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Veiled Strangers

Rabindranath Tagore's America, in Letters and Lectures

Amardeep Singh

The Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore visited the United States several times, though his second trip in 1916-1917 seems to have generated the most excitement. On the verge of American entry into World War I, the Nobel prize-winning writer embarked on an extensive lecture tour critiquing the excesses of nationalism and imperialism. The visit generated a number of remarkable texts, including a series of important letters to family and friends written on the trip and the four long lectures collected and published in 1917 as Nationalism. I argue that the lectures on “Nationalism,” can and should be read as a form of “reverse Orientalist” travel writing, where Tagore aimed to show Americans how their own political and economic system could be seen as rather similar to the European powers. Tagore uses the lectures to develop a series of metaphors for the modern, instrumentalist deployment of power in the nation-state and the colonial world, against which he posited an ideal of modern man cultivated and “perfected,” rather like a work of art.

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Richard Wright and the 1955 Bandung Conference

A Re-Evaluation of The Color Curtain

Babacar M'Baye

The Color Curtain reflects Richard Wright's problematical assessment of the 1955 Bandung Conference and his difficult attempts to reconcile his sincere denunciation of the consequences of colonialism and racism on people of Asian and African descent with his condescending representation of Third World nationalism during the middle of the twentieth century. The book reveals striking paradoxes in Wright's evaluation of a nationalism that he occasionally vilifies as an ideology that was grounded on impassioned and essentialist cultural or religious affiliations and feelings. Yet Wright's demeaning, elitist, and patronizing attitudes about Third World nationalism and cultures did not prevent him from identifying with the core spirit of the Bandung Conference. In his assessment of the summit, Wright occasionally reveals his admiration for a Third World nationalism that echoed his disparagement of Western racism and imperialism.

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The Australian Society of the State

Egalitarian Ideologies and New Directions in Exclusionary Practice

Bruce Kapferer and Barry Morris

This article considers the broad historical and ideological processes that participate in forming the continuities and discontinuities of Australian egalitarian nationalism. We draw attention to its forma- tion and re-formation in the debates surrounding the so-called Han- son phenomenon. Hansonism refracts the crisis of what we regard as the Australian society of the state in the circumstances of the devel- opment of neoliberal policies and the more recent neoconservative turn of the current Howard government. Our argument is directed to exploring the contradictions and tensions in Australian egalitarian thought and practice and its thoroughgoing creative reengagement in contemporary postcolonial and postmodern Australia.

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Pegida

A Hybrid Form of a Populist Right Movement

Ina Schmidt

This article analyzes the Pegida movement from Germany, arguing that Pegida has to be seen as a special form of a populist right movement. Besides sharing the basic characteristics of such a movement, it also displays attributes from other forms of right-wing activism. The additional forms of right-wing activism identified as influential for Pegida were autonomous nationalism and ethnopluralism. These forms of activism contributed to the movement on different levels and their combination accounts for the special, hybrid form of Pegida. This analysis builds upon social movement theory and is based upon primary data collected in interviews with participants and from the official Facebook website of the movement.

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Nina Glick Schiller

Questioning the units of analysis of contemporary migration theory—the nation-state, the ethnic group, and the transnational community—that structure discussions of migration and development, I argue for a global perspective on migration. In deploying these units of analysis, current discourses about migration and development reflect a profound methodological nationalism that distorts present-day migration studies. The global perspective advocated in this article addresses the reproduction and movement of people and profits across national borders. Such a perspective places the debates about international migration and development and the contemporary polemics and policies on immigration, asylum, and global talent within the same analytical framework, allowing migration scholars to address the mutual constitution of the local and the global.

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The Politics of Ethnicity as an Extended Case

Thoughts on a Chiefly Succession Crisis

Björn Lindgren

The crisis engendered by the appointment of a female chiefto succeed her father in southern Zimbabwe is used to discuss how anextended case can inform us about the politics of ethnicity and its conflicts. The formation of the case demonstrates a cross-section of socialand cultural dynamics through which the protagonists negotiated andpracticed their values and interests. Thus, the protagonists to the crisisinvoked histories and nationalisms, manipulated ethnic affiliation, andquestioned gender hierarchies to ground and substantiate their differentclaims. Through these optics, Fredrik Barth's constructivist understanding of ethnicity is critiqued. Ethnicity is not an elementary identity;instead, its form and substance must be related to other social phenomena and to historical changes that contextualize ethnic identification.This approach, no less social than that of Barth, does not obviate culture,which is referred to here as the ideas, experiences, and feelings thatinfuse persons through their existential practices.

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Uriel Abulof

Israeli Arabs' "future vision" documents are an ethical-political manifesto, contextualized in academic discourse and informed by socio-historical parallels. Hence, this article examines their political ethics in a comparative perspective, by referencing the case of Israeli Arabs along with two other distinct intra-state conflicts: the strife between Anglophones and Francophones in Canada and the struggle between Macedonians and Albanians in Macedonia. These cases illuminate two main ethical-political alternatives to the present pattern of relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Although the Canadian case indicates a renunciation of ethno-nationalism in favor of civic and linguistic patriotism, the Macedonian case presents an attempt to reconcile ethno-national affiliation with democratic principles. Projecting the ethical discussion of the Canadian and Macedonian cases onto Israel, I contend that normative acceptance of the mutual and dual right of self-determination, regarding both the individual's collective identity and the collective's polity, is a precondition for reconciliation between Jews and Arabs.

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Dalit Simchai

This article focuses on the concept of identity by juxtaposing New Age philosophy and nationalism in the Israeli context. Based on my qualitative research, I deconstruct the Israeli New Age discourse on ethno-national identity and expose two approaches within this discourse. The more common one is the belief held by most Israelis, according to which ethno-national identity is a fundamental component of one's self. A second and much less prevalent view resembles New Age ideology outside Israel and conceives of ethno-national identities as a false social concept that separate people rather than unite them. My findings highlight the limits of New Age ideology as an alternative to the hegemonic culture in Israel. The difficulty that Israeli New Agers find in divorcing hegemonic conceptualizations demonstrates the centrality and power of ethno-national identity in Israel.

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First as Tragedy, Then as Teleology

The Politics/People Dichotomy in the Ethnography of Post-Yugoslav Nationalization

Stef Jansen

Ethnographers working in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been at the forefront of the struggle against the identitarianism that dominates scholarship and policymaking regarding the country. Tirelessly foregrounding patterns of life that exceed, contradict, complicate or are oblivious to questions thus framed, we have—unsurprisingly—paid a price for this contribution: explorations of the appeal of nationalism are left mostly to others. Th is article identifies anemic and etic politics/people paradigm that facilitates our timidity to register the ways in which “ordinary people” may enact nationalist subjectivity. Seeking to retain the paradigm’s strengths, I call for a recalibration of how we understand it to function and explore conceptual tools to make this work. Starting from two cases of “foot soldier narratives,” I suggest that hegemony theory can help us trace not only how people are subjected to nationalization but also how they may seek subjectification through it.

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Iver B. Neumann

Since the reign of Peter the Great, Russia has identified itself in opposition to Europe. In the late 1980s, Michael Gorbachev and associates forged a liberal representation of Europe and initiated a Western-oriented foreign policy. Against this westernizing or liberal representation of Europe stood what was at first a makeshift group of old Communists and right-wing nationalists, who put forward an alternative representation that began to congeal around the idea that the quintessentially Russian trait was to have a strong state. This article traces how this latter position consolidated into a full-fledged xenophobic nationalist representation of Europe, which marginalized first other forms of nationalism and then, particularly since 2013, liberal representations of Europe. The official Russian stance is now that Russia itself is True Europe, a conservative great power that guards Europe’s true Christian heritage against the False Europe of decadence and depravity to its west.