‘New Nationalism’ or Resurgence of Nationalism?

Ms. Rukmini Bhattacharjee

Nations in the words of Benedict Anderson are ‘imagined communities’ that are bound together by the notions of unity that can pivot around religion, ethnic identity, language and culture etc. The idea of a nation-state emerges out of the notion of homogeneous nation governed by its own sovereign State. Nationalism is the thread that binds nations to state i.e. the cultural identity that lays the foundation of the State. However, nationalism now is emerging as a new phenomenon that is shaped by history of common culture and ethnic orientation.
The emergence of ‘populist nationalism’ now is linked with the global decline of democracy. Now the question is, if nationalism is a unifying force then why democracy is being challenged? Is nationalism contradictory to democracy? However it increasingly appears to be so because the ‘new’ nationalism is limiting and restrictive in nature and emphasizes on nativism.Populist authoritarianism and nationalism are increasingly working as interlinked phenomenon in the present world. This eventually obstructs migrations across borders and discriminatory policies are adopted to eliminate immigrants from the shares of welfare and ‘development’. This nationalism is less political in character and more ethnicist in form, developing a mobilizing culture with religious and identity references. The illiberalism is core to the theory of new nationalism because at times it is hostile to the norm of liberalism. Today the nation state is challenged by the market and its present slow down,so many trace its root to the global meltdown of 2008. This form of nationalism is a global form with a prominent shift towards the political right. Neo/New nationalism believes in withdrawal, confinement and even isolation, which make its exclusionary in nature. This form of nationalism originates from an inherent realist urge for State dominance. The commonness in the new nationalism is attributed by a shaky world economy, an opposition to the free flow of trade and movement of the people.
The central query of the paper is whether new nationalism is resurgent in nature ,how this resurgence will help the States to emerge as the prime regulator of the global market and whether this resurgent nationalism will be sustainable in nature. The qualitative research methodology will be used to address the query of the paper.