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Populism, Sovereigntism, and the Unlikely Re-Emergence of the Territorial Nation-State

Kallis

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Abstract

In the last three decades, the rise of a populist challenge to the liberal political mainstream exposed how shallow the supposed victory of global liberalism was, even in its heartlands in Europe and North America. Exclusive nationalism and nativism, identity politics, critiques of globalisation and internationalism, and calls for democratic reempowerment of the demos have converged politically on a new locus of inflated territorial, indeed ‘border’ sovereignty, aligning the call of ‘taking back control’ on behalf of a radically re-defined community (‘we’) with a defensive re-territorialisation of power along existing fault lines of nation-statism. In this paper, I argue that the very same call has become the new common political denominator for all populist platforms and parties across Europe. I argue that populists across the conventional left-right divide have deployed a rigidly territorialised concept of popular sovereignty in order to bestow intellectual coherence and communicative power to the otherwise disparate strands of their anti-utopian critiques of globalisation. In spite of significant ideological differences between so-called right- and left-wing populism, in the short-term the two populist projects have sought to stage their performances of sovereigntism on, behind or inside the borders of the existing nation-states.

Citation

Kallis. (2018). Populism, Sovereigntism, and the Unlikely Re-Emergence of the Territorial Nation-State. Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 11, 285-302. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40647-018-0233-z

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 11, 2018
Publication Date Jul 17, 2018
Journal Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Print ISSN 1674-0750
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Pages 285-302
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s40647-018-0233-z
Keywords populism, sovereignty, state, power, border
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1007/s40647-018-0233-z

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