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Globalization & Nationalism: A Recipe for Terror
Association for American Geographers (AAG) (2006)
  • Cari Bourette, Western Kentucky University
  • Daniel Reader, Western Kentucky University

Nationalism appears to be part of the human condition; it may well be related to the human tendency toward tribalism. Whatever the case, nationalism appears to be a permanent feature on the global landscape. Globalization, while not a new phenomenon by any means, seems to be having a tremendous dilutory effect on the sovereignty of states; it now appears to be carrying the assault to the cultural frontiers of nationalism. Unlike the Westphalian constructs, however, nations will not so easily succumb. There is a greater inherent resistance to change in nations; the only historically effective method has been outright eradication – genocide, in many cases. This being the case, nationalist interests often resort to any means at their disposal to defend their existence. Inasmuch as nations have no recognition, pursuant to the Peace of Westphalia (and its successor agreements), nations have no consistent power base; such as may be gathered is transient, and usually quite weak by comparison to most states. Violence is thus often the only means available for nationalist interests to defend their positions. We contend that this explanation sufficiently defines, and isolates the sole source of, terrorism. Further, the explanation is thoroughly normative, as there is an apparent solution. Nations resort to violence only in extremis; it is their last resort. Given the opportunity to voice their grievances in another, effective manner, nations would clamor for it, rather than resort to terrorism. Thus, the only potentially viable solution is for nations, or some of them, to be formally recognized, and granted true, palpable power in global discourse.

  • globalization,
  • nationalism,
  • terrorism,
  • sustainability,
  • united nations,
  • conflict
Publication Date
March, 2006
Citation Information
Cari Bourette and Daniel Reader. "Globalization & Nationalism: A Recipe for Terror" Association for American Geographers (AAG) (2006)
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