Politics in Minutes (2016)

Nationalism

Today, we tend to think of the nation states as the political units that make up the world, and people tend to consider their nation as a significant factor in how they identify themselves. This attachment to national identity can become the basis for a political ideology – nationalism – with nationalist movements and parties aiming to strengthen or protect a sense of national unity. Many nationalist movements have arisen as a reaction against oppression, particularly in the fight for liberation from an imperial power, or to establish the independence of a distinct minority group within a larger nation. Others have their roots in conflict with neighbouring countries, or to gather support for expansionism. While nationalism can be a positive force for social cohesion and against oppression, it also has the potential to become xenophobic. In many European countries, the perceived threat of immigration and multiculturalism to so-called indigenous populations has given rise to more or less racist nationalist parties, often with far-right authoritarian leanings.

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