Gerard Delanty


This commentary analyses the view that the resurgence of nationalism will lead to the return of the nation-state and an accentuated de-Europeanisation. I argue against this position. While neo-nationalism has become a major force in Europe and elsewhere, I claim it does not have a capacity to restore the nation-state. I discuss what I take to be the key features of neo-nationalism, central to which is authoritarianism, and outline four arguments why this kind of nationalism ultimately lacks a real capacity to bring about major structural change. These are: (1) it is a form of nationalism without the nation; (2) it is unable to solve the basic problem of societal polarisation; (3) it avails of divisions within the left and the centre ground rather than having any strength of its own; and (4) the global movement of which it is an expression lacks a global imaginary. Neo-nationalism has brought about a significant shift in political discourse but stops short of a major systemic transformation of European integration.


Article Keywords

Alt-right, Brexit, European Union, Nationalism, Nation-states, Post-nationalism, Populism, Radical right, Trump

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