The Role of Nationalism in Contemporary Politics


The Role of Nationalism in Contemporary Politics

The role of nationalism in contemporary politics is an important and complex issue. It is a topic that continues to be debated around the world, and yet nationalist ideology remains an essential component of modern politics.

It carries the power to accelerate and diffuse social reactions, generate conglomerations of identities, and consolidate power. However, nationalism can also be a source of serious conflicts and political instability.

The Origins of Nationalism

Nationalism is a movement that aims to unify people under a certain identity by emphasizing a common history, language, culture, and more. While it can create unity, it can also lead to a belief of superiority and discrimination among countries.

In modern times, nationalism spread to Europe, America, and Asia in response to Western colonization. It also caused the rise of imperialism, which extended a country’s power and influence through diplomacy or force.

While there are many theories on the origins of nationalism, most believe that it originated with the emergence of the modern state in the 18th and 19th centuries. This is because nationalism grew out of the idea that nations should be treated as sovereign entities.

The Rise of Neo-Nationalism

Neo-nationalism is a term that describes the rise of extreme right-wing nationalist movements and governments in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The movement is gaining momentum in recent years, as evidenced by the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States and the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.

Nationalism is a political movement that focuses on national pride and self-determination. In the past, it called for “freedom”, “equality” and “justice.” Moreover, it integrated the interests of the nation with those of the wider society.

Today, however, nationalism is becoming a tool for party (political) game. In Western countries, for example, the separatist movement aims at maximum economic interests, while far-right nationalists seek to achieve power in their own country and region.

In the 21st century, the guiding ideology or values behind neo-nationalism are largely retrogressive and negative. These values include rejecting political correctness, throwing back the core value principles and achievements of political civilization, as well as publicizing meritocracy and the law of the jungle.

The Challenges of Neo-Nationalism

The emergence of neo-nationalism has brought challenges to the global political order and international security. Neo-nationalism is a form of high-intensity identity politics that combines nationalist and neo-liberal elements in a way that enables them to be used as tools to achieve power and influence.

Compared with traditional nationalism, neo-nationalism has many characteristics. They include the guiding ideology or values behind, field of occurrence, epochal character, propulsion mechanism, function, mode of communication and influence.

In terms of the function and mode of communication, neo-nationalism often consists of a combination of right-wing anti-immigrant, nativist, and anti-globalist sentiments. In addition, neo-nationalism is often influenced by conservative religious groups.

The development of neo-nationalism is an extremely worrying situation for Third World countries and Western countries alike. It erodes their right to self-determination and threatens the global political order and international security. Moreover, it causes adverse effects on the social and economic development of countries and people worldwide. Consequently, it should be considered as a major issue that all the people of the world must address.


Nationalism has played an important role in contemporary politics. It has served as the defining ideology of political movements seeking some form of autonomy or independent statehood, of groups striving to achieve or to improve their cultural, political, social and economic rights within a given state and of protest movements on the part of communities threatened by either state policies or by other social groups.

In many cases, however, it has become an ideological tool used by the state to galvanize public support for its policies or to reaffirm its legitimacy. As a result, it is a phenomenon that has been subject to sustained criticism.

Modernists often make normative arguments to defend their views, as well as to explain why human flourishing depends so much on the existence of nations. They argue that, like family membership, national membership is a deep feature of human life and flourishing.

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