Prof. Siniša Malešević (University College Dublin)
Beyond the Hot and the Banal: Grounding Nationalisms in Time and Space
Since the end of the WWII nationalism has mostly been associated with disorder and violence. Initially nationalist ideologies were blamed for the rise of fascist movements than brought about the most destructive war ever fought on this planet. With the collapse of the imperial order in the 1950s, 60s and 70s the anti-colonial nationalisms were held responsible for the disarray and protracted brutal conflicts witnessed throughout Asia and Africa. The violent collapse of communist federations in 1990s and genocide in Rwanda firmly established the popular perception of nationalism as an extremist and violence prone ideology.
More recently the global rise of nativist and populist movements defined by pronounced hostility to immigrants has reinforced this image of nationalism as a force of darkness. However, the sociologists of everyday life have shown clearly that nationalism is not necessarily linked with violence. Their research indicates that the contemporary individuals are involved in the habitual and daily reproduction of the nation-centric tropes, most of which have nothing to do with violence: the sporting competitions, international beauty pageants, consumption practices, national cuisine, popular song contests, or idealised tourist destinations.
These everyday nation-centric practices have often been dubbed ‘banal nationalism’ which is then contrasted with the ‘hot’ nationalism involving violence. In this paper I question this sharp dichotomy between the banal and the hot arguing that these two nationalist avatars are part of the same historical phenomenon – grounded nationalism. I explain this concept and then analyse how grounded nationalisms operate in practice.
Prof. Erin Jenne (Central European University, Budapest)
What’s in a Speech? Assessing the Effects of Populist and Nationalist Rhetoric Across Thirty-Six Democracies, co-authored with Kirk A. Hawkins (Brigham Young University) and Bruno Castanho Silva (University of Cologne)
What happens when state executives use populist rhetoric in their public addresses, framing political issues as a Manichean struggle between the “pure people” and “evil elites”? Does it matter if they also use nationalist rhetoric–framing political issues as atavistic “us-versus-them” struggles between ethnic groups? Following contemporary trends in the literature, we argue that populism and nationalism are most profitably studied as discursive frames, and that these frames do significant ideational work when employed in state leaders’ public addresses. Our starting assumption is that political leaders use these frames both separately and together to reinscribe the shape of the sovereign community to gain popular support for major policy change. We hypothesize that such framing has predictable policy impacts, including a generalized shift toward more protectionist trade policies, immigration restrictions and minority rights reduction (nationalism), and the
concentration of political power through clientelism, restrictions of media freedom, and reductions in judicial independence (populism).
This paper distills a preliminary analysis of an original dataset of holistically coded speeches of government leaders across a selection of North American and European countries, from 2000 to present. To gather these data, we trained 66 country experts to code public speeches of chief executives across governments in thirty-six North American and European countries using Hawkins’ (2009) method of holistic grading. After summarizing the data, we conduct a series of tests of hypothesized policy effects of populist and nationalist discourse drawing on expectations from the literature. These data will offer insights into the governmental utility of these discursive devices used together and separately.
Prof. Jon Fox (University of Bristol)
Everyday nationhood for the 21st century, Co-authored with Cynthia Miller-Idris
Where is nationalism in the 21st century? It’s in everyday life. Ten years ago, Cynthia Miller-Idriss and I published an article called ‘everyday nationhood’, where we explored how nationhood mattered to ordinary people in their everyday lives. We argued that top-down approaches to nationalism either neglected this perspective or, worse, inferred a kind of popular nationalist resonance across both time and space. Against this, we posited that ordinary people were largely indifferent to nationalism. Ten years on, not only is there a growing number of people who care about nationalism, but these people have also become the everyday architects of that nationalism.
We appear to be witnessing an inversion of nationalism’s earlier top-down logic with the commitment, urgency, and passion now, at least in part, coming from below. The purpose of this paper is to explore and elaborate four new ways in which people are national in the 21st century: 1) tweeting the nation: the proliferation of everyday nationhood into the far reaches of social media in ways that both democratise and reinvigorate nationalism; 2) feeling the nation: the everyday anger fear, and resentment that fuels these nationalist revivals; 3) marching the nation: the popular mobilisation of nationalist foot soldiers who transform the virtual world of social media into the actual world of (sometimes violent) confrontation; and 4) branding the nation: the new repertoire of national symbols that turn the nation into an exclusive club. We argue that nationalism from below has become a DIY nationalism, where yesterday’s consumers of state-sponsored nationalism have become today’s producers of their own, bespoke, niche nationalisms.
Petra Hamer (PhD candidate, University of Graz)
Popular patriotic songs and nationalism during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992-1995: Case study of Sarajevo and Zenica
War in Bosnia-Herzegovina officially started on 6 April 1992 and ended on 14 December 1995. Yugoslav/Bosnian Serb Army performed ethnic cleansing,
destroyed the infrastructure and religious objects all around B-H. The capital city Sarajevo was besieged three and a half years.
On 15 April 1992, Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was formed out of former B-H Territorial defence, Patriotic league, Green Barrettes, police forces of B-H and several other volunteer organisations. The Army consisted of seven corps based on regional division; Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zenica, Mostar, Bihać, Konjic, and Travnik. Each corps had its own “moral sector” (Sektor za moral), responsible for finding ways to encourage soldiers on the battlefield. So they organised artists into art units (Umjetnička četa) and further into music/theatre/art detachments.
Art units performed patriotic songs where two national identities are present; the Bosnian (all inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina) and Bosniac (only Muslims). Beside Majka šehida, Starimost, Sedam korpusa, Na Sarajevo, Vračam se majci u Bosnu, Hej, Bosno moja, Poljem se širimiris ljiljana, Branioci Sarajeva, Armija BiH, E, moj Hase, art units also performed traditional music sevdalinka and ex-Yugo popular music.
Based on two case studies of art units – Sarajevo’s first corps and Zenica’s third corps I would like to present some musical examples and explain how the nationalism developed and spread from politics to music and everyday life of Sarajevo and Zenica inhabitants.
Dr. Lorenzo Posocco (Visiting Fellow, University of Graz)
“Where is nationalism?”: perspectives from a fieldwork in Turkey
Sixteen years of the Justice and Development Pary (AKP) resulted in significant changes for the Turkish State and society at large. Among these changes was the development of a national ideology that some scholars call “Turkish Muslim Nationalism”. Turkish Muslim Nationalism envisages a new Turkey and New Turks whose identity lies in the Islamic, Ottoman, and Turkish nationalist heritage of the country. Largely advertised by State-sponsored institutions, this identity finds its way through TV, museum exhibitions, public speeches of politicians, and even tweets and public shows, whereas other likewise important heritages of Turkey – the Kurdish, Byzantine, Greek, Armenian, Roman, and Jewish, etc. – remain a parenthesis; almost completely overlooked.
The Turkish case study here provides the opportunity for wider reflections on the power of politics to influence national memory, and therefore also national identity. Rather than abstract matters, memory and identity are powerful tools in the hands of politicians that can – and often do – use the national past to legitimize their arguments in the present. The global meteoric growth of nationalist politics, which regularly fills the pages of academic journals, is a clear sign of it. All in all, it seems that today the place of nationalism is, more than ever since the end of the cold was, in politics.
Branimir Staletovik (PhD Candidate University of Graz)
In my presentation, I will be reflecting on nationalism in Macedonia and what role it played in the massive urban redesigning of Skopje’s central area.
I shall also discuss the dominant academic approaches when it comes to studying nationalism in Macedonia – what the scholars are omitting and how this influences the empirical output.
I will pay a particular attention to the relationship between authoritarian politics and ethno-nationalism, and what effect they both had in the revamp of Macedonian capital.
Based on the Macedonian experience, I shall place this discussion in a broader empirical and conceptual context.