Dugnad Norway

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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Spirit of the law

The Letter and the Spirit of Democracy

Jonathan Hearn

As I begin to write this on 19 October, Michael Gove is speaking for the government in Parliament against the Letwin Amendment, which requires that implementing legislation be passed before the Prime Minister’s ‘Brexit Deal’ is approved by Parliament.  Once again, he gives the refrain that respect for democracy requires that Parliament support a deal, because that’s what the people voted for (by 52%).  

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The 30th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN) will take place on 22-23 April 2020. This year’s theme will be Nationalism and Multiculturalism. The Annual Conference will take place in Edinburgh and is organised in cooperation with ASEN Edinburgh.  The Anthony D. Smith Lecture will take place on 21 April 2020. Please, submit your abstract by 15 November 2019.

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The New Pan-Africanism: Globalism and the Nation State in Africa

Michael Amoah

Nationalism in Africa has moved beyond the romanticised independent anti-colonial nationalisms of the late 1950s and early 1960s led by champions or nationalist leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. Contrary to mainstream theorising that the course of nationalism is usually led by leadership, with the masses just tagging along, there is currently a new wave of ‘people power’ uprisings or protest movements, one of which unseated the head-of-state right away (Burkina Faso in 2014), and subsequent others which have yielded significant changes to the status quo (Sudan and Algeria in 2019) albeit ongoing.

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The UK Parliament and instrumental populism

Jonathan Hearn

In Jan-Werner Müller’s recent short study What is Populism? (2017, Penguin) he defines it as a form of politics characterised by anti-elitism, the imagined oneness of ‘the people’ and their representatives (regardless of the mechanisms of representation), and the categorisation of political opponents as ‘enemies’ outside the body of ‘the people’.  Müller calls populism ‘the permanent shadow of representative politics’, in which the necessary pluralism and compromise of modern democratic politics is rejected.  It offers a dream of untainted ‘rule by the people’, attempting to bypass the frustrating process of real democracy.

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Denying the Kurdish Question: the personal narratives of lay Turks and Kurds

Emel Uzun Avci

For 30 years or more the Kurdish question has been the most urgent agenda for Turkey. The Kurdish question is one of the hot topics of the academic area, studied within various disciplines through different perspectives. However; such a big issue that has such impact on both personal and collective encounters in daily life is not addressed at the ordinary and everyday level.

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David McCrone

Students of nationalism will have mixed views on the rise and rise of populism as an analytical concept. On the one hand, it seems very close to ‘nationalism’, and yet it rarely seems to connect with it explicitly. Take two seminal books on populism, Jan-Werner Muller’s What is Populism? (2016), and Cas Mudde and Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser’s Populism: a very short introduction (2017). Both are short, indeed, almost identical in length – just over 100 pages.

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Ceren Şengül

In September 2013, the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government of Turkey abolished Andımız (literally translated as ‘Our Oath’). This was a policy that had been put in place by the Kemalist government during the early Republican period (1923-1938) of Turkey, and required all primary school students to gather at schoolyard every morning to recite a speech expressing dedication to the Kemalist principles of the state. Continue reading

Dignity and the Modern Nation

Jonathan Hearn

Two things primed me to write a blog about Francis Fukuyama’s new book Identity: Contemporary Identity Politics and the Struggle for Recognition. First, last week I gave a lecture to students on our MSc in Nationalism Studies on the key theoretical ideas of Liah Greenfeld.  I was explaining to them the central role of the expansion of ‘dignity’, from a preserve of aristocratic elites, to a general property of the members of the nation.  Continue reading