Amid announcements of the eclipse of nation-states under 'globalization', this volume takes a fresh look at the fate of nations and nationalisms in our times. Arguing that nationalisms have always contained political economies as well as cultural politics, it focuses on changes in the nature of nationalisms in selected cases of Asia under the impact of the inegalitarian political economy of neoliberalism since the 1970s. Classical 20th century 'developmental' nationalisms emphasized citizenship, economy and future orientations. The cultural nationalisms which followed emphasize identity, culture and past orientations. This title presents flagrantly unequal neoliberal political economies, not primarily concerned with material production or productivity, their cultural politics operated on a static conception of an 'original' culture and identity - whether religious, ethnic or other.Their discourses of 'Asian values', 'Hindutva', 'Confucianism' or 'Nihonjiron' served to justify as cultural difference the inequality produced by neoliberal, market-driven policies. In contrast to the popular mobilizations on which developmental nationalisms rested, cultural nationalisms emerged against the background of the political disenfranchisement and disengagement which neoliberal inequalities produced, though they were partially compensated by the political baptism of newly enriched groups. The extremist wings which they have in many countries are a function of this lack of popular support. Cultural nationalisms purport to replace projects of relatively equitable material provision with projects of national glory. This book was published as a special issue of "Third World Quarterly".
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|Published - Feb 2009