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

By Natalie Sabanadze | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
Introduction

Globalization and Nationalism have often been evoked as the two defining features of the modern world. The former represents rising deterritorialization, integration and universal interconnectedness while the latter arguably represents fragmentation, localization and isolation. The coexistence of these two, arguably opposing, tendencies became particularly problematic in the aftermath of the Cold War, when the world seemed to be struggling with the contradictory processes of nationalist fragmentation on the one hand and global integration on the other. As Ian Clark observed: “the 1990s displayed marked tendencies in both directions at the same time; if anything the economic dimensions of globalization have grown vigorously but they coexist with the unforeseen resurgence of nationalism, which has ruptured the international community, as well as some of its constituent states.”1 The simultaneous rise of nationalistic and globalizing tendencies came to be seen as one of the central paradoxes of the past decade taking many observers by surprise. According to Michael Ignatieff, “with blithe lightness of mind, we assumed that the world was moving irrevocably beyond nationalism, beyond tribalism, beyond the provincial confines of the identity inscribed in our passports towards a global market culture which was to be our new home. In retrospect, we were whistling in the dark. The oppressed has returned and its name is nationalism.”2 Similarly Stuart Hall has characterized the resurgence of nationalism alongside globalization as a “remarkable reversal, a most unexpected turn of events.”3 The sense of paradox, according to Anthony Smith,

1 Ian Clark (1997) Globalization and Fragmentation, Oxford: Oxford Uni-
versity Press, p. 4.

2 Michael Ignatieff (1994) Blood and Belonging, London: Vintage, p. 2.

3 Stuart Hall (1992) “The Question of Cultural Identity” in Modernity and Its
Futures,
Stuart Hall, David Held and Anthony McGrew (eds.), Cambridge:
Polity Press, p. 314.

-1-

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