The Nationalist Agenda
Throughout the last few decades, reports about a global rise of nationalism have been common. This article examines the trend and its potential consequences for policy-making.
Nationalism is not just a single phenomenon, it has multiple dimensions that can shape its evolution and impact. These include cultural, economic and political attitudes as well as actors and groups that promote nationalist agendas.
Nationalism as a ‘wave’
Nationalism is a term often used to describe a group of people who share a common ideology, culture, and identity. It has been a significant force in global politics and has played a role in the development of nations since the establishment of modern national states, which are defined as independent territorial entities.
The Nationalist Agenda
In its simplest sense, nationalism is a set of beliefs and values that promote the idea that a country is unique in the world. It is also a set of beliefs and values that encourage solidarity between a group of people, despite their differences (Hechter 2000).
There are many ways to define and understand nationalism, but the essence of it lies in its belief that the people who make up a particular nation share certain characteristics that distinguish them from others. These characteristics include physical, ethnic, and territorial features, as well as a common cultural and ideological belief.
It is important to note, however, that nationalism is a complex phenomenon, and it can have both positive and negative outcomes. Some forms of nationalism, for example, focus purely on self-determination and ignore other nations or their rights to exist. This is often done through political means, such as war or economic policies.
Other types of nationalism, such as jingoism and chauvinism, have negative elements, such as making exaggerated claims about the superiority of one country over another. These may be aimed at other countries or groups, and usually are meant to insult or threaten them.
Finally, there is economic nationalism, which is a type of nationalist ideology that opposes multilateral trade agreements and prefers bilateral or unilateral trade deals. This form of nationalism has grown in popularity in recent years, especially in Europe.
Economic nationalism has gained support among people who feel that their country’s economy is lagging behind others. This includes people who feel that multinational companies are benefiting from global trade agreements at the expense of their own economy.
In addition, some economic nationalists believe that businesses should be more tax-friendly and less regulated. They also advocate for the government to increase investment in infrastructure and other public projects.
The escalation from virulent to violent nationalism is a cognitive process, which occurs when a person switches the frame of their social environment from a ‘normal’ frame to a ‘crisis’ frame. This ‘crisis’ frame can be made up of memories and symbols, which create a fear or hatred of the other.
These frames can help an individual to structure their behavior and, in some cases, even facilitate the use of violence against other people. This is because it shifts the social reality around them in such a way that they are no longer able to ignore it or take for granted its existence.
It is a form of political ideology, and it can be used to support or defeat governments in power. Its supporters are often members of elite groups, and it can be used to achieve specific goals such as winning elections or influencing policy.