The recent dramatic rise of populist, nativist and nationalist movements throughout the world, and particularly in Europe and the US, has prompted lively debate on their character and their causes. The largely unexpected victories of Donald Trump in the 2016 US elections and the UK’s referendum leading towards the decision to leave EU, together with the proliferation of far-right parties in several European countries, have led many commentators to conclude that these developments are best characterised as ‘new nationalism’. The argument is that the main features of the new nationalist ideology include strong resistance towards immigration, anti-globalisation, preference for the introduction of economic protectionism, support for populist leaders and nativist policies and general hostility towards cultural and religious differences. This ‘new nationalism’ is often contrasted with the ‘old nationalism’ of 19th and 20th centuries. While ‘old nationalism’ has traditionally been associated with the struggle for political independence from the imperial rule, popular sovereignty and the political unification of co-nationals living in different polities the ‘new nationalism’ has become a synonym for nativism and populism.
The main aim of this course is to problematise this dichotomy and explore the dynamics of nationalism, populism and nativism in the contemporary world. More specifically the ambition is to provide answers to the following questions: Why has nationalism proved to be such a potent, protean and durable force in the modern age? Why has the nation-state established itself as the central organising mode of social and political life in the last two hundred years? What role globalisation plays in generating populist and nativist backlashes? Do contemporary populist and nativist movements differ from their 19th and 20th century counterparts? The course will also analyse the origins, historical transformations and inherent malleability of nationalist ideologies.
We encourage the participation of students and scholars in the social sciences, law and humanities and other fields and disciplines studying social phenomena such as divisions, cleavages, conflicts, borders, ethnicity and diversity.
This post/graduate course will be organized as a rigorous academic interdisciplinary programme structured around lectures, workshops and conference-oriented presentations of scholarly research. Course participants will engage in active discussions on the theoretical, methodological and practical issues of research in divided societies. Graduate and postgraduate students’ presentations are also welcome. In addition, the course offers personal inter-cultural experiences of students and faculty from other contexts in an unforgettable setting of a city that was itself the target of a destructive conflict.
* Course offers 3 - 5 ECTS credits