Cultural Politics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Zoom)


Friday, May 20, 2022, 1:00pm to 2:30pm


Online Only

"How do Variations of Nationalism affect Variations in Domestic and International Conflict?"

Attend this event via Zoom (advance registration required)


Benny Miller, Visiting Scholar, Weatherhead Scholars Program. Full Professor of International Relations, School of Political Sciences, University of Haifa.


Ilana Freedman

This event is online only. Please click the "Read More" link for full instructions on how to attend this seminar.


Panagiotis RoilosFaculty Associate. George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies, Department of the Classics; Professor of Comparative Literature, Department of Comparative Literature, Harvard University.

Dimitrios Yatromanolakis, Associate Professor, Department of Classics, Department of Anthropology, and the Humanities Center, The Johns Hopkins University.

Remote Access Information:

To join by computer:

Please note: This event requires registration in advance in order to receive the meeting link and password.


This paper aims to provide a novel theoretical framework for explaining the effects of nationalism on conflict. Yet, nationalism is not monolithic or even dichotomous. I go beyond that to distinguish among five types of nationalism (liberal; stateless; consolidating; irredentist; and populist). The variations in the type of nationalism explain variations in peace and conflict in different parts of the world. The variations of types of nationalism, in turn, reflect the combined effect of variations in two independent variables: state capacity and national congruence. National congruence refers to the correspondence between national identities and borders. The general theoretical argument advanced in the paper provides an explanation for the recent rise of nationalist-populism (and the related domestic polarization) in the West and in other democracies in a comparative perspective with other types of nationalism and the conflicts they generate. There are also trans-border linkages between variations in national identity. Thus, the absence of a common national identity in weak states produces failed states, which, in turn, affect the reinforcement of populism in the West by exporting (not necessarily by design) migration and terrorism. Thus, paradoxically, some of the weakest states in the international system affect a major transformation in some of the highest-capacity states in the world by reinforcing the rise of populism. Such a rise of populism—as well as of revisionism and failed states—poses severe challenges to the liberal international order.