Sovereignty and nationalism

I’ve started a Blog series on the theme of nationalism and sovereignty, over at the H-Nationalism site. I’ve been motivated to write on the topic because of the increasing interest in the topic of sovereignty, particularly by authors and political actors who are promoting a nationalist agenda. This tendency has been particularly evident since the kicking off of the Brexit campaign in 2016.

The concept ‘sovereignty’ has crossed over into public discourse, as indicated by google searches for the term.

Google searches for the search term ‘sovereignty’, UK, Jan 2004-Oct 2020

There has also been a growth in use of the term in books published in ‘British English’ (i.e. mainly in the UK) during the 1980s, which went into decline at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and then took off again after 2011 (so preceeding, and not confined to, Brexit).

Books published in British English, that include the term ‘sovereignty’ in the text, 1800-2019, (as % of total in Google books database)

There also appears to be an association, in books published in the UK, between the concepts of ‘sovereignty’, ‘nationalism’ (since the 1920s) and ‘sovereignty’, ‘nationalism’ and ‘racism’, in the UK, since the 1980s.

Some of the topics that I am planning to cover in the Blog series include: uses of the concept of ‘popular sovereignty’ as a form of ‘color-blind’, (or disavowed), racism; anti-racist struggles to change conceptions of who are ‘the people’ in the UK; changing conceptions of ‘the people’ and changing forms of racism in the UK; sovereignty, Brexit, immigration and the ‘Irish’ border, and; sovereignty and the ‘Break up of Britain’. 

You can access my first Blog here, and the H-Nationalism Blog (which includes other writers) here.

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