Internationalism is Unavoidable

Kathleen McKinnon

My thoughts before reading into nationalism and international would have been that nationalism must deal very closely with internationalism because the “other” must be defined for the nationalist ie. what is the nation that nationalists are trying to preserve and against who or as opposed to which groups. Not that these things are exactly wrong but I would have also there to be a general interest in internationalism besides that one point, in that to make a country great and strong as the nationalist would want for the country their nation lives in, to have strong ties to other countries to create a sense of security.

Instead what seems the be the case is that nationalism often has too much factionalism and which likely hinders the ability of these groups to have really meaningful engagement with other countries and participate in internationalism as in “Parochial Nationalism.” (Motadel, 2020) However, that does not mean they do not engage in internationalism, it is just different than expected. There is often support from similar nationalist groups, parties, or regimes for each other and they can meet or even form alliances. So this newer concept is interesting to consider in how internationalism may also seem like a liberal idea in terms of global movements/globalization but it does have illiberal usages as well in a more “Cosmopolitan Nationalism.” (Motadel, 2019. 848) These interesting developments show how globalization as an advantage is even recognized by the nationalist, and not just in an imperialist way by controlling another country and using it for some type of power or resource but to actually ally with other nationalists to build strength and meaning.

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. 2019.

One Reply to “Internationalism is Unavoidable”

  1. Quite similar to you, I ended having a more complex picture of far-right internationalism. It is indeed hard for ardent nationalists to forge alliances with other like-minded nations. But as Motadel explained, such alliances are based on pragmatism, and an agreement on one or two issues is enough to cause damage to liberal transnational institutions.

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