The Rhetoric of Nationalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

30 Scopus citations


This paper assesses the contribution of Billig's Banal Nationalism arguing that it moved us beyond the dichotomies of civic versus ethnic and patriotism versus nationalism to focus attention on the omnipresence of nations and the question of when they are flagged and unflagged. In acknowledging the importance of these insights, it is also suggested that an undue focus on ideology, interests and the political may not do justice to the strength of what might be better called the national or nationalist imaginary. The idea of social imaginaries speaks to a curious flatness to many accounts of everyday nationalism: they limit themselves to representations, not developing the way in which these representations are embedded and reproduced in action. Finally, it is suggested that viewing nationalism as always bad obscures the importance of nationalism to some much more positive projects, including economic redistribution and social welfare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEveryday Nationhood
Subtitle of host publicationTheorising Culture, Identity and Belonging After Banal Nationalism
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781137570987
ISBN (Print)9781137570970
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'The Rhetoric of Nationalism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this