Croatia BiH border

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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