Premature announcements of the eclipse of nation states under 'globalization' and 'empire' stand exposed as the 21st century's first economic crisis underlines their continuing importance. A predominantly cultural study of nationalism was unable to resist the 'globalization' thesis. Focusing on selected Asian cases, this book argues that nationalisms have always contained political economies as well as cultural politics. Placing nation-states centrally in our understanding of modern capitalism, it challenges the 'globalization' thesis. Rather than eclipse, nations and nationalisms have undergone changes under the impact of neoliberalism since the 1970s. Classical 20th century developmental nationalisms emphasised citizenship, economy and future orientations. Later cultural nationalisms - 'Asian values', 'Hindutva', 'Confucianism' or 'Nihonjiron' - stressed identity, culture and past orientations. Amid neoliberalism's flagrantly unequal political economy, not primarily concerned with material production or productivity, they glorified static conceptions of 'original' cultures and identities - whether religious, ethnic or other - and justified inequality as cultural difference.
In contrast to the popular mobilizations which powered developmental nationalisms, cultural nationalisms throve on neoliberalism's disengagement and disenfranchisement, albeit partially compensated by the political baptism of newly enriched groups. Extremist wings of cultural nationalism in some countries were a function of this lack of popular support. This book was published as a special issue of Third World Quarterly.
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(246mm x 174mm x mm)
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Author Biography - Radhika Desai
Radhika Desai is Professor at the Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. She is the author of Slouching Towards Ayodhya: From Congress to Hindutva in Indian Politics (2004) and Intellectuals and Socialism: 'Social Democrats' and the Labour Party (1994), a New Statesman and Society Book of the Month, and editor of Developmental and Cultural Nationalisms; a special issue of Third World Quarterly (2008). She is also the author of of numerous articles in Economic and Political Weekly, New Left Review, Third World Quarterly and other journals and in edited collections on parties, political economy, culture and nationalism. She is working on two books -When Was Globalization? Origin and End of a US Strategy and The Making of the Indian Capitalist Class.