New Nationalism (21st century)

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For the policy associated with Theodore Roosevelt, see New Nationalism (Theodore Roosevelt).

New Nationalism (or neo-nationalism)[1][2][3] is a type of nationalism that rose in the mid-2010s, especially, but not exclusively, in Western Europe and North America. It is associated with several positions, such as right-wing populism,[4] anti-globalization,[2] nativism,[4] protectionism,[5] opposition to immigration,[3] and euroscepticism (where applicable). According to one scholar, "nationalist resistance to global liberalism turned out to be the most influential force in Western politics" in 2016.[6] Particularly notable expressions of new nationalism include the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, and the Turkish constitutional referendum.[7][8][9]

Overview and characteristics[edit]

Michael Hirsh, writing for Politico, described New Nationalism as "a bitter populist rejection of the status quo that global elites have imposed on the international system since the Cold War ended, and which lower-income voters have decided—understandably—is unfair".[10][11] Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote in The Week that New Nationalism is a "broad nativist revolt" against post-Cold War politics long "characterized by an orthodoxy of free trade, nurturing the service economy, neoliberal trading arrangements, and liberalized immigration policies".[12] According to Takis Fotopoulos Neo-Nationalism developed in the era of globalization with the aim of protecting economic, political, and cultural sovereignty. According to him Neo-Nationalists have adopted demands associated with the political left, such as minimization of the power of the elites and anti-war positions.[2] The Economist wrote in November 2016 that "new nationalists are riding high on promises to close borders and restore societies to a past homogeneity".[13] Clarence Page wrote in the Las Vegas Sun that "a new neo-tribal nationalism has boiled up in European politics and to a lesser degree in the United States since the global economic meltdown of 2008".[14] According to Harvard political theorist Yascha Mounk "economic stagnation among lower- and middle-class whites [has been] a main driver for nationalism's rise around the globe".[15] According to religion scholar Mark L. Movesian new nationalism "sets the nation-state against supranational, liberal regimes like the EU or NAFTA, and local customs and traditions, including religious traditions, against alien, outside trends".[6]

Conservative views[edit]

Conservative views of neo-nationalism are significantly more divided than liberal views internationally, with many traditional or moderate conservatives (including neo-conservatives and conservative-leaning libertarians) standing as hard-line skeptics of neo-nationalism's revolutionary and radical reformist mentality. David Brog and Yoram Hazony wrote in National Review that some conservatives view the new nationalism associated with Brexit and Trump as a betrayal of conservative ideology, while they see it as a "return".[16] According to conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg the nationalism associated with Trump is "really little more than a brand name for generic white identity politics".[11]

The Week called the idea of neo-nationalism being racist "nonsense" and went on to say, "the tendency of progressives to describe it as nothing but "racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia"—is the desire to delegitimize any particularistic attachment or form of solidarity, be it national, linguistic, religious, territorial, or ethnic".[17]

Liberal views[edit]

Regarding New Nationalism, The Economist said, "Mr Trump needs to realize that his policies will unfold in the context of other countries’ jealous nationalism", and called nationalism itself a "slippery concept" that is "easy to manipulate". They also repeatedly contrasted ethnic nationalism and civic nationalism and implied New Nationalism could become "angry" and difficult to control, citing Chinese nationalism as an example.[18]

Politicians, parties, and events associated with New Nationalism[edit]

Brexit and Trump[edit]

The 23 June 2016 referendum in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union ("Brexit")[19][20] and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States in November 2016 have been described as milestones of New Nationalism.[21][22][8][7][9][23] Owen Matthews noted similarities in motives for support of the Brexit and Trump. He wrote in Newsweek that supporters of both are motivated by "a yearning to control immigration, reverse globalization and restore national greatness by disengaging from the wide, threatening world".[24]

Matthew O'Brien wrote of the Brexit as "the most shocking success for the new nationalism sweeping the Western world".[25] Leaders of the Brexit, such as Nigel Farage, the leader of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party and former London Mayor Boris Johnson have been called "new nationalists".[10][23]

Trump's rise to the Republican candidacy was widely described as a sign of growing New Nationalism in the US.[2][10][11][26] A Chicago Sun-Times editorial on the day of the inauguration of Donald Trump called him "our new nationalist president".[27] The appointment of Steve Bannon, the executive of Breitbart News (associated with the alt-right movement), was described by one analyst as arousal of a "new world order, driven by patriotism and a fierce urge to look after your own, a neo-nationalism that endlessly smears Muslims and strives to turn back the clock on free trade and globalisation, a world where military might counts for far more than diplomacy and compromise".[28] Justin Raimondo of described Michael T. Flynn (Trump's National Security Advisor nominee) and Mike Pompeo (Trump's nominee for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency) as New Nationalists.[29]

American businessman and professor Ted Malloch compared "enthusiastic and charismatic" presidential candidate Trump's rhetoric to the 1912 "New Nationalism" speech of Theodore Roosevelt. He drew parallels between the bold rhetoric of Roosevelt and Trump's slogan to "Make America Great Again".[30]

European Union[edit]

Several right-wing populist or far-right politicians in EU member states have been described as New Nationalists. They include:

Law and Justice, the ruling party of Poland,[34] the Finns Party, a member of the governing coalition in Finland,[35], the National Alliance, a member of the governing coalition in Latvia,[36] the Slovak National Party, a member of the governing coalition in Slovakia,[31] the Sweden Democrats,[37] and Alternative for Germany (AfD)[32][38] have been described as New Nationalist parties.

Non-Western countries[edit]

Right-wing leaders of non-Western countries, such as Russia (Vladimir Putin),[7] Turkey (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan),[7] India (Narendra Modi),[7] Japan (Shinzo Abe),[39] Egypt (Abdel Fattah el-Sisi),[40] and Israel (Benjamin Netanyahu) have been described as new nationalists. Putin has been described by Hirsh as "the harbinger of this new global nationalism".[10] Charles Clover, the Moscow bureau chief of the Financial Times from 2008 to 2013, wrote a book in 2016 titled Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia's New Nationalism.[41] In 2014 Mustafa Akyol wrote of a new "brand of Turkish neonationalism" promoted by Justice and Development Party, the country's ruling party, the leader of which is President Erdoğan.[42] China's paramount leader Xi Jinping's concept of "Chinese Dream" has been described as an expression of new nationalism.[43] Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has also been described as a new nationalist.[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stephens, Bret (21 November 2016). "Trump's Neo-Nationalists". The Wall Street Journal. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Fotopoulos, Takis (26 May 2016). "Globalization, Rise of Neo-Nationalism and the Bankruptcy of the Left". Centre for Research on Globalization. 
  3. ^ a b Eger, Maureen A.; Valdez, Sarah (2014). "Neo-nationalism in Western Europe". European Sociological Review. 31 (1): 115–130. doi:10.1093/esr/jcu087. Based on our combined analyses, we conclude that contemporary anti-immigrant parties constitute a new and distinct party family, which we term neo-nationalist. 
  4. ^ a b Barber, Tony (11 July 2016). "A renewed nationalism is stalking Europe". Financial Times. ...the rise of rightwing populist nativism. 
  5. ^ a b Crouch, Colin; Sakalis, Alex; Bechler, Rosemary (2 October 2016). "Educating for democracy". openDemocracy. Some protagonists of the new nationalism - such as Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen - also advocate a retreat from the global economy into individual protectionist nation states. 
  6. ^ a b c Movesian, Mark L. (8 December 2016). "The New Nationalism". Online Library of Law and Liberty. ; cited in Veith, Gene (9 December 2016). "The triumphs of nationalism". Patheos. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Trump's world: The new nationalism". The Economist. 19 November 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Persaud, Avinash (20 September 2016). "Brexit, Trump and the new nationalism are harbingers of a return to the 1930s". London School of Economics. 
  9. ^ a b Rushkoff, Douglas (7 July 2016). "The New Nationalism Of Brexit And Trump Is A Product Of The Digital Age". Fast Company. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Hirsh, Michael (27 June 2016). "Why the New Nationalists Are Taking Over". Politico. 
  11. ^ a b c Goldberg, Jonah (16 August 2016). "'New nationalism' amounts to generic white identity politics". Newsday. To listen to both his defenders and critics, Donald Trump represents the U.S. version of a new nationalism popping up around the world. 
  12. ^ Dougherty, Michael Brendan (26 July 2016). "A new nationalism is rising. Don't let Donald Trump destroy it.". The Week. 
  13. ^ "League of nationalists". The Economist. 19 November 2016. 
  14. ^ Page, Clarence (2 July 2016). "Could Brexit foreshadow a victory by Trump?". Las Vegas Sun. 
  15. ^ Detrow, Scott (25 June 2016). "From 'Brexit' To Trump, Nationalist Movements Gain Momentum Around World". NPR. 
  16. ^ Brog, David; Hazony, Yoram (7 December 2016). "The Nationalist Spirit of 2016: A Conservative Spring". National Review. 
  17. ^ "Liberals keep denigrating the new nationalism as racist. This is nonsense.". 21 September 2016. 
  18. ^ "The new nationalism". 
  19. ^ Toubeau, Simon (24 June 2016). "Brexit: Europe's new nationalism is here to stay". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  20. ^ Khatun, Fahmida (27 June 2016). "Brexit: Rise of neo-nationalism and protectionism?". The Daily Star. 
  21. ^ "Cities in the age of Trump and Brexit". Brookings Institution. 9 December 2016. The results of this past month’s U.S. presidential election and June’s Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom mark a growing global trend of nationalism and populist fervor. 
  22. ^ Jackson, Daniel (15 November 2016). "Can the liberal worldview survive?". The Spectator. ...following Brexit and Trump, we are entering a period of neo-nationalism. 
  23. ^ a b Ahmad, Naveed (27 June 2016). "Brexit: a call for xenophobia and neo-nationalism". The Express Tribune. 
  24. ^ Matthews, Owen (28 June 2016). "Beyond Brexit: Europe's Populist Backlash Against Immigration and Globalization". Newsweek. 
  25. ^ O'Brien, Matt (27 June 2016). "The world's losers are revolting, and Brexit is only the beginning". The Washington Post. 
  26. ^ Buchanan, Patrick J. (25 August 2015). "Is Trumpism the New Nationalism?". 
  27. ^ Sun-Times Editorial Board (20 January 2017). "Editorial: Our new nationalist president". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  28. ^ Law, Bill (18 November 2016). "First we take the White House: The rise and rise of Steve Bannon". Middle East Eye. 
  29. ^ Raimondo, Justin (21 November 2016). "Flynn, Pompeo, and the Paradox of the New Nationalism". ...these New Nationalists... 
  30. ^ Malloch, Ted (15 December 2015). "Why I Support Donald Trump: He's The New Roosevelt". Forbes. 
  31. ^ a b c "The new nationalism: Eastern Europe turns right". Prospect. February 18, 2016. 
  32. ^ a b c CJ Hopkins (12 July 2016). "The Blood-Dimmed Tide of Neo-Nationalism and Other Scary Simulacra". CounterPunch. 
  33. ^ Kaylan, Melik (4 March 2016). "Merkel And Former Communists Versus Orban And The New Nationalists". Forbes. 
  34. ^ Zamoyski, Adam (27 January 2016). "The Problem With Poland's New Nationalism". Foreign Policy. 
  35. ^ "Brexit: Europe's New Nationalism Is Here to Stay". Alternet. June 24, 2016. 
  36. ^ Flamm, Lazlo (2012), The Crisis and Eurosceptism in Central and Eastern Europe, International Centre for European Studies, p. 312 
  37. ^ Teitelbaum, Benjamin (2017), Lions of the North: Sounds of the New Nordic Radical Nationalism, OUP 
  38. ^ Meaney, Thomas (3 October 2016). "The New Star of Germany's Far-Right". The New Yorker. This article appears in other versions of the October 3, 2016, issue, with the headline “Germany’s New Nationalists.” 
  39. ^ Tisdall, Simon (27 November 2013). "Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperialism?" – via The Guardian. 
  40. ^ "League of nationalists". 
  41. ^ Clover, Charles (2016). Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia's New Nationalism. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300120707. 
  42. ^ Akyol, Mustafa (23 June 2014). "AKP pushes its own brand of Turkish neonationalism". Al-Monitor. 
  43. ^ Wang, Zheng (10 May 2016). "The New Nationalism: 'Make My Country Great Again'". The Diplomat. 
  44. ^ "Tomgram: Engelhardt, Renaming Our World - TomDispatch".