Refugee Crisis and European Self-declaration: Neo-nationalism as a cultural response mechanism
NAME: Tulika Bhattacharya
DESIGNATION: First-year Law Student, RGNUL, Lucknow
REFUGEE CRISIS AND EUROPEAN SELF- DETERMINATION: NEO-NATIONALISM AS A CULTURAL RESPONSE MECHANISM AGAINST CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS PARADIGMS.
Neo- Nationalism, also known as new nationalism, has its origins in the post-cold-war period. The earliest evidence of the rise of Neo- Nationalism was marked when all European nations decided to form a union called the European Union. This integration resulted in insecurity among the natives. It impacted society socially, politically, and economically. The Neo- Nationalists were against this idea of forming a union, as they believed that it threatened one’s identity and the state’s national sovereignty. This ignited the feelings of nationalism among people of course this time it was politically driven.
The main question that this project aims to answer is whether the rise of Neo-Nationalism is a direct consequence of the immigration crisis. Ideally speaking the surge of immigrants tends to exhaust the opportunities and resources for the locals which in turn forces the locals to adopt a neo-nationalistic approach towards them. But is the immigration crisis enough a reason for the rise of neo-nationalism? Well, that we would find out at the end of this project. Neo- Nationalistic movements participate in government and plays an active role in civil society. They not only influence the policies made by the government, but they also influence public opinions in the form of debates and speeches. These neo-nationalists consider themselves as true patriots whose sole motto is to preserve their culture and religion from foreign influence.
Neo-nationalistic right-wing movements are common in, for example, Germany and France, India, and in the Central European countries of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. But the biggest surge of Neo-Nationalism was seen in Europe during the late 1900s. The three-fold claim of Neo- Nationalists are- discursively creating an external threat, pointing towards the domestic traitors, and claiming themselves to the true protectors of the nation. By external threat, one means the foreign influence that can harm the traditional integrity and culture of a nation. The very recent and notable uprising of the Neo- Nationalistic approach is the election of Donald Trump and Brexit. Both showed the exquisite example of Neo-nationalism. Where Trump propagated the theory of America First, Britain decided to leave the EU as it thought that being a part of the European Union was no more feasible for the country. Some people might not like Trump’s ideologies for America, but his ideas were based on the lines of the Neo- Nationalistic approach. Similarly, the Hindutva nation approach shown by the BJP (India’s leading party) is somewhat a part of Neo-Nationalism although it is cultural nationalism. We have been witnessing a sharp spike in nationalist tensions, coupled with nativism and xenophobia.
There are many leaders who are adopting the neo-nationalistic approach, but we are yet to draw up a complete family tree of neo-nationalism worldwide. The question here arises is what is the need for neo-nationalism when we already have the concept of nationalism. Well, it is said that change is the new norm. Nationalism has its roots in the 19th century, the urge of people to make their nations superior to another bought the concept of nationalism. Many people consider nationalism as a bane for mankind.
As Albert Einstein said for nationalism “an infantile disease, the measles of mankind." Nationalism brings the sentiment of My nation and Myself.
Nationalism was more prevalent in the war times. As men were deployed in wars performing bombings day-in and day-out. A sense of attachment surfaced among people and they began protecting their borders and tried to expand them for the sense of superiority. The question here is what was the need for neo-nationalism and how different it is from Nationalism. Well, Neo nationalism is modern nationalism, which is not very different from the original nationalism, but it fringes on the political side to an extent. We do not have world wars anymore, but the political paradigm keeps changing. Nationalism still exists but this Nationalism is called Neo-Nationalism. Neo-nationalism lies at the intersection of three dimensions- nationalism, populism, and radicalism.
The message given by the world is strong and clear- the nation decides for itself.
“Before they start telling us what to do, they jolly well ought to sort their own house out”- this was Theresa May at Westminster during the question-answer round. She was not pointing it towards the European Union or the opposition rather it was a very humdrum issue related to wearing poppies on T-shirts.
Britishers wear poppies on their T-shirts to commemorate those who lost their lives during the war. FIFA does not allow any religious or cultural interference in the game, but the British defied these restrictions and wore poppies on their T-shirts. This was just an example of how Neo-Nationalism is making its way to the mainstream.
The main question that I was researching around was the main cause of the rise of Neo-Nationalism. And it was duly proved and concluded that the immigration crisis proved to be the major factor in the rise of Neo-Nationalism except for some countries like Turkey who are practicing Muslim Extremism in the name of nationalism. It is well said by HG Wells that “Our true nationality is mankind.”
Nicole HORÁKOVÁ. “NEO-NATIONALISM IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND ITS SELF-PRESENTATION ON SOCIAL NETWORKS USING THE EXAMPLE OF FACEBOOK.” Politeja, no. 61, 2019, pp. 111–130. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/26919889. Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.
Eiríkur Bergmann, “Neo Nationalism” Journal: Safundi, 2020, Volume 21, Number 3, Page 251 Neo-Nationalism | SpringerLink
Alexander Svitych,” Populism or Neo-Nationalism?” April 30, 2018 Populism or neo-nationalism? – POP (populismobserver.com)
Marco Antonsich, “The return of the nation: When Neo-Nationalism becomes mainstream” January 31,2017The Return Of The Nation: When Neo-Nationalism Becomes Mainstream (societyandspace.org)