Politics in Minutes (2016)

Expansionist nationalism

Nationalist movements frequently arise as resistance to imperial or colonial occupation of what the inhabitants consider to be sovereign territory. Nationalism may, however, also be part of the ideology of an occupying power. Aggressive nationalism is often a component of expansionist policies, playing on feelings of patriotism and superiority. In contrast to liberal nationalism, expansionist nationalism tends to be overtly chauvinistic, and a pretext for acquiring territory or gaining dominance over other nations.

Implied, and sometimes explicitly stated, is a notion that some nations are superior to others and have a right to exert power over them or encroach upon their territory. This was most noticeable in the empire-building of the 19th century, when it was a matter of pride for European nations to expand their influence by acquiring colonies around the world. Nationalism, both civic and ethnic, also figured in the Japanese and German military expansionism that led to the Second World War.