Interesting seminar with LUNN colleagues

June 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

IMG_20150603_214030 (1) Yesterday I participated in a seminar at Loughborough University, invited to talk about consumer nationalism by the Loughborough University Nationalism Network. Jointly with my colleague Sabina Mihelj, we had the chance to exchange our first thoughts about a short project I am developing here during summer. Our presentation was entitled Promoting and Consuming the Nation: Nations in the World of Global Capitalism, and we tried to map a set of consumer practices attached to national discourses and identities. Following, the abstract of our presentation.

Promoting and Consuming the Nation: Nations in the World of Global Capitalism

Sabina Mihelj (Loughborough University) & Enric Castelló (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)

Far from becoming historically obsolete, nations and nationalisms have seen a revival in recent years. From the growing influence of populist parties across Europe to the public rallies across France in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, nations have regained prominence as central symbols of political unity and mobilization, and proved capable of serving political goals across the political spectrum. Yet, as we argue in this paper, the current revival of the national extends well beyond the realm of politics; it is anchored in the logic of global capitalism, and has become inextricably intertwined with the practices of promotion and consumption. Our paper seeks to map the interface between nationalism and economic life, and bring some clarity to the so far largely fragmented debate on the topic, which developed under diverse headings such as ‘nation branding’, ‘consumer nationalism’, ‘commercial nationalism’ and ‘public diplomacy’. We also ask what the anchoring of the national in the logic of capitalism means for the ability of the nation to serve as the basis for political mobilization.

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