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By 26/09/2022Dezembro 30th, 2022No Comments

By Manuela Caiani

First, the nation is constructed as limited, namely in opposition to the other—either my nation versus other nations or members of my nation versus non-members. Nationalism is thus built on a horizontal logic of in-group versus out-group. Second, the nation is constructed as a community, which shares a feeling of belonging at the basis of their own identity. This notion of national community implies the homogeneity of the member group—differences in social class, ethnicity and culture are ignored. Central to radical and exclusionary nationalism, nativism is that ‘belonging to a nation is often defined through ethnic and even racist categories (rather than, e.g., legal citizenship), thus excluding ‘Others’ who do not process these qualities and are marked as outsiders, as strangers’ (Wodak, 2015, p. 70). Third, the nation is constructed as sovereign.

Nationalism is defined by the reference point or signifier ‘nation’, which is constructed in a specific way. Nationalism and populism are conceptually and, often, also empirically related, as the case of the populist radical right illustrates. However, in order to understand radical right politics, they should remain two separate concepts. Globalisation and EU integration are seen as dangers to the nation-state, because they introduce non-native elements and threaten sovereignty. Whilst populism and nationalism are sometimes conceived of as two sides of the same coin, they are two distinct concepts, thus the often “naturalised” relation between nationalist and populist dimensions of the identity-building process of the radical right must be problematised.

Related References

Anderson, Benedict. 2006. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. New York: Verso Books.
Canovan, Margaret. 2005. The People. Key Concepts. Polity.
De Cleen, Benjamin. 2017. “Populism and Nationalism.” In Handbook of Populism, Edited by Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, Paul Taggart, Paulina Ochoa Espejo and Pierre Ostiguy., 342–62. Oxford University Press.
Freeden, Michael. 1998. “Is Nationalism a Distinct Ideology?” Political Studies 46 (4): 748–65.
Hermet, Guy. 1997. “Populisme et Nationalisme.” Vingtième Siècle. Revue d’histoire, 34–47.
Mudde, Cas. 2007. Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sutherland, Claire. 2005. “Nation-Building through Discourse Theory.” Nations and Nationalism 11 (2): 185–202.
Wodak, Ruth. 2015. The Politics of Fear: What Right-Wing Populist Discourses Mean. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Cite this entry as:

Caiani, Manuela. 2022. ’Nation and Nationalism’. In Populisms and Emotions Glossary, edited by Cristiano Gianolla and Maíra Magalhães Lopes. Available atário