Globalization and Nationalism: The Cases of Georgia and the Basque Country

By Natalie Sabanadze | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
The Globalization Hypothesis and Its Fallacies

This chapter takes issue with some of the basic assumptions of the globalization hypothesis by raising the following questions: How does the resurgence of nationalism manifest itself? Can we talk about the rise of nationalism as following a constantly increasing linear trajectory, or does it experience fluctuations? Can we speak about one kind of new nationalism that has become characteristic of the global era? And how new is this kind of nationalism? Are introduction contradictory by their very nature and thus destined for a relationship of clash and opposition? By addressing these questions, I intend to offer a critique of the globalization hypothesis described in the last chapter and introduce a different perspective on the relationship between globalization and nationalism to be further explored in the case studies.


3.1 Nationalism Resurgent

One of the underlying assumptions of the globalization hypothesis is that nationalism is on the rise. Resurgence of nationalism as a fact is rarely disputed and is seen as a defining feature of the post-Cold War world. Even though the 1950s and 60s witnessed the rise of nationalist politics in the developing world following the decolonization and establishment of new states, it could not compete for attention with the threat of nuclear annihilation at the height of the Cold War. In addition, nationalism at that time was an anti-imperial, emancipatory force that was seen as contributing to the legitimate struggle of the oppressed peoples. Contemporary or new nationalism by contrast is seen as not only lacking legitimacy and moral high ground but also as one of the most potent causes of war, destruction, and insecurity. The end of the Cold War may have ended the prospect of major interstate warfare but it was rapidly replaced with the real and potential intrastate wars and more localized forms of violence and conflict.

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