Perspectives on Nationalism and Populism

Perspectives on Nationalism and Populism, 12 May 2021

Two members of the Centre make presentations on different aspects of nationalism and populism in contemporary societies – opening up the opportunity to debate the interrelationships and differences between the two. Angelos Chryssogelos examines how populism is changing and challenging democracies in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Alistair Ross looks at changes in the popular understanding of the nation held by young people in Europe.

Populism and Democracy After Covid 19: Old Divides and New Challenges for Liberal Democracies – Angelos Chryssogelos

This presentation will draw conceptual and empirical connections between the rise of populism that was ongoing up until 2020 and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic as the world (slowly) emerges from it. Liberal democracies were already in a well-documented state of representational crisis, with populism arising out of a variety of political, economic, value and generational divides. The question is how this pre-existing breeding ground of crisis will inform the responses and political dynamics of a world shaped by the pandemic and its aftermath. The presentation will present the key features of populism, provide an overview of its emergence in the decade before 2020, and gauge ways it can shape dynamics unleashed by the pandemic.

Young European’s perspectives on Nationalism – Alistair Ross

This presentation examines how young Europeans (12-19) currently construct the idea of the nation and nationalism. It suggests that many of the generation born after the mid 1990s are developing a new and different understanding of nationalism, rather as Fulbook’s (2011) analysis of twentieth century German young people showed that there are not only significant differences in the ways in which generations construct political ideas, but that these are the consequence of political fractures and dissonance in society. Drawing on empirical data, the presentation suggests that this cohort of young Europeans are critical of traditional concepts of nationalism, which many see as outdated essentialism.


Professor Alistair Ross, Senior Professor in Politics and Education, School of Social Sciences, Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre.

Dr Angelos Chryssogelos, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, School of Social Sciences, Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre.

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Perspectives on Nationalism and Populism

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