'Scientific' nationalism: N-VA, banal nationalism and the battle for the Flemish nation

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Abstract

This paper investigates how the discursive battle for the Flemish nation is waged by politicians of the Flemish nationalist party N-VA (New Flemish Alliance) in Belgium. More specifically, it analyzes the ways in which the N-VA tries to establish a banal Flemish nationalism in the context of a super-diverse Belgium (Blommaert, Rampton & Spotti (eds.), 2011). We thereby focus on the use and role of social sciences in the nationalist construction and deconstruction of the Flemish nation state. Anderson, Gellner, Hroch and Billig are being integrated in the discourse and strategy of the party to establish a Flemish nation. Especially the work of Billig plays a major role in the (communication) strategy of the party. It will be argued that N-VA uses the famous work of Michael Billig – Banal nationalism – as a manual for the construction of the Flemish nation state.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameTilburg Papers in Culture Studies
No.63

Keywords

  • N-VA
  • Banal nationalism
  • Billig
  • Anderson
  • Hroch
  • Imagined communities
  • anti-Enlightenment
  • Radical Enlightenment
  • Democracy

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