Nationalism does not equal Anti-internationalism

Written by Emma Bronsema

Fascist and nationalist are against certain aspects of internationalism, especially in relation to the movement of people and ideas on a global scale. However, these regimes have worked in tandem with one another to preserve their ideals and see their nationalistic beliefs spread on a global scale. This cooperation between the like-minded nations is a part of the international phenomenon. 

Commonality is often found within the far right political spectrum. For example, fundamental fascists beliefs and policies are inline with other fascists in another part of the world. What these anti-colonials, nationalists and fascists stand for, are in line with each other. In other words, they share the same basic interests of the independent, self-sufficient, homogeneous cultured nation. This includes not encouraging the movement of people and keeping the population in groups based off of nationality, race and/or ethnicity.

Even though they are not completely in line with what the term internationalism has come to be defined as, fascists are not completely against it. Alliances and cooperation on an international level between like-minded nations is considered beneficial rather than a hindrance.

Through this camaraderie, they are able to maintain their desired homogeneity, but are involved in global discourse. There is also an understanding that there is strength in numbers, and their success in running their nation is a direct result of their relationship with internationalism. Moreover, the term internationalism acknowledges the existence and role of the nation – which is one of the major concerns of nationalistic regimes.


David Motadel, “The Global Authoritarian Moment: The Revolt Against Empire” American Historical Review Vol. 124, Issue 3 (July 2019): 843-877.

David Motadel, “The Far RIght Says There’s Nothing Dirtier Than Internationalism — But They Depend on It” The New York Times (July 2019).

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, “Conquest and Collaboration” in Fascist Modernities: Italy, 1922-1945 (University of California Press, 2004), pp. 123-130.

One Reply to “Nationalism does not equal Anti-internationalism”

  1. Hi Emma! I like your point about “strength in numbers.” While nationalists oppose the main components of internationalism, cooperation between like-minded nationalists creates an opportunity for mutual gains. I think it is important to distinguish that while fascists and nationalists oppose liberalism or the liberal world order, they utilize their own set of institutions, congresses, or dialogue to foster the environment from which they can benefit most. Perhaps from a realist perspective, nationalists cooperate to satisfy their self-interests of power and independence, resulting in a short-lived period of mutually beneficial cooperation.

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