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Globalization and Nationalism

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Natalie Sabanadze

Chapter 2. Nationalism Resurgent: Central Paradox of the Global Era?

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1The central narrative of the 1990s was the resurgence of nationalism with all its unwelcome and unpredictable consequences. In today’s post-9/11 world, the focus has shifted on religious fundamentalism and global terrorism as manifestations of dogmatic particularism. This does not, however, mean that nationalism is no longer seen as a problem or a force to be reckoned with. It simply became subsumed under a more general heading of identity politics. It is now common to argue that identity politics is at the core of the predominant majority of post-Cold War conflicts evidenced by the arguably dramatic proliferation of intrastate violence alongside with the decline in interstate hostilities. Nationalism, therefore, falls into the category of those forces that are challenging the stability of the post-Cold War international system and mounting backlash against ideational, normative and material influences of globalization. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a detailed exposition of the above narrative on the basis of existing literature.

2The chapter begins by defining globalization and nationalism as central concepts used throughout the book. It then moves on to the discussion of main arguments describing the relationship between globalization and contemporary nationalism that would amount to and constitute the globalization hypothesis. In doing so, this chapter addresses the following main questions: What are the causal mechanisms involved in generating nationalist responses to globalization and what do they tell us about the nature of nationalism in the era of globalization?

2.1 Defining Globalization

  • 1 Andreas Busch (2001) “Unpacking the Globalization Debate: Approaches, Evidence and Data,” in Demys (...)
  • 2 Mary Kaldor (1996) “Cosmopolitanism vs. Nationalism: The New Divide?” in Europe’s New Nationalism, (...)
  • 3 Anthony McGrew (1992) “A Global Society?” in Modernity and Its Futures, Stuart Hall, David Held an (...)

3Defining globalization is a challenge because it simply means “a lot of different things to a lot of different people,” as Andreas Busch put it.1 Nevertheless, for the purposes of this work, it is essential to find a definition that will be broad enough to encompass all different aspects of globalization while at the same time be limited enough to maintain operational value and conceptual clarity. It is common to describe globalization in terms of wide-ranging and often mutually exclusive tendencies. Thus Mary Kaldor argues that globalization is a “complex, contradictory process that actually involves both globalization and localization, integration and fragmentation, homogenization and differentiation.”2 Similarly Anthony McGrew considers globalization as a contingent and dialectical process embracing contradictory dynamics. He cites Anthony Giddens, who in one of his writings also defined globalization as a dialectical process, “because it consists of mutually opposed tendencies.”3

  • 4 Clark, Globalization and Fragmentation, p. 1.

4Even though it is essential to grasp globalization in all its complexity, it is also important not to overstretch the concept to the extent that its operational and explanatory value becomes minimal. If the above all encompassing definition is accepted then globalization acquires a statue of universal causal factor, which can mean anything and explain anything. This kind of definition is generally unhelpful, especially if globalization is to be used as a variable. It is therefore worth identifying what we mean exactly when we talk about globalization. Echoing Ian Clark’s definition, I would suggest that globalization means greater global closeness, both real and perceived, resulting from the intensification and extension of international interaction. In this sense, globalization has much to share with notions of integration, interdependence, multilateralism, and openness. It also implies growing geographic spread of these tendencies and in the words of Clark “is cognate with globalism, spatial compression, universalization and homogeneity.”4

5Global closeness has not only economic but also strong cultural, social and political dimensions. At the economic level, globalization manifests itself in the growing economic interdependence and convergence of economic practices. This includes the spreading of capitalist national economies integrated or seeking integration into the global economy through international trade, flows of capital, foreign direct investments, and multinationals. It also involves the promotion of neo liberal economic reforms facilitating such integration, as well as increasing deregulation of financial markets. In this context, state actors who promote such reforms domestically and create enabling environments can also be regarded as agents contributing to globalization.

6Political manifestations of globalization arguably include the reduced capacity of states to control their respective national economies and financial markets and their increasing inability (or unwillingness) to respond to global environmental challenges. It also includes the spread and the rising importance of global political institutions and the increasing bargaining power of global economic actors vis-à-vis local political authorities, especially in relatively weak and underdeveloped states. In addition, the spread of international norms and practices with concomitant pressure to comply with them can also be regarded as political aspects of globalization. It can be described as an expansion of the international society and a growing awareness among its members of belonging to a global community.

  • 5 Robert Jackson (2000) Global Covenant, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 12.

7Robert Jackson has argued that the movement from a purely Western international society towards a global society of states began with the first acts of inclusion of non-Western political systems in the second half of the 19th century. By acceding to the international society, non-European political authorities significantly changed and expanded an evolving institution. In the words of Jackson, “they globalized and further humanized what up to that time had been a restrictive and ethnocentric European-cum-Western order.”5 I would add that the collapse of the Soviet political bloc in the early 1990s and its incorporation into international society resulted in the increasing globalization of both the formerly communist space and international society itself.

8Consequently, the rules and norms of what Jackson called “the global covenant” spread and became accepted, even if not always respected, by the countries of the former communist bloc. These countries sought membership in the international society as a first step for their incorporation into global processes and as recognition of their sovereignty and viability.

9Culturally, globalization manifests itself in the increasing diffusion of knowledge and ideas, the spread of global cultural products, and popular culture, all of which is predominantly but not exclusively Western. It also includes a process of commodification of certain cultural traditions and products often denoted and marketed under the label “ethnic.” In addition, globalization is an important global discourse with its own dynamic of generating responses. Some scholars have argued that it is the discourse of globalization and a particular way in which we understand the process that is generating reactions and responses, rather than globalization per se. Exploring how far the discourse of globalization can have a reality-generating capacity is beyond the scope of this study. This book does, however, consider that perceptions of globalization matter and play a role in shaping attitudes and triggering responses to globalization.

  • 6 Anthony Giddens (1990) The Consequences of Modernity, Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 65.
  • 7 David Held and Anthony McGrew (2000) The Global Transformations Reader, Cambridge: Polity Press, p (...)
  • 8 Ulrich Beck (2000) What is Globalization? Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 11.

10Globalization can also be understood in three main ways: as a process, as a condition, and as a discourse. Thus for Anthony Giddens globalization is a process of “the intensification of worldwide relations which links the distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa.”6 Similarly David Held and Anthony McGrew define globalization as a process of expansion, acceleration, and intensification of interregional flows and patterns of social interaction.7 Such an extension and intensification of social relations also implies increasing penetration of transnational actors into state boundaries. As Ulrick Beck pointed out, globalization as a process also denotes those processes “through which sovereign national states are crisscrossed and undermined by transnational actors with varying prospects of power, orientations, identities and networks.”8 In sum, two main features characterize globalization as a process, one is the increasing permeation of “national space” by transnational actors with diverse powers and influences and the other is, intensification of social activities and interactions beyond national boundaries. In this sense, globalization can be seen in the spread of international organizations and institutions as well as in the presence of multinational companies, global NGOs and other non-national structures in national territories.

  • 9 Some of the most powerful observations on the global expansion of capitalism and its consequences (...)
  • 10 See for example, Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity.
  • 11 Martin Shaw (2000) Theory of the Global State, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 18.
  • 12 Richard Langhorne (2001) The Coming of Globalization, New York: Pal-grave, p. 4.

11To a large extent, processes of globalization are analogous to those of modernization and expansion of economic relations that began in the end of the 19th century.9 This is why many consider globalization to be an expansion of modernization,10 leading to an advanced stage of modernity. In this view, processes of globalization result in a change that denotes a new kind of condition experienced by mankind. For Martin Shaw this is a condition of globality which differs from the globalization as a process in so far as it represents something already achieved and existing. According to Shaw, “globality represents not just certain trends within the modern world, but a new condition or age in which the latter is brought into question.”11 Similarly, Richard Langhorne describes globalization as the latest stage in ongoing transformations and accumulation of technological advances that have enabled people “to conduct their affairs across the world without reference to nationality, government authority, time of days or physical environment.”12 It is possible to experience globality through, among other things, travel, communication, multilateralism, adoption of global strategies, and ways of doing business.

  • 13 Andrew Hurrell describes this as one of the faces of globalization, which is about “who is experie (...)

12Experiencing globality presupposes consciousness of the world as a whole and emergence of certain understandings, constructions and meanings that amount to and constitute globalization discourse.13

  • 14 For instance Gerard Delanty argues that globalization can be understood as something cognitive rat (...)
  • 15 See Manfred Steger (2002) Globalism: The New Market Ideology, Lanham: Rowman &Littlefield Publishe (...)
  • 16 Hay and Marsh, Demystifying Globalization, p. 8.

13Globalization therefore can be seen as a largely cognitive phenomenon14 with discourse (or ideology as some prefer to call it) playing an important and constituent part. Furthermore, it is argued that discourse has lately acquired a greater significance and power to influence than other aspects of globalization. For example, Manfred Steger argues that globalization has developed into the so-called “strong discourse” or “hegemonic discourse” which “shapes the world accordingly.” Quoting Judith Butler, he points out that “the constant repetition, public recitation and ‘performance’ of an ideology’s cultural claims and slogan frequently have the capacity to produce what they name.”15 Similarly Hay and Marsh, who on the whole are skeptical about ascribing the causal role to globalization and doubt its explanatory value, noted: “it seems imperative that we consider the independent role that ideas about globalization may have in shaping the social, political and economic contexts we inhabit.”16

  • 17 David Harvey (2000) Spaces of Hope, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, p. 13.
  • 18 Robert Cox (1997) “A Perspective on Globalization” in Globalization: Critical Reflections, James M (...)
  • 19 For a particularly radical critique of globalization, see Pierre Bourdieu (1998) Acts of Resistanc (...)

14From a more critical position, where left and right strikingly converge, the discourse of globalization is seen as an ideology serving a specific political project. For example, David Harvey suggests that the emergence of globalization discourse was neither accidental nor free of political underpinnings. He questions who put globalization on the agenda and argues that globalization has been promoted to displace much more politically charged concepts such as imperialism and neocolonialism in order to make us “the weak opponents to its politics.”17 Robert Cox also argued that globalization became an ideology which presents the world with no alternatives. Globalization in this sense appears as finality, as an inevitable and desirable (at least for some people) culmination of the powerful market tendencies at work.18 For leftwing critics, globalization is a hegemonic discourse serving right-wing governments and promoting the interests of the transnational elite.19 For right-wing critics it is an ideology of rootless cosmopolitans threatening to undermine the traditional structures and values of our societies.

15Globalization, therefore, emerges as a phenomenon that intrudes into the so-called “national space” on a number of occasions and on many different levels. Such an intrusion may pose serious challenges to the fundamental principles of nationalism. For example, the importance of the bounded community, be it ethnic or political, is expected to lose relevance with increasing transborder movements, migration, and the internationalization of economic and social activities. Communities become exposed to external influences that may challenge their internal cohesion and long-established traditions and norms of common behavior. In addition, nationalism, which has been based on the cross-class solidarity within the nation, appears to lose this base with the rise of a global class of limited national attachments and with the weakened capacity of the state to instill national loyalties. The increase in travel and tourism, rising employment opportunities abroad, and the spread of English language are among other factors challenging foundations of nationalist worldview.

  • 20 Fred Halliday also identifies a number of factors that oppose nationalism and promote nationalism (...)
  • 21 Anthony Smith (1979) Nationalism in the 20th Century, Oxford: Martin Robertson, p. 4.
  • 22 Arjun Appadurai (2000) “The Grounds of the Nation-State” in Nationalism and Internationalism in th (...)

16Equally, however, globalization contains tendencies that may provoke nationalism.20 Most observers today would agree that by challenging “the national,” globalization has promoted nationalism around the world. For Anthony Smith, it is the amazing livelihood and adaptability of nationalism that explains its persistence. In this view, the success of nationalism over two centuries can partly be attributed to the manner in which nationalists adapt their vision, culture, solidarity and program to diverse situations and interests. “It is this flexibility,” Smith argues, “that has allowed nationalism continually to reemerge and spread, at the cost of its ideological rivals from 1789 until today.”21 For others, the causes of contemporary nationalism lie within the processes of globalization that in the words of Arjun Appadurai, “have eroded the capabilities of many states to monopolize loyalties,”22 and intensified fears of cultural and physical survival.

17It is to the discussion of this latter hypothesis that this chapter will turn and try to identify the causal mechanisms linking globalization and nationalism. However, before doing so it is important to define the meaning of nationalism in this particular context and to identify exactly what kind of nationalism is arguably provoked by the forces of globalization.

2.2 Defining Nationalism

  • 23 Hugh Seton-Watson (1977) Nations and States, London: Methuen, p. 3.
  • 24 John Breuilly (1993) Nationalism and the State, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 2.

18Nationalism has two meanings; it is a doctrine and a political movement. It is a doctrine on nations’ rights, interests, and responsibilities and a movement aimed at furthering these rights.23 The core concept of nationalism is a nation. The nation is the bearer of collective rights, the source of political legitimacy and an embodiment of horizontal comradeship and solidarity. According to John Breuilly, the nationalist doctrine is built upon three main assertions: “There exists a nation with an explicit and peculiar character; The interests and values of this nation take priority over all other interests and values; The nation must be as independent as possible. This usually requires at least attainment of political sovereignty.”24

19Simple and clear as it may sound, the nationalist doctrine leaves many questions unanswered, planting the seeds of conflict. For example, how are we to define a nation and determine its boundaries and constituencies? How is it decided and who is to judge whether a group qualifies to be a nation or not? And most importantly, does nationness imply an entitlement to sovereign statehood? Much blood has been spilt over these questions and they continue to occupy the center stage in ongoing political and academic debates.

20Nationalism as a political movement takes many different forms, reflecting the built-in contradictions of its guiding ideology. In some cases it successfully serves as a state-promoting and integrative force legitimating the rise of modern nation-states, while in others it exercises a state-subverting and disintegrative influence challenging a state’s cohesion and integrity. In recent history, nationalism has helped to bring down many multinational states and threatens to further disintegrate already small, recently established ones. It is this latter, fragmenting nature of nationalism that has arguably become predominant in the contemporary era of globalization. Since the end of the Cold War, nationalism has often been regarded as one of the prime challenges to the international order it once helped to promote.

21Continuous effort has been made to make sense of multiple manifestations of nationalism and understand their variations across time and space. This explains the proliferation of dichotomies, classifications and categorizations in the contemporary literature. It is very common, for example, to distinguish between cultural and political, ethnic and civic, and liberal and radical nationalisms. In each of these cases the distinguishing feature is the relative emphasis on political, state-centric, civic aspects of nationalism or alternatively on its cultural, ethnic, and in some cases religious and racial characteristics. In the context of globalization a new dichotomy has gained popularity, which distinguishes between old and new nationalisms. In this case, the old refers to classical, state-building, integrative nationalisms of the 19th century Europe whereas the new refers to radical, fragmenting and exclusive nationalisms resurging in the global era.

  • 25 For the discussion of new nationalism in the works of Mary Kaldor, see “Cosmopolitanism vs. Nation (...)
  • 26 See Mark Jurgensmeyer (2002) “The Paradox of Nationalism in a Global World” in The Postnational Se (...)
  • 27 See Delanty, Citizenship in a Global Age; also for further discussion on new nationalism, Gerard D (...)

22In the globalization literature, nationalism figures primarily as a form of fragmentation, particularism and localism. It often appears with qualifiers such as reactive, defensive, radical, or exclusive. Thus, Mary Kaldor defines new nationalism as a “form of particularist politicization.”25 Jurgensmeyer characterizes it as “parochial,” the “carrier of limited loyalties” and terms it “new ethnoreligious nationalism.”26 Delanty describes new nationalism as a “corrupted form of democracy that became divorced from citizenship.”27

  • 28 See Anthony Giddens (2002) Runaway World, London: Profile Books.
  • 29 Anthony Giddens (1985) The Nation-State and Violence, Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 22.
  • 30 Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity, p. 65.

23Some of the main proponents of the globalization approach such as Giddens and Castells also emphasize the local and cultural character of contemporary nationalism. Giddens, in his Runaway World, writes of the “revival of local cultural identities” or “local nationalisms” that emerge in response to globalizing tendencies.28 He does not, however, provide a clear definition for such nationalism and neither does he denote it as new. In his earlier works, however, Giddens dealt with the phenomenon of nationalism in greater detail and argued for an unbreakable connection between nationalism and nation-states. He stressed the political nature of nationalism through its association with modern states. In this context Giddens seemed to refer to the European nationalisms of the 19th century that filled the newly emerging states system with legitimacy and content. “Nationalism” he wrote, “helps naturalize recency and the contingency of the nation-state through providing its myths of origin.”29 In the globalization context his emphasis shifted to the cultural and localized forms of nationalism that challenge rather than reinforce nation-states. In the earlier and more cautious reading of globalization and nationalism Giddens suggested that “the development of globalized social relations probably serves to diminish some aspects of nationalist feelings linked to nation-states but may be causally30 involved with the intensifying of more localized nationalist sentiments.

24Castells agrees with Giddens on the spread of nationalism in response to globalizing processes, but further highlights its cultural significance.

  • 31 Manuel Castells (1997) The Power of Identity, Oxford: Blackwell, p. 31.

25Nationalism, he argues, is a source of meaning and identity that has great importance, independent of its connection with the nation-state system. Castells singles out four major analytical points in the discussion of contemporary nationalism. First, he claims that contemporary nationalism is not necessarily oriented towards the construction of the sovereign nation-state; second, nations and nationalisms are not exclusively linked to the modern period of European history; thirdly, nationalism is not necessarily an elite phenomenon. Especially nowadays, nationalism has become a reaction against global elites; and finally, contemporary nationalism is predominantly cultural rather than political due to its reactive as opposed to proactive character. In the words of Castells, “it is more oriented towards the defense of already institutionalized culture than toward a construction or defense of a state.”31

  • 32 Delanty, Citizenship in a Global Age, p. 96.
  • 33 Delanty and O’Mahony, Nationalism and Social Theory, p. 146.

26Delanty goes further and argues that the new nationalism of the global era is directed against the state. It is taking a form of opposition to the state. Nationalism, according to Delanty, “can be seen as a product of the internal crisis of the state in the age of globalization. But it is also a product of the postmodern search for community and identity.”32 In a later work, Delanty and O’Mahony describe contemporary nationalism as radical. They argue that different types of nationalism correspond to different historical eras. In the current era of globalization, the new radical nationalism has become particularly prevalent. It takes three main forms: the nationalism of the new radical right; radical ethnic nationalism; and radical religious nationalism. According to Delanty and O’Mahony, these kinds of nationalism share the following common characteristics: “a strong presence of fundamentalist assumptions about group membership and hence a high degree of exclusion; the identity of the self—‘the people’—is predicated on the negation of the other; and there is an absolute subordination of the individual to the collectivity.”33

  • 34 Among the first to characterize nationalism as an anti-systemic movement was Immanuel Wallerstein. (...)
  • 35 Delanty and O’Mahony, Nationalism and Social Theory, p. 157.

27Evidently nationalism, either old or new, invites different interpretations and resists a simple definition. It is possible, however, to construct a general picture of the new nationalism as it emerges from the reviewed literature and use it as a starting point for further discussion. Contemporary or new nationalism, therefore, appears primarily as a reactive, popular phenomenon and a form of expressing the social discontent in the context of globalization. It aims at challenging the existing international order by promoting alternative, non-state forms of loyalty and identification as well as by challenging established global and national elites. New nationalism takes the form of a new anti-systemic movement, which is being promoted by the processes of globalization.34 According to Delanty and O’Mahony, “globalization has opened new possibilities for the emergence of nationalism as a new anti-systemic movement which is able to redefine the state project as an ethnic one.”35 In sum, the new nationalism is a popular rather than an elite-driven phenomenon; it is primarily cultural or ethnic rather than political; and it is a challenge to the state and the established international system. The next chapter takes issue with the concept of new nationalism and its main characteristics. First, however, let us turn to the causes of new nationalism and mechanisms involved in triggering and sustaining it in the context of globalization.

2.3 Paradox of Nationalist Resurgence in the Era of Globalization

  • 36 Montserrat Guibernau (1996) Nationalisms: The Nation-State and Nationalism in the Twentieth Centur (...)
  • 37 Zygmunt Bauman (1998) Globalisation: The Human Consequences, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • 38 Ian Clark (1997) Globalization and Fragmentation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 39 Peter Shearman (2000) “Nationalism, the State and the Collapse of Communism” in State and Identity (...)
  • 40 Jurgensmeyer, “The Paradox of Nationalism in a Global World” p. 3.

28Nationalism, against initial expectations, appears to be on the rise in the era of globalization. Almost all current commentaries on the subject, with very few exceptions, talk about the “unprecedented” or “un expected” resurgence of nationalism in the age of globalization. There seems to be a “renewed emphasis upon national identity”36 or in the words of Zygmunt Bauman “a frantic search of an identity” which is closely linked to the “increasing salience of nationalism” and to the forceful reintroduction of nationalism in world politics.37 The fact that there is an “unforeseen resurgence of nationalism”38 around the world and that national identity is becoming more important “as the fundamental focus of collective identity in the post-Cold War era”39 appears to be indisputable. According to Mark Jurgensmeyer, therein lies a paradox: “the resurgence of national identities in a global world. Why have limited loyalties and parochial new forms of ethnoreligious nationalism surfaced in today’s sea of postnationality?”40

  • 41 Giddens, Runaway World, p. 13.

29The answer for Jurgensmeyer, as well as for the majority of commentators, lies within the multifaceted phenomenon of globalization, different aspects of which are involved in generating contemporary nationalism. It could hardly have been coincidental that multinational states were being torn apart by the fragmenting forces of ethnonationalism as the processes of globalization were gaining momentum. Therefore Anthony Giddens concluded that “globalization is the reason for the revival of local cultural identities in different parts of the world. If one asks, for example, why the Scots want more independence in the UK, or why there is strong separatist movement in Québec, the answer is not to be found only in their cultural history. Local nationalisms spring up as a response to globalizing tendencies, as the hold of older nation-states weakens.”41

  • 42 Shearman “Nationalism, the State and the Collapse of Communism” p. 92.
  • 43 See Alberto Melluci (1989) Nomads of the Present, London: Hutchinson Radius.
  • 44 Jan Nederveen Pietersen (1995) “Globalization as Hybridization” in Global Modernities, Mike Feathe (...)

30Similarly, Peter Shearman maintained that one of the major characteristics of the post-Cold War era is the rising importance of nationalism and national identities, which has its roots in the processes of globalization. In his words, “nationalism is rife almost everywhere at some level of intensity…the reasons for this increase in the salience of national identities are in part due to the so-called globalizing processes of the late modernity.”42 Alberto Melluci also suggested the revitalization of ethnic ties by the very processes of globalization,43 as well as Jan Pieterson, who argued that upsurge of ethnic identity politics should be viewed in the light of globalization since “globalization generates forces of both fragmentation and unification.”44

  • 45 There is a significant overlap between these four ways of generating nationalism. However, I maint (...)
  • 46 Ronald Beiner (1995) Theorizing Citizenship, Albany: State University of New York Press p. 3.
  • 47 Guibernau, Nationalisms, p. 129.

31Globalization is said to generate nationalism in four overlapping ways: 1) as a defensive reaction; 2) as a form of resistance; 3) as a response to the intensified need of community, identity and belonging; and 4) as a source of meaning, providing for shared understandings and value systems.45 The result is the rise of a specific kind of nationalism or the new nationalism as it has been described, which represents a particularistic expression of popular discontent and resentment generated by globalizing tendencies. More specifically, it is the homogenizing, integrative and Westernizing tendencies of globalization that appear most threatening to national identities and cultures, and provoke nationalistic reassertion. Thus, Ronald Beiner argued that it is not surprising that nationalism rises up again in Europe simultaneously with globalization and the movement towards European integration. In his view, “particularistic identities assert themselves most forcefully just when globalist tendencies present real threats to such identities… Nationalism is typically a reaction to a feeling of threatened identity and nothing is more threatening in this respect than global integration.”46 Similarly, Montserrat Guibernau sees the “renewed strength and appeal of nationalism” as a “secular response to the quest for identity in a world threatened by increasing homogenization.”47

  • 48 Manuel Castells (2000) End of Millennium, London: Blackwell, p. 326.
  • 49 Castells, The Power of Identity, p. 66.

32Manuel Castells also interpreted the new nationalism as a defensive reaction to different trends of globalization. In his words, “the whirlwind of globalization is triggering defensive reactions around the world, often organized around the principle of national and territorial identity.”48 The need to defend oneself, according to Castells, is generated by the economic, social and cultural influences of globalization that destroy traditional forms of social and political association, dissolve boundaries and cause instability and uncertainty about the future. In this vision of globalization, the world becomes too large to be controlled and social actors try to shrink it back to their size and reach: “When networks dissolve time and space, people anchor themselves in places and recall their historic memory. When the patriarchal sustaining of personality breaks down, people affirm the transcendent value of family and community as God’s will.”49

  • 50 Bourdieu, Acts of Resistance, p. 20.

33The need to defend one’s culture and identity often appears to be closely linked to the need to remedy or at least resist the perceived injustices of the global order. In this view, globalization is a form of domination and exploitation, which unavoidably creates pockets of resistance. As globalization intensifies, nationalistic resistance is intensifying alongside. Some argue that resistance is directed against the hegemony of the West, whereas globalization is seen as another form of Western imperialism. It is the false universalism of the West or in Bourdieu’s words the “imperialism of the universal” that is being defied by the rest of the world. According to Bourdieu, if “one form of universalism is no more than a nationalism which invoked the universal (human rights, etc.) in order to improve itself, then it becomes less easy to write off all fundamentalist reaction against it as reactionary.”50

  • 51 Beck, What is Globalization? p. 55.

34A part of the problem is also an unfair distribution of the power, resources, and benefits of globalization. Those who are marginalized and left out of the globalization processes defy the rules further, promoting the ever-growing prosperity, mobility, and wealth of the globalized few. According to Ulrich Beck, “globalization splits the world’s population into the globalized rich, who overcome space and never have enough time, and the localized poor, who are chained to the spot and can only ‘kill’ time.”51 This increasing polarization is apparent both within the countries on the domestic level and among them on the international level.

  • 52 Cox, “A Perspective on Globalization,” p. 27.

35Similarly, Robert Cox argues that globalization widened the gap in living conditions between the majority of the population and a relatively small segment integrated into the global production and the world financial networks. In addition local political elites appear to be pressured in serving the interest of the global actors, which further antagonizes significant parts of the local population, undermines the basis of civil society and instead contributes to the promotion of substate, communal identities. In Cox’s view, there is a tendency toward the decomposition of civil society that is accompanied by a resurgent affirmation of ethnonational or religious identities, and an emphasis on locality rather than wider political authorities. He argues that locality in this context can be seen “as a product of globality insofar as globalization has undermined the authority of conventional political structures and accentuated the fragmentation of societies.”52

  • 53 Roland Robertson (1995) “Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity” in Global Modern (...)

36The new nationalism appears to generate much of its power and appeal by tapping into the popular needs of communal belonging, which has been intensified by the individualizing pressures of globalization. Atomization, individualization, and highly differentiated relations have become typical to the complex societies of the globalized era. In this context ethnonational communities acquire special psychological significance addressing the needs of belonging and collective solidarity. Guibernau, Smith, and others have argued that under the contemporary conditions of globalization the appeal of the “local,” “national,” and “traditional” propagated by nationalism becomes particularly meaningful. As Robertson noted, “there is indeed currently something like an ‘ideology of home’ which has in fact come into existence partly in response to the constant repetition and global diffusion of the claim that we now live in conditions of homelessness and rootlessness.”53

  • 54 Guibernau, Nationalisms, p. 138.
  • 55 Stephen Castles and Alastair Davidson (2000) Citizenship and Migration: Globalization and the Poli (...)

37In addition to satisfying the needs of communal belonging and solidarity, nationalism is claimed to provide atomized individuals of the global era with an important source of meaning. Reactivations of nationalism, in the words of Guibernau, “show the manifest need of individuals to feel part of a group and find a set of ideas worth fighting for and able to give meaning to their lives.”54 Stephen Castles similarly argues that even though the globalized system is economically efficient, it is incapable of giving meaning to peoples’ lives. In his words, “to escape such abstract universalism, people increasingly seek meaning through particularistic identities based on ethnicity and nationalism.”55 This explains, in his view, the proliferation of ethnonational conflicts in the contemporary world as opposed to the conflicts based on “rational” economic and social interests.

  • 56 Giddens, Runaway World, p. 13.

38The crucial link in the chain of nationalist responses to globalization is the state. The literature on globalization and nationalism suggests that it is the weakening of the state under the influence of globalization and state’s increasing inability to provide social and economic security as well as a sense of community and belonging that is causing the rise of identity based politics. As Giddens noted, nationalism intensifies as the hold of the nation-state weakens.56 The logic of such argumentation is best demonstrated on the example of the Soviet Union, where collapse of the state, i.e. the most extreme case of the weakening of the state, was followed by the dramatic upsurge of nationalism and proliferation of ethnonational conflicts.

  • 57 Charles Kupchan (1995) Nationalism and Nationalities in the New Europe, Ithaca: Cornell University (...)

39The collapse of the USSR with its centrally planned full-employment economy and its redistributive system caused massive social dislocations and growing disparities in individual fortunes. The newly independent successor states were unable to provide basic services to their inhabitants who began to rely on kin and family for daily survival. The result was not only a heightened sense of insecurity and vulnerability, but also greatly intensified non-state, particularistic loyalties. As Charles Kupchan observed, “when the state fails to provide the basic functions expected by its citizens, they may turn to other forms of political and social organization. The bonds of culture, language, kinship, and proximity make ethnicity a logical basis for the formation of a successor political community to the flagging state.”57

40In the context of globalization, the weakening of the state should not necessarily take an extreme form and result in the state’s failure. However, similar processes are at work. Reductions in social security provisions, the destruction of the welfare system, the increasing vulnerability of the job market as well as the expanding power of global economic actors vis-à-vis local political authorities all arguably point to the declining capacities of the state that lead to the upsurge of nationalism in its various manifestations.

  • 58 For the discussion on eroding solidarities within the state, see Bryan Turn er (2000) “Liberal Cit (...)
  • 59 Robert Cox (1997) “Democracy in Hard Times: Economic Globalization and the Limits of the Liberal D (...)

41There is a widespread conviction specifically linked to globalization that states are no longer capable of dealing with major problems facing their societies, which causes citizens to turn their backs on the state and search for alternative sources of protection and representation. This makes the state less appealing as a political community. It is no longer in a position to provide its citizens with an overarching sense of solidarity and loyalty that is capable of transcending more parochial attachments to ethnic kin, clan, or local community. On the contrary, such attachments intensify and are often expressed in the growing dislike of foreigners, outsiders, and immigrant workers, who are portrayed as “stealing” jobs and homes.58 This is particularly evident in the developed world, where accumulation of economic resentment has become a direct trigger of xenophobic nationalism expressed in support of anti-immigrant, radical right-wing political parties. In the words of Robert Cox, “right-wing extremism often with racist and fascist overtones must also be seen as stimulated by economic globalization.”59

  • 60 Kaldor, “Cosmopolitanism vs. Nationalism,” p. 52

42In the transition economies of Eastern Europe the discontent was arguably generated by the dramatic introduction of free market and its accompanying neoliberal reforms. The situation was further exacerbated by the initial weakness of many post-communist successor states, which were unable to cushion the painful transition. Mary Kaldor argues, therefore, that new nationalism of the global era has two main sources that are both linked to globalization. The first is the reaction to the growing impotence of the existing states and declining legitimacy of the ruling elites and the second is associated with the growth of the market economy promoted by neoliberal policies of macroeconomic stabilization, deregulation and privatization. These policies according to Kaldor, “in effect represent the speeding up process of globalization.”60

  • 61 Patricia Hogwood (2001) “Identity in the Former GDR: Expressions of ‘Ostalgia’ and ‘Ossi’ Pride in (...)

43In some post-communist countries traditional, ethnocentric values and forms of association gained further prominence as a result of widespread disappointment with previously admired Western forms of life and values. With the actual import of Western capitalism and its accompanying social norms, people began to rediscover positive aspects of their socialist past, which in retrospect began to ally itself, rather paradoxically, with the “national” and “traditional.” Patricia Hogwood, for example, describes how East Germans began to rediscover their identity in retrospect after the initial euphoria of German unification gave way to disillusionment. According to Hogwood, the positive type of the “Ossi” began to be formulated in contrast to the negative perception of the “Wessi.” “The positive ideal of ‘Ossi’ is easygoing (compared to the pushy Westerner); with a sharp sense of humor (unlike the Westerner) honed through years of coping with life under the SED regime; and a strong sense of community (whereas Westerners are selfish and greedy).”61

44The perception of community as undermined by global capitalism appears to be critical in reinvigorating contemporary nationalism. “Communities under siege” represent a crucial link between political and economic effects of globalization and socio-psychological needs of people. The debilitation of the state and the increasing sense of insecurity compels individuals to seek protection among bounded collectivities normally united by common ethnic or national identity. In addition, these communities can be easily closed off to outsiders who begin to penetrate increasingly permeable state boundaries, therefore providing a greater sense of cohesion and solidarity.

  • 62 David Held (1995) Democracy and the Global Order, Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 94.

45It is possible to conclude, based on the above analysis, that globalization is having a nationalizing effect. Technological advances are particularly important in understanding the cultural and psychological mechanisms through which globalization causes nationalistic reactions. It is through increasing communication and exposure to the Other that cultures are being forced into mutual awareness, which in turn intensifies the sense of difference and creates a basis for nationalistic reaction. In addition, local cultures with limited marketability appear overwhelmed and threatened by the influx of powerful global cultural products and images. Globalization, according to David Held, “far from creating a sense of common human purpose, interest, and value, had arguably served to reinforce a sense of the significance of identity and difference, further stimulating the ‘nationalization’ of politics.”62

2.4 Summary: Constructing the Globalization Hypothesis

46Explaining contemporary nationalism in terms of globalization and its influences is an approach that has been gaining widespread support and popularity. It claims many authors and followers but it is yet to be expressed and tested as a theory. This chapter tried to bring together main arguments that underpin globalization approach to nationalism. They could be used as a basis for the construction of the globalization hypothesis explaining the causes and characteristics of contemporary nationalism.

  • 63 Mary Kaldor and Diego Muro (2003) “Religious and Nationalist Militant Groups” in Global Civil Soci (...)

47The globalization hypothesis as it emerges from the reviewed literature makes two main claims. First that nationalism is on the rise and second that it is globalization that is causing, triggering, generating and/or reinforcing the ongoing nationalist revival as a response and counter-reaction. Nationalism, in this context, appears as a particularly disintegrative, radical and protectionist force that is resisting and mounting backlash against integrative and universalizing tendencies of globalization. Nationalism and globalization, therefore, are the two opposites that are linked in the causal relationship. The prediction that follows from the above hypothesis is that nationalism will further increase and nationalist responses intensify as globalization gains momentum. This will create pockets of identity-based conflict that are particularly difficult to resolve. The tendency is already in place, as arguably evidenced by the ongoing disintegration of multinational states, the rise of secessionist movements, the breakdown of culturally diverse societies along ethnic and cultural lines, and the rise of right-wing political movements propagating nationalist xenophobia and populism. As summarized by Mary Kaldor and Diego Muro, the rise of militant nationalist and religious movements can best be explained in terms of volatile processes associated with globalization, and one should expect these movements to grow “because of growing insecurities and because they are only now beginning to exploit fully the organizational opportunities provided by globalization.”63

Notes

1 Andreas Busch (2001) “Unpacking the Globalization Debate: Approaches, Evidence and Data,” in Demystifying Globalization, David Marsh and Colin Hay (eds.), New York: Palgrave, p. 22.

2 Mary Kaldor (1996) “Cosmopolitanism vs. Nationalism: The New Divide?” in Europe’s New Nationalism, Richard Caplan and John Feffer (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 44.

3 Anthony McGrew (1992) “A Global Society?” in Modernity and Its Futures, Stuart Hall, David Held and Anthony McGrew (eds.), Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 62–99.

4 Clark, Globalization and Fragmentation, p. 1.

5 Robert Jackson (2000) Global Covenant, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 12.

6 Anthony Giddens (1990) The Consequences of Modernity, Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 65.

7 David Held and Anthony McGrew (2000) The Global Transformations Reader, Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 55.

8 Ulrich Beck (2000) What is Globalization? Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 11.

9 Some of the most powerful observations on the global expansion of capitalism and its consequences are found in the writings of Karl Marx. See Shlomo Avineri (ed.), (1968) Karl Marx on Colonization and Modernization, New York: Doubleday.

10 See for example, Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity.

11 Martin Shaw (2000) Theory of the Global State, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 18.

12 Richard Langhorne (2001) The Coming of Globalization, New York: Pal-grave, p. 4.

13 Andrew Hurrell describes this as one of the faces of globalization, which is about “who is experiencing what” and which implies an emerging change in identity, mode of thought, and discourse. See Hurrell, On Global Order, p. 196.

14 For instance Gerard Delanty argues that globalization can be understood as something cognitive rather than an account of real changes occurring in the world. See Gerard Delanty (2000) Citizenship in a Global Age, Philadelphia: Open University Press, p. 82.

15 See Manfred Steger (2002) Globalism: The New Market Ideology, Lanham: Rowman &Littlefield Publishers, p. 45.

16 Hay and Marsh, Demystifying Globalization, p. 8.

17 David Harvey (2000) Spaces of Hope, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, p. 13.

18 Robert Cox (1997) “A Perspective on Globalization” in Globalization: Critical Reflections, James Mittelman (ed.), London: Lynne Reinner Publishers, p. 23.

19 For a particularly radical critique of globalization, see Pierre Bourdieu (1998) Acts of Resistance, Cambridge: Polity Press.

20 Fred Halliday also identifies a number of factors that oppose nationalism and promote nationalism in the context of globalization. Among the opposing factors, he names: shared prosperity; economic integration; migration; travel and tourism; employment abroad; global threats; worldwide communications; the end of belief in economic sovereignty. As for the factors promoting nationalism, Halliday singles out the following: loss of control to foreign investors; hostility to immigration; fears of unemployment; resentment at supranational institutions; dislike of alien cultures; fears of terrorism and subversion; hostility to global media; attractions of secession (Fred Halliday (1999) “Nationalism and Globalization” in The Globalization of World Politics, John Baylis and Steve Smith (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 361). I have chosen a more schematic description of pro- and anti-nationalist elements of globalization at this stage. There are a number of debatable points in Halliday’s classification. For example, fear of terrorism is placed among the factors promoting nationalism, while global threats (which would include terrorism) among those opposing nationalism. Similarly, it is unclear why attraction of secession is necessarily associated with globalization, since one can make an opposite claim and argue that with arguably diminishing importance of the state in the context of globalization, secession could have lost its earlier appeal and attraction.

21 Anthony Smith (1979) Nationalism in the 20th Century, Oxford: Martin Robertson, p. 4.

22 Arjun Appadurai (2000) “The Grounds of the Nation-State” in Nationalism and Internationalism in the Post-Cold War Era, Kjell Goldmann, Ulf Hannerz, Charles Westin (eds.), London: Routledge, p. 140.

23 Hugh Seton-Watson (1977) Nations and States, London: Methuen, p. 3.

24 John Breuilly (1993) Nationalism and the State, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 2.

25 For the discussion of new nationalism in the works of Mary Kaldor, see “Cosmopolitanism vs. Nationalism: The New Divide?” also Old and New Wars (1999) Cambridge: Polity Press.

26 See Mark Jurgensmeyer (2002) “The Paradox of Nationalism in a Global World” in The Postnational Self, Ulf Hedetoft and Metter Hjort (eds.), Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

27 See Delanty, Citizenship in a Global Age; also for further discussion on new nationalism, Gerard Delanty and Patrick O’Mahony (2002) Nationalism and Social Theory, London: SAGE.

28 See Anthony Giddens (2002) Runaway World, London: Profile Books.

29 Anthony Giddens (1985) The Nation-State and Violence, Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 22.

30 Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity, p. 65.

31 Manuel Castells (1997) The Power of Identity, Oxford: Blackwell, p. 31.

32 Delanty, Citizenship in a Global Age, p. 96.

33 Delanty and O’Mahony, Nationalism and Social Theory, p. 146.

34 Among the first to characterize nationalism as an anti-systemic movement was Immanuel Wallerstein. For him, nationalism acquired an anti-systemic character already in the 19th century, when it emerged as the response to the universalizing imperialism of France and later to the conservative reaction represented by the Congress of Vienna. See Immanuel Wallerstein (1991) Geopolitics and Geoculture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 143–144.

35 Delanty and O’Mahony, Nationalism and Social Theory, p. 157.

36 Montserrat Guibernau (1996) Nationalisms: The Nation-State and Nationalism in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Polity Press.

37 Zygmunt Bauman (1998) Globalisation: The Human Consequences, Cambridge: Polity Press.

38 Ian Clark (1997) Globalization and Fragmentation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

39 Peter Shearman (2000) “Nationalism, the State and the Collapse of Communism” in State and Identity Construction in International Relations, Sarah Owen Vandersluis (ed.), Basingstoke: Macmillan.

40 Jurgensmeyer, “The Paradox of Nationalism in a Global World” p. 3.

41 Giddens, Runaway World, p. 13.

42 Shearman “Nationalism, the State and the Collapse of Communism” p. 92.

43 See Alberto Melluci (1989) Nomads of the Present, London: Hutchinson Radius.

44 Jan Nederveen Pietersen (1995) “Globalization as Hybridization” in Global Modernities, Mike Featherstone, Scott Lash and Roland Robertson (eds.), London: SAGE, p. 49.

45 There is a significant overlap between these four ways of generating nationalism. However, I maintain such classification because these four ways feature separately and with considerable frequency in the reviewed literature.

46 Ronald Beiner (1995) Theorizing Citizenship, Albany: State University of New York Press p. 3.

47 Guibernau, Nationalisms, p. 129.

48 Manuel Castells (2000) End of Millennium, London: Blackwell, p. 326.

49 Castells, The Power of Identity, p. 66.

50 Bourdieu, Acts of Resistance, p. 20.

51 Beck, What is Globalization? p. 55.

52 Cox, “A Perspective on Globalization,” p. 27.

53 Roland Robertson (1995) “Glocalization: Time-Space and Homogeneity-Heterogeneity” in Global Modernities, p. 35.

54 Guibernau, Nationalisms, p. 138.

55 Stephen Castles and Alastair Davidson (2000) Citizenship and Migration: Globalization and the Politics of Belonging, Basingstoke: Macmillan, p. 6.

56 Giddens, Runaway World, p. 13.

57 Charles Kupchan (1995) Nationalism and Nationalities in the New Europe, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, p. 9.

58 For the discussion on eroding solidarities within the state, see Bryan Turn er (2000) “Liberal Citizenship and Cosmopolitan Virtue” in Citizenship and Democracy in a Global Era, Andrew Vandenberg (ed.), London: Macmillan.

59 Robert Cox (1997) “Democracy in Hard Times: Economic Globalization and the Limits of the Liberal Democracy” in Transformation of Democracy? Anthony McGrew (ed.), Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 66.

60 Kaldor, “Cosmopolitanism vs. Nationalism,” p. 52

61 Patricia Hogwood (2001) “Identity in the Former GDR: Expressions of ‘Ostalgia’ and ‘Ossi’ Pride in United Germany” in Globalization and National Identities: Crisis or Opportunity, Paul Kennedy and Catherine Danks (eds.), New York: Palgrave, p. 75.

62 David Held (1995) Democracy and the Global Order, Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 94.

63 Mary Kaldor and Diego Muro (2003) “Religious and Nationalist Militant Groups” in Global Civil Society, Mary Kaldor, Helmut Anheier and Marlies Glasius (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 182.

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