Globalization and Nationalism
the Relationship Revisited
What is the link between? This question has puzzled many observers and generated numerous arguments that dominated the debate at various stages in recent history. It is possible to single out two distinct approaches to this question. One which sees nations and nationalisms as losers of history, as a passed stage in the development of mankind which is about to disappear and give way to other structures more suitable for the increasing global interconnectedness of the planet; and another, which posits nationalism as the most potent and enduring political force that—far from disappearing—is gaining strength in response to challenges of globalization. Both approaches, despite many differences, share a common understanding of the nature of the relationship between globalization and nationalism. The two are fundamentally opposed to one another and therefore destined for the relationship of resistance and confrontation. In the first case, nationalism is expected to lose out and eventually leave the center stage to other supranational alternatives as required by the logic of globalization. In the second case, nationalism is not only expected to persist but also increase and intensify in response to and in opposition to forces of globalization. Thus according to Anthony Giddens, “the revival of local nationalisms, and an accentuating of local identities, are directly bound up with globalizing influences, to which they stand in opposition.”11 would argue that neither of the approaches presents a complete picture of the complex web of links and interconnections that exist between globalization and nationalism. As the two case studies have demonstrated nationalizing and globalizing forces can be complementary rather than contradictory with nationalist actors accepting,
1 Anthony Giddens (1994) Beyond Left and Right: The Future of Radical
Politics, Cambridge: Polity Press, p. 5.