Farewell to Universalism: Nationalism and Xenophobia after the “End of History”

Milisavljević, Vladimir (2019) Farewell to Universalism: Nationalism and Xenophobia after the “End of History”. In: Xenophobia, Identity and New Forms of Nationalism. Series Edited Volumes . Institute of social sciences, Belgrade, pp. 293-316. ISBN 978-86-7093-223-4

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The last few decades have brought about a significant change in the character of nationalism in Europe and, more widely, in the Western world. Quite paradoxically, nationalist politics is nowadays no more justified by appealing to biological or cultural superiority of one’s own nation or by the belief in its universal historical mission (e.g., “civilizing through colonial rule”), but rather by seemingly more modest arguments concerning equality, justice, right to difference, autochthony or even liberal democracy. This new defensive stance of today’s nationalism has allowed for a normalization of the right-wing political parties in institutional political life. However, it has not stopped xenophobia, but merely helped it to gain a more respectable face and spread more widely across the political spectrum. I argue that the rise of Western nationalism can be explained by the decline of universalism in philosophy, social sciences and citizens’ political sensibility in general. I also suggest that xenophobia and nationalism are supported not only by explicitly differentialist concepts, such as postmodernism or pragmatism, but also by some unquestioned presuppositions of political liberalism. This point is substantiated by an analysis of Fukuyama’s thesis about the “end of history” and of Rawls’ concept of international justice, in particular as to their treatment of the immigration problem.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: culture, difference, nationalism, universalism, xenophobia
Institutional centre: Centre for philosophy
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2019 08:22
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2019 08:22
URI: http://iriss.idn.org.rs/id/eprint/254

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