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Neo-nationalism or new nationalism is a type of nationalism that rose in the mid-2010s in Europe and North America and to some degree in other regions. It is associated with several positions, such as right-wing populism, anti-globalization, nativism, protectionism, opposition to immigration, opposition to Islam and Muslims, Sinophobia, and Euroscepticism where applicable. According to one scholar, "nationalist resistance to global liberalism turned out to be the most influential force in Western politics" in 2016. Particularly notable expressions of new nationalism include the vote for Brexit in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum and the 2016 election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
- 1 Overview and characteristics
- 2 Associated politicians, parties and events
- 2.1 Brazil
- 2.2 China
- 2.3 Egypt
- 2.4 Hong Kong
- 2.5 Hungary
- 2.6 India
- 2.7 Israel
- 2.8 Italy
- 2.9 Japan
- 2.10 Mexico
- 2.11 Philippines
- 2.12 Poland
- 2.13 Russia
- 2.14 Saudi Arabia
- 2.15 Turkey
- 2.16 United Arab Emirates
- 2.17 United Kingdom
- 2.18 United States
- 2.19 Other countries
- 3 See also
- 4 References
Overview and characteristics
Writing for Politico, Michael Hirsh described new nationalism as "a bitter populist rejection of the status quo that global elites have imposed on the international system since the Cold War ended, and which lower-income voters have decided—understandably—is unfair." Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote in The Week that new nationalism is a "broad nativist revolt" against post-Cold War politics long "characterized by an orthodoxy of free trade, nurturing the service economy, neoliberal trading arrangements, and liberalized immigration policies."
The Economist wrote in November 2016 that "new nationalists are riding high on promises to close borders and restore societies to a past homogeneity." Clarence Page wrote in the Las Vegas Sun that "a new neo-tribal nationalism has boiled up in European politics and to a lesser degree in the United States since the global economic meltdown of 2008," and Ryan Cooper in The Week and researchers with the Centre for Economic Policy Research have linked 21st-century right-wing populism to the Great Recession. According to Harvard political theorist Yascha Mounk, "economic stagnation among lower- and middle-class whites [has been] a main driver for nationalism's rise around the globe." According to religion scholar Mark L. Movesian, new nationalism "sets the nation-state against supranational, liberal regimes like the EU or NAFTA, and local customs and traditions, including religious traditions, against alien, outside trends."
David Brog and Yoram Hazony wrote in National Review that some conservatives view the new nationalism associated with Brexit and Donald Trump as a betrayal of conservative ideology while they see it as a "return". According to conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg, the nationalism associated with Trump is "really little more than a brand name for generic white identity politics."
Writing for The Week, Damon Linker called the idea of neo-nationalism being racist "nonsense" and went on to say that "the tendency of progressives to describe it as nothing but 'racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia'—is the desire to delegitimize any particularistic attachment or form of solidarity, be it national, linguistic, religious, territorial, or ethnic."
Regarding new nationalism, The Economist said that "Mr Trump needs to realise that his policies will unfold in the context of other countries’ jealous nationalism," and called nationalism itself a "slippery concept" that is "easy to manipulate". They also repeatedly contrasted ethnic nationalism and civic nationalism and implied new nationalism could become "angry" and difficult to control, citing Chinese nationalism as an example.
Associated politicians, parties and events
The President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro of the country's Social Liberal Party has been described as a leading new nationalist. Bolsonaro's ideology and policies have been heavily influenced by his adviser, nationalist thinker Olavo de Carvalho.
China's paramount leader Xi Jinping's (assumed office in 2012) concept of "Chinese Dream" has been described as an expression of new nationalism. His form of nationalism stresses pride in the historic Chinese civilisation, embracing the teachings of Confucius and other ancient Chinese sages, and thus rejecting the anti-Confucius campaign of Mao Zedong.
The Hong Kong nationalism evolved from the localist movement in Hong Kong stresses the distinct Hong Kong identity as opposed to Chinese national identity promoted by the Beijing government and its growing encroachment on the city's management of its own political, economic and social affairs. The localist rhetorics, often mix with the nation's right to self-determination as well as anti-immigration stances against mainland immigrants and tourists, preserving local identity and culture similar to the Western new nationalism.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (assumed office in 2014) and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been referred to as new nationalist. Modi is a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing paramilitary organisation aligned with the BJP, which has also been said to advocate a new nationalist ideology.
Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (assumed office in 2017), has also been identified as a new nationalist. He has been touted as a future Prime Minister of the country.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (assumed office in 2009), the leader of the Likud party, has been described both as promoting new nationalism, and as pursuing a foreign policy of close ties with other new nationalist leaders, including Trump, Orbán, Salvini, Putin, Modi, Bolsonaro, Duterte and Sisi.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (assumed office in 2018), head of the populist coalition Government of Change, and in particular Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister and the League's leader Matteo Salvini, were often described as new nationalists. Salvini has been described by some media outlets as the most powerful politician in the country, and a "de facto prime minister".
The 63rd and current Prime Minister Shinzō Abe (assumed office in 2012), a member of the right-wing organisation Nippon Kaigi, has promoted ideas of new nationalism, as does the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, which he leads.
The sixth and current President of Poland Andrzej Duda (assumed office in August 2015) is regularly cited as being a leading figure in the new nationalist movement within Poland. Furthermore, the ruling Law and Justice party and its United Right alliance, led by Jarosław Kaczyński, promoted nationalist views to win an outright majority in the national elections of 2015 (a feat never before accomplished). Despite not holding a government office, Kaczyński has been described as the figure who makes the "final call" on all major political issues in Poland.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin (second President of Russia from 2000 to 2008 and fourth President of Russia from 2012) has been labelled a new nationalist. Putin has been described by Hirsh as "the harbinger of this new global nationalism". Charles Clover, the Moscow bureau chief of the Financial Times from 2008 to 2013, wrote a book in 2016 titled Black Wind, White Snow: The Rise of Russia's New Nationalism. Russian nationalist thinker Aleksandr Dugin in particular has had influence over the Kremlin, serving as an adviser to key members of the ruling United Russia party, including now-SVR Director Sergey Naryshkin.
Russia has been accused of supporting new nationalist movements across Europe and in the United States.
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman (assumed office in 2017), has been described by Kristin Diwan of The Arab Gulf States Institute as being attached to a "strong new nationalism". The "new Saudi nationalism" has been used to bolster support for the Kingdom's economic and foreign policies, and represents a shift away from the Kingdom's earlier dependence on religion for legitimacy. Many of the country's foreign policy actions from 2017 onwards, such as its blockade of Qatar and its diplomatic dispute with Canada have been described as motivated by this nationalism. The policies of Mohammad bin Salman's administration have been heavily influenced by his adviser Saud al-Qahtani, who has been described as a "nationalist ideologue" and whose role has been compared to that formerly of Steve Bannon.
In 2014, Mustafa Akyol wrote of a new "brand of Turkish neonationalism" promoted by Justice and Development Party (AKP), the country's ruling party, the leader of which is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (assumed office in 2014). The Turkish "new nationalism" replaces the secular character of traditional forms of Turkish nationalism with an "assertively Muslim" identity.
Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has been described as creating a "new nationalist front" by forming the People's Alliance with Erdoğan's AKP in 2018. The MHP is affiliated with the Grey Wolves paramilitary organisation, which Erdoğan has also expressed support for.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, under the leadership of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed (assumed office in 2004), has been described as propagating a "new Arab nationalism", which replaces the older, leftist form of the Arab nationalist ideology with a more conservative form, through its strong support for the rise of the respective new leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Prince Mohammad bin Salman, as a means of countering Iranian and Turkish influence in the Arab states.
The 23 June 2016 referendum in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union ("Brexit") has been described as a milestone of new nationalism. Owen Matthews noted similarities in motives for support of the Brexit movement and Trump. He wrote in Newsweek that supporters of both are motivated by "a yearning to control immigration, reverse globalization and restore national greatness by disengaging from the wide, threatening world".
Matt O'Brien wrote of the Brexit as "the most shocking success for the new nationalism sweeping the Western world". Leaders of the Brexit campaign, such as Nigel Farage, the former leader of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (now of the Brexit Party); former London Mayor Boris Johnson; Vote Leave Co-Convenor Michael Gove; former Brexit Secretary David Davis; and European Research Group chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg, have been called "new nationalists".
Donald Trump's rise to the Republican candidacy was widely described as a sign of growing new nationalism in the United States. A Chicago Sun-Times editorial on the day of the inauguration of Donald Trump called him "our new nationalist president". The appointment of Steve Bannon, the executive of Breitbart News (associated with the alt-right), as White House Chief Strategist, was described by one analyst as arousal of a "new world order, driven by patriotism and a fierce urge to look after your own, a neo-nationalism that endlessly smears Muslims and strives to turn back the clock on free trade and globalization, a world where military might counts for far more than diplomacy and compromise".
In the wake of Trump's election, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has called for the Republican Party to embrace a "new nationalism" to oppose “economic elitism that has replaced a commitment to the dignity of work with a blind faith in financial markets and that views America simply as an economy instead of a nation."
The following politicians have all been described in some way as being new nationalists:
- Hamid Chabat, former Mayor of Fez (2003–2015) and leader of the Moroccan Istiqlal Party
- Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya (assumed office in 2013) and leader of the Jubilee Party of Kenya
- Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Opposition (South Africa) and party leader of Democratic Alliance
- Herman Mashaba, Mayor of Johannesburg (assumed office in 2016) and member of the Democratic Alliance
- Mario Abdo Benítez, President of Paraguay (2018–) and candidate from the Colorado Party
- Horacio Cartes, former President of Paraguay (2013–2018) and candidate from the Colorado Party
- Andrés Chadwick, Interior Minister of Chile (2012–2014; 2018–) and member of the Independent Democratic Union
- Juan Orlando Hernández, President of Honduras (assumed office in 2014) and candidate from the National Party of Honduras
- José Antonio Kast, Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile (2002–2018), independent presidential candidate in the 2017 presidential election and leader of Republican Action
- François Legault, Premier of Quebec (assumed office in 2018) and leader of the Canadian Coalition Avenir Québec
- Kellie Leitch, MP and 2017 candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada
- Iván Duque Márquez, President of Colombia (assumed office in 2018) and candidate from the Democratic Center
- Jimmy Morales, President of Guatemala (assumed office in 2016) and candidate from the National Convergence Front
- Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, the candidate from the Costa Rican National Restoration Party in the 2018 presidential election
- Kevin O'Leary, businessman and 2017 candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada
- Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia (2013–2015) and former leader of the Liberal Party of Australia
- Khaltmaagiin Battulga, President of Mongolia (assumed office in 2017) and candidate of the Mongolian Democratic Party
- Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand (assumed office in 2014) and prime ministerial candidate of the Phalang Pracharat Party in the 2019 general election
- Peter Dutton, Home Affairs Minister of Australia (assumed office in 2017) and member of the Liberal Party of Australia
- Park Geun-hye, former President of South Korea (2013–2017) and former leader of the Saenuri Party
- Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of North Korea (assumed office in 2011) and leader of the Workers' Party of Korea
- Hong Jun-pyo, former leader of the Liberty Korea Party and candidate in the 2017 presidential election
- Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan (assumed office in 2018) and leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
- Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand (assumed office in 2017) and leader of New Zealand First
- Najib Razak, former Prime Minister of Malaysia (2009–2018) and former leader of Barisan Nasional and the United Malays National Organisation
- Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia (assumed office in 1998) and leader of the Cambodian People's Party
- Prabowo Subianto, leader of the Great Indonesia Movement Party and candidate in the 2019 presidential election
- Abdulla Yameen, former President of the Maldives (2013–2018) and leader of the Progressive Party of Maldives
- Santiago Abascal, member of Basque Parliament (2004–2009) and leader of VOX (2014–)
- Andrej Babiš, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic (assumed office in 2017) and leader of ANO 2011
- Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria (assumed office in 2009) and leader of GERB
- Robert Fico, former Prime Minister of Slovakia (2012–2018) and leader of Direction-Social Democracy 
- Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, President of Croatia (assumed office in 2015)
- Nikola Gruevski, former Prime Minister of Macedonia (2006–2016) and former leader of VMRO-DPMNE
- Norbert Hofer, Transport, Innovation and Technology Minister of Austria (assumed office in 2017) and the candidate from the Freedom Party of Austria in the 2016 presidential election, which he lost by 46.2% to 53.8%
- Janez Janša, former Prime Minister of Slovenia (2012–2013) and leader of the Slovenian Democratic Party
- Panos Kammenos, former Defence Minister of Greece (2015–2019) and leader of the Independent Greeks
- Krasimir Karakachanov, Defence Minister of Bulgaria (assumed office in 2017) and leader of IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement
- Sebastian Kurz, Chancellor of Austria (assumed office in 2017) and leader of the Austrian People's Party
- Marine Le Pen, former leader of the French National Front and candidate in the 2017 presidential election
- Tomio Okamura, leader of the Czech Freedom and Direct Democracy
- Victor Ponta, former Prime Minister of Romania (2012–2015) and former leader of the Social Democratic Party
- Inger Støjberg, Danish Minister for Immigration, Integration and Housing (assumed office in 2015)
- Heinz-Christian Strache, Vice Chancellor of Austria (assumed office in 2017) and leader of the Freedom Party of Austria
- Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia (assumed office in 2017) and leader of the Serbian Progressive Party
- Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom
- Miloš Zeman, President of the Czech Republic (assumed office in 2013)
- Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Iraqi Sadrist Movement
- Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (assumed office in 2015)
- Tamim bin Hamad, Emir of Qatar (assumed office in 2013)
The following parties have all been described in some way as being new nationalist parties:
- Alternative for Germany
- The Danish People's Party, which provides parliamentary support for the governing coalition in Denmark (since 2015)
- The Finns Party, a former member of the governing coalition in Finland (from 2015 until party split in 2017)
- The Dutch Forum for Democracy
- The National Alliance, a member of the governing coalition in Latvia (since 2016)
- The Slovak National Party, a member of the governing coalition in Slovakia (since 2016)
- The Sweden Democrats
- The Swiss People's Party, a member of the governing coalition in Switzerland (since 2003)
- The United Patriots, a member of the governing coalition in Bulgaria (since 2014)
- The Flemish Vlaams Belang
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