The global New Right and the Flemish identitarian movement Schild & Vrienden: A case study

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This paper argues that nationalism, and nationalistic activism in particular are being globalized. At least certain fringes of radical nationalist activists are organized as ‘cellular systems’ connected and mobilize-able on a global scale giving birth to what I call ‘global nationalistic activism’. Given this change in nationalist activism, I claim that we should abandon all ‘methodological nationalism’. Methodological nationalism fails in
arriving at a thorough understanding of the impact, scale and mobilization power (Tilly, 1974) of contemorary ‘national(istic)’ political activism. Even more, it inevitably will contribute to the naturalization or in emic terms the meta-political goals of global nationalist activists. The paradox is of course evident: global nationalism uses the scale- advantages, network effects and the benefits of cellular structures to fight for the (re)construction of the old 19th century vertebrate system par excellence: the (blood and soil) nation. Nevertheless, this, I will show, is an indisputable empirical reality: the many local nationalistic battles are more and more embedded in globally operating digital infrastructures mobilizing militants from all corners of the world for nationalist causes at home. Nationalist activism in the 21st century, so goes my argument, has important global dimensions which are easily repatriated for national use. This forces us to adjust our understanding of locality, nationalism and our methodological apparatus.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2018

Publication series

NameTilburg Papers in Culture Studies


  • Methodological nationalism
  • discourse
  • global nationalism
  • cellular systems
  • network effects
  • identitarian movements
  • memes
  • activism
  • algorithmic activism


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