New nationalism (21st century)

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New nationalism (or neo-nationalism)[1][2] is a type of nationalism that rose in the mid-2010s in Western Europe and North America and to some degree in other regions. It is associated with several positions, such as right-wing populism,[3] anti-globalization,[citation needed] nativism,[3] protectionism,[4] opposition to immigration[2] 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.[5] Particularly notable expressions of new nationalism include the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum and the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.[6][7][8]

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".[9][10] 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".[11]

The Economist wrote in November 2016 that "new nationalists are riding high on promises to close borders and restore societies to a past homogeneity".[12] 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".[13] 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".[14] 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".[5]

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".[15] According to conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg the nationalism associated with Trump is "really little more than a brand name for generic white identity politics".[10]

Damon Linker, writing for 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".[16]

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.[17]

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


China's paramount leader Xi Jinping's concept of "Chinese Dream" has been described as an expression of new nationalism.[18]

Hong Kong[edit]

The "Hong Kong nationalism" evolved from the localist movement in Hong Kong stresses the distinct Hong Kong identity as opposed to Chinese national identity promoted by the Beijing government and its growing encroachment on the city's management of its own political, economic, and social affairs.[19][20] The localist rhetorics, often mix with the nation's right to self-determination, as well as anti-immigration stances against mainland immigrants and tourists, preserving local identity and culture similar to the Western new nationalism.


The 63rd and current Prime Minister Shinzō Abe (assumed office in 2012) has promoted ideas of new nationalism, as does the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan.[21]


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (assumed office in 2016) has been described as a new nationalist.[citation needed]


The sixth and current President of Poland Andrzej Duda, who assumed office in August 2015 is regularly cited as being a leading figure in the new nationalist movement within Poland.[22] Furthermore, the ruling Law and Justice party, led by Jarosław Kaczyński, promoted nationalist views to win an outright majority in the national elections of 2015 (a feat never before accomplished).[23]


President of Russia Vladimir Putin (second President of Russia from 2000 to 2008, fourth President of Russia from 2012) has been labelled a new nationalist.[6] Putin has been described by Hirsh as "the harbinger of this new global nationalism".[9] 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.[24]


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 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (assumed office in 2014).[25][6]

United Kingdom[edit]

The 23 June 2016 referendum in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union ("Brexit") has been described as a milestone of New Nationalism.[26][27] Owen Matthews noted similarities in motives for support of the Brexit movement and Donald 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".[28]

Matthew O'Brien wrote of the Brexit as "the most shocking success for the new nationalism sweeping the Western world".[29] 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".[9][30]

United States[edit]

Donald Trump's rise to the Republican candidacy was widely described as a sign of growing New Nationalism in the US.[9][10] A Chicago Sun-Times editorial on the day of the inauguration of Donald Trump called him "our new nationalist president".[31] 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 globalization, a world where military might counts for far more than diplomacy and compromise".[32]

Other countries[edit]

The following politicians have all been described in some way as being new nationalists:

The following parties have all been described in some way as being new nationalist parties:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stephens, Bret (21 November 2016). "Trump's Neo-Nationalists". The Wall Street Journal. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ a b Barber, Tony (11 July 2016). "A renewed nationalism is stalking Europe". Financial Times. ...the rise of rightwing populist nativism. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ a b c "Trump's world: The new nationalism". The Economist. 19 November 2016. 
  7. ^ Persaud, Avinash (20 September 2016). "Brexit, Trump and the new nationalism are harbingers of a return to the 1930s". London School of Economics. 
  8. ^ Rushkoff, Douglas (7 July 2016). "The New Nationalism Of Brexit And Trump Is A Product Of The Digital Age". Fast Company. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Hirsh, Michael (27 June 2016). "Why the New Nationalists Are Taking Over". Politico. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Dougherty, Michael Brendan (26 July 2016). "A new nationalism is rising. Don't let Donald Trump destroy it". The Week. 
  12. ^ "League of nationalists". The Economist. 19 November 2016. 
  13. ^ Page, Clarence (2 July 2016). "Could Brexit foreshadow a victory by Trump?". Las Vegas Sun. 
  14. ^ Detrow, Scott (25 June 2016). "From 'Brexit' To Trump, Nationalist Movements Gain Momentum Around World". NPR. 
  15. ^ Brog, David; Hazony, Yoram (7 December 2016). "The Nationalist Spirit of 2016: A Conservative Spring". National Review. 
  16. ^ "Liberals keep denigrating the new nationalism as racist. This is nonsense". 21 September 2016. 
  17. ^ "The new nationalism". 
  18. ^ Wang, Zheng (10 May 2016). "The New Nationalism: 'Make My Country Great Again'". The Diplomat. 
  19. ^ "Hong Kong suffers identity crisis as China's influence grows". The Guardian. 18 April 2016. 
  20. ^ "Localism: Why is support for the political perspective growing - and who's behind it?". 1 July 2015. 
  21. ^ Tisdall, Simon (27 November 2013). "Is Shinzo Abe's 'new nationalism' a throwback to Japanese imperialism?" – via The Guardian. 
  22. ^ a b c d "The new nationalism: Eastern Europe turns right". Prospect. February 18, 2016. 
  23. ^ Zamoyski, Adam (27 January 2016). "The Problem With Poland's New Nationalism". Foreign Policy. 
  24. ^ Clover, Charles (2016). Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia's New Nationalism. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300120707. 
  25. ^ Akyol, Mustafa (23 June 2014). "AKP pushes its own brand of Turkish neonationalism". Al-Monitor. 
  26. ^ Toubeau, Simon (24 June 2016). "Brexit: Europe's new nationalism is here to stay". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  27. ^ Khatun, Fahmida (27 June 2016). "Brexit: Rise of neo-nationalism and protectionism?". The Daily Star. 
  28. ^ Matthews, Owen (28 June 2016). "Beyond Brexit: Europe's Populist Backlash Against Immigration and Globalization". Newsweek. 
  29. ^ O'Brien, Matt (27 June 2016). "The world's losers are revolting, and Brexit is only the beginning". The Washington Post. 
  30. ^ Ahmad, Naveed (27 June 2016). "Brexit: a call for xenophobia and neo-nationalism". The Express Tribune. 
  31. ^ Sun-Times Editorial Board (20 January 2017). "Editorial: Our new nationalist president". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  32. ^ Law, Bill (18 November 2016). "First we take the White House: The rise and rise of Steve Bannon". Middle East Eye. 
  33. ^ a b "League of nationalists". 
  34. ^ a b c CJ Hopkins (12 July 2016). "The Blood-Dimmed Tide of Neo-Nationalism and Other Scary Simulacra". CounterPunch. 
  35. ^ a b "Did France put an end to the new nationalism?". Troy Media. May 9, 2017. 
  36. ^ "The unraveling of Israeli democracy". Times of Israel. December 21, 2015. 
  37. ^
  38. ^ Kaylan, Melik (4 March 2016). "Merkel And Former Communists Versus Orban And The New Nationalists". Forbes. 
  39. ^ "Lebanon the next battlefield as Saudis escalate bitter struggle with Iran". Sydney Morning Herald. November 12, 2017. 
  40. ^ Salvini tra Russia, nazionalismo e fascismo padano
  41. ^ Salvini con Casapound: ma la nuova Lega nazionalista aspira davvero a governare?
  42. ^ La svolta a destra di Salvini. Errori e contraddizioni del programma economico della nuova Lega
  43. ^ "Brexit: Europe's New Nationalism Is Here to Stay". Alternet. June 24, 2016. 
  44. ^ Flamm, Lazlo (2012), The Crisis and Eurosceptism in Central and Eastern Europe, International Centre for European Studies, p. 312 
  45. ^ "Wer hat Platz in diesem Land?". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 20 November 2016. 
  46. ^ Teitelbaum, Benjamin (2017), Lions of the North: Sounds of the New Nordic Radical Nationalism, OUP 
  47. ^ 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.” 
  48. ^ Keddie, Amanda (2017). Supporting and Educating Young Muslim Women. Taylor & Francis. p. 6.