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The role of nationalism in the globalized world

The globalized world has a new dynamics that configures the nations and the
states around the globe: These dynamics are conditioned by different issues like
economy, politics, international relations, conflicts and history. In this sense, history
can explain to us how the globalized world is not a new issue, but it comes from
long time ago, more precisely from the nineteenth century with the industrial
revolution and the imperial expansion of France, Germany and the United
Kingdom. Hence, if we see through history we will realize how the politics, the
economy, the religion, the conflicts and other social matters have shaped the
globalized world. Likewise, in this essay I will explain in first place, the roots of the
globalized world in the nineteenth century and its relation with nationalism. Then I
will explain the functions of nationalism in the current globalized world, for instance,
its role to protect the sovereignty of the state, its role to resist against the dynamics
that a globalized world order wants to impose and its role to create a strong feeling
among the people to glorify their country. On the other hand, I will talk about the
problems that are caused by the nationalism like the xenophobia, clashes and no
collaboration in international institutions or in cooperation blocks. Finally, I will
conclude with the good things of nationalism and the matter of self-determination in
the current world.
In order to understand the globalized world in its link with nationalism we have to
look up in history, more precisely in European history when the United Kingdom,
Germany France and other European empires tried to expand their empires during
the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, and for that
reason they created a connected world with colonies and independent countries in
the different continents (colonies in Africa, Asia, America and Oceania) this
connected world was needed to feed the economies and the riches of these
empires, and therefore, to feed the machinery of the new capitalist system. This
imperial expansion was boosted by nationalism.
Nevertheless, before I continue with this, we have to define the concept of
nationalism which is defined as:
A political principle which holds that the political and the national should be congruent, this
means the nationalism is above all a moral principle, which claims that nations do exist,
that should coincide with i.e. cover the same people as, political communities and that they
should be self-ruling. Nationalism as an ideology is, therefore above all a moral or a
normative principle, a belief about how the world should be (Halliday, F, 2001, P. 443)

This modern idea of nationalism has its roots in the enlightenment and liberal
conception of self-determination, in the French revolution ideas and in the thoughts
from German philosophers like Johann Fichte and Johann Herder.

The nationalism boosted the expansion of the European empires, but it also
created movements against these empires, for instance the independence of LatinAmerican nations, the Boxer war in China, the Zulu war in South Africa and other
nationalist movements that fought against European empires. They fought for selfdetermination and they struggled against the global economic and political regime the new capitalism - that European empires wanted to impose around the globe.
Thus, we can see some functions of nationalism: resistance against a regime and
claim for self-determination. In the current world occur similar situations like in the
nineteenth century, nowadays we see several nations that struggle for selfdetermination in their territories like the case of Kurdistan, Chechenia, Catalua
and other nations. However, there are other functions of nationalism as protection
of sovereignty, like happened in the boxer war in nineteenth century, when China
fought against the UK and its economic policies in order to protect its sovereignty.
Nowadays many countries also struggle against economic policies to protect their
sovereignty, due to the powerful countries, through its imperialism, have wanted to
impose their economic policies to other countries, for instance, the imposition
case of Russia in Ukraine or the case of the USA in the Middle East.
The other function of nationalism in the globalized world is glorifying the nation and
creating strong feeling of superiority in regard to other countries. In this sense, we
watch the case of Russia, North Korea, China or even the USA where exists a
strong speech to glorify the nation and create awareness of a superior country. But
this tradition comes from the invention of a globalized world in the nineteenth
century. In fact, the empires of this age did the same thing: they glorified their
nations to create a feeling of superiority. However, glorifying the nation not only
serves to create this kind of feeling, but it also serve to create a feeling of selfdetermination, territoriality, and therefore of independence. In this order of ideas,
these feelings for nationalism have led to create extremism among the population,
hence appear problems such as xenophobia, war between nations or no
cooperation in international institutions. Nevertheless, we have to take into account
that nationalism can represent a resistance against globalized world where
powerful countries and international institutions are able to damage selfdetermination and a sovereignty of a state.
Its important that we wonder if currently the states can really trust in the right of
self-determination. This is a good question that we would allow to analyse the
principle of self-determination in this globalized world, and its interesting to see
why some nations get international recognition easily of sovereignty in a territory
and other ones dont. Hence, its turned out valuable to look up in history and see
the similarities and differences that has had the globalized world through time,
because this permits us to understand the dynamics of our countries in relation to

the other ones. Finally, analysing the nationalism allows us to see its good things,
like the cultural wealth of each nation (music, literature, education, territories, art,
languages, etc.) and in this sense, nationalism helps to preserve the diversity of
humanity.