The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Metropolitan Elite (2020, Atlantic Books) is a compact argument aimed at a general readership.  In it Lind makes the case for a revival of ‘democratic pluralism’, his term for the post-WWII left-right consensus politics of the US and Europe, exemplified by FDR’s ‘New Deal’, and sometimes referred to as the ‘Keynesian consensus’. 

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