Politics in Minutes (2016)


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.