Nationalism and World Politics


Nationalism is regarded as a multi-faceted occurrence. Equally articulating the assertions for acknowledgement and for pre-eminence, it is marked by a fundamental ethical contradiction. Politically, the rise of nationalism has concurred with the declaration of liberal and independent concepts, particularly the concept of general sovereignty. It states the partisan recognition of inhabitants with their nation, and the government policies to strengthen such classifications. It is centred on the presence of a mutual state identity, dependent on the existence of historic, cultural, verbal or devout connections (Brubaker 2). Nevertheless, because of the flawed correspondence of states and domestic identities, nationalism has also advanced externally and in contradiction of nation-state, to uphold minorities’ rights.

In the twentieth century, nationalism has found such differing illustrations as the radical fight for freedom of colonies, fight of minorities for their governmental and social privileges and the colonialist legislations of states. Nationalism may be used by both well-known nation-states and by subgroups defying the political status quo (Reeskens 153). In all these cases, nevertheless, it is centred on the presence of mutual state identities. Nationalism as the partisan and open manifestation of national identity therefore comprises of policies, ethnic customs, and an array of codes, mythologies and rites, which might prompt a variety of ambitions and of rational and social amplifications.

According to Antonsich the advent of nationalism altered the world-wide structure from a federation of states ruled by hereditary rulers to a federation of nation-states (297). This process began in Europe in the early nineteenth century and has progressively assimilated all nations. The means of decolonization has efficiently universalized the standard of independent nation-states as principal associates of the global structure. Countries have been presumed to implement independence through their territories, and have at least representatively remained assumed as even associates of the universal society, regardless of the dissimilarity in power. Countries are similarly projected as nation-states, groups of inhabitants, founded on a mutual feeling of fitting in and unity, a national identity that establishes devotion to the national administration, a social agreement that cannot be easily disbanded (Moore 77). Although the mounting influence of supra-national organizations and of forms of universal authority have certainly restricted the independence of nation-states, this progression has as so far not resulted to a decline of the significance of both national identities and of nationalism.

The continuously disruptive nature of nationalism is caused by the difficulties in the definition of identities. The correspondence amongst states and nations shouldn’t be taken for granted. Even though numerous states have successfully been capable of creating a national community, this achievement has been far-off from universal. The merging of states and nation has been predominantly challenging in Africa, because of the inauthenticity of nations’ borders acquired from the imposing era. Disbandment of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia has, nonetheless, exposed the more overall consequence of this issue. In virtually all nation-states, the existence within public boundaries of ethnic and morphological subgroups has resulted in alternate formulations of nationhood. Such declarations of sub-national identities have always occasioned to nationalist administrative enlistment, even though they are not necessarily radical in their origins. As they were challenged with countries that embodied diverse individualities and often executing cultural homogenization policies. These types of pro-independence rallying have undoubtedly never generated assertions for a self-governing republic. The normative power of the nation-state mode has, still, heightened entitlements to self-governing administration, as statehood implied the ultimate acknowledgement of the presence and nations’ status. National identities definitions that do not match with present nations might contest the current intercontinental directive, either by marginalized groups motivated to gain independence, or by nations demanding the addition of regions occupied by other nationals.

Nationalism as an aspect opposing world-wide political “firmness” obtained revived academic global awareness with the downfall of European Communism (Fligstein 107). It witnessed the recurrence of long suppressed nationalist hostilities globally, however, academic concentration originally centred on the Balkans. The emergence of Serb nationalist leader Slobodan Milosevic was problematic from a Western perspective. The influence of the United States had by and large championed the respective, overcoming the self-determination objectives of West European nations. A result was contentment in presuming that the interests of NATO paralleled with European democratic national self-determination.

Nationalism has a second origin in replications on ethnic specificity, derived from Germany during the second half of the eighteenth century as a response to the social supremacy applied the French. This form of nationalism was greatly improved as the French Revolution resulted in imperialist wars of capture, and retorts in contradiction of French policy took the system of nationalism. The increasing inclination of states to execute policies of national homogenization boosted the layout of cultural nationalism in marginal groups not having a country, and greatly promoted their political enrolment in nationalist movements.



Nationalism certainly has a robust political aspect, and as such it is a contemporary occurrence. Even though it has pre-Enlightenment roots, its radical advent has in history paralleled the declaration of prevalent independence. The standard at the root of accepted independence that includes the query of an administration should be determined by the ruled, undermined the value of imperial authority, which positioned authority to a ruler, and converted subjects into citizens.


Works Cited

Antonsich, Marco. “Nations and nationalism.” Companion to Political Geography (2015): 297-310.

Moore, Will H. “Ethnic minorities and foreign policy.” SAIS Review 22.2 (2002): 77-91.

Brubaker, Rogers. “Religion and nationalism: four approaches.” Nations and nationalism 18.1 (2012): 2-20.

Fligstein, Neil, Alina Polyakova, and Wayne Sandholtz. “European integration, nationalism and European identity.” JCMS: journal of common market studies 50 (2012): 106-122.

Reeskens, Tim, and Matthew Wright. “Nationalism and the cohesive society: A multilevel analysis of the interplay among diversity, national identity, and social capital across 27 European societies.” Comparative Political Studies 46.2 (2013): 153-181.

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