Article Spotlights

articlespotlight From the SEN archives, this week’s Article Spotlights focus on nationalism and the nature of its manifestation in two of its – very different – contemporary arenas, Ukraine and Sc0tland.

The current situation in Crimea is at its heart the result of an incongruence of territorial and ethno-cultural boundaries, and Roel Jennissen’s article considers the historical background and contemporary implications (as of 2011) of ethnic population movement in Central and Eastern Europe in those regions formerly occupied by the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires and Nazi Germany.

Roel Jennissen, Ethnic Migration in Central and Eastern Europe: Its Historical Background and Contemporary Flows, Volume 11, Issue 2,  October 2011, pp. 252-270. 

This article aims to describe the historical background of international ethnic migration in Central and Eastern Europe. The rise and fall of the Habsburg Empire in Central Europe and the Ottoman Empire in Southeastern Europe has been the underlying cause of many ethnic migration flows in Central and Eastern Europe in the post-communist era. Moreover, the German Ostkolonisation, border changes after the two World Wars, and interstate migration in the former Soviet Union caused a large pool of potential ethnic migrants. In addition to the description of this historical background, this article contains a description of important contemporary ethnic migration flows that originate from the aforementioned historical developments, and a discussion of future developments of ethnic migration in Central and Eastern Europe.

Claire Sutherland’s article focuses specifically on its contemporary manifestations as a political ideology:

Claire Sutherland, Calculated Conviction: Contemporary Nationalist Ideology and Strategy, Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2008, pp. 69-89. 

The article is intended as a contribution to nationalism theory, one which analyses nationalism as a political ideology. It sets out to theorise how contemporary nationalist parties as agents and strategists of ideology go about mobilising loyalty to the nation. Although strategy and tactics appear to play an ever-increasing role in party politics, this trend is understood here as a form of renewal rather than a rejection of ideology. I contend that nationalism theory must be updated in the light of multi-level governance. Theoretical approaches to contemporary nationalism must take into account its strategic flexibility in the face of changing state, sub-state and supra-state relationships. The article argues that the multi-faceted concept of ideology is a useful tool for investigating both nationalist principles and strategy. The work of Michael Freeden (1998; 1999) is used to unpack ideology’s heuristic potential. After having established strategic thinking as an inherent and necessary component of nationalist ideology, the final part of the paper focuses on nationalist party strategy. It turns to Albert Hirschman’s (1970) typology of exit, voice and loyalty to identify and compare contemporary nationalist party strategies as a response to the changing dynamics of state politics. The analysis applies the relationships Hirschman builds between these concepts to the realm of territorial politics. It thereby complements Freeden’s theory of ideology in characterising and classifying nationalist party responses to their evolving political environment.

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