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Published in: Society 6/2020

01-12-2020 | Review Essay

Minding the Nation Anew: Reflections on Recent Studies of Nationalism

Author: Trevor Shelley

Published in: Society | Issue 6/2020

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We may temporarily neglect fundamental questions about the origins and sources of order, community, and solidarity, but we cannot escape them altogether. In fact, recent events of the young twenty-first century -- including the Great Recession, the rise of so-called “populism,” the vote for Brexit, and most recently the Coronavirus crisis -- expose some of our reflective indifference on the one hand, while helping to concentrate minds anew, on the other. We can no longer avoid asking what holds people together and how a common political life among others is possible. Facile assumptions about the insignificance of borders and the withering away of differences between peoples must be reexamined. Since the end of the Cold War, we have taken globalization for granted, having assumed since the end of the Cold War that higher degrees of global unity and integration were the most self-evident, ineluctable facts of our political and economic lives. Now, we are again confronted with the reality that as much as particular political communities change over time, they retain a certain shape or structure, and thus they maintain a certain form insofar as they remain politically ordered and articulate. This includes having a body. Indeed, past thinkers spoke readily of the body politic. And one such embodied form is the nation. …
Minding the Nation Anew: Reflections on Recent Studies of Nationalism
Trevor Shelley
Publication date
Springer US
Published in
Society / Issue 6/2020
Print ISSN: 0147-2011
Electronic ISSN: 1936-4725