Critical Philosophy of Race 7 (2):333 (2019)

Authors
Daniel Alejandro Restrepo
The New School (PhD)
Abstract
The recent nationalist movements in liberal democratic states such as the US, the UK, and Germany have been related to xenophobia. The rise of Trumpism brands Muslims and Mexicans as outsiders, while part of the motivation behind Brexit was animosity towards non-Britons like Poles and Muslims. The question is how are nationalism and xenophobia related. According to Ronald Sundstrom, nationalism shelters xenophobia by creating obstacles that prevent immigrants and refugees from attaining a sense of civic belonging. He uses the metaphor of sheltering to suggest that xenophobia becomes a byproduct of nationalism in the right conditions. I think this is a misunderstanding of the relationship between nationalism and xenophobia. In this essay, I do three things: first, I articulate Sundstrom’s argument explaining how each of the three obstacles works to produce an environment of xenophobia; then I consider what reforms might look like, yet these reforms would no longer leave us with something that we can recognize as nationalism; lastly, I argue that nationalism just is the modern day manifestation of xenophobia and so they are inseparable social phenomena.
Keywords xenophobia, nationalism, political philosophy
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DOI 10.5325/critphilrace.7.2.0333
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