Nationalism and Antisemitism: A study on their rel.. (ReNatAntisem)
Nationalism and Antisemitism: A study on their relations, continuities and discontinuities from a sociological, political and historical perspective
Start date: Jul 1, 2009,
End date: Jun 30, 2011
The aim of the project is to shed light on the connections between antisemitism and forms of political community, the guiding assumption being that nationalism has a major impact onto the manifestations of antisemitism. By means of a sociological, political and historical comparative study the manifold relationships of nationalism and antisemitism shall be traced through the 20th century in order to approach the question of “postnational constellations” (Habermas) and their impact on nationalist ideologies in current Europe. What is the designation of antisemitism in “postnational Europe”? – This is a central question of this research. As antisemitism is understood neither as a unitary nor as a static phenomenon, the continuities and discontinuities of antisemitic prejudices and their being situated in the respective social, political and historical contexts are of primary concern. The project combines an in-depth theoretical study with two empirical case studies conducted via reconstructive hermeneutic text analysis. The fin de siècle-years will be an angle on which the development of nationalism and antisemitism are analysed. Thereby, central consideration will be paid to German Youth Movement in which antisemitic and nationalist elements amalgamate to an antimodernist reaction to modernism. As second and major case study, the discourses of today’s Anti-Globalisation Movement shall be analysed as to how antisemitic, voelkisch, nationalist and antisemitic elements are used. In the way many no-global texts operate with simplifying strategies (personalisation, dichotomisation, images of world conspiracy) they show parallels to the discourses used by the voelkisch movements at the beginning of the century. Obviously, there is still a need to interpret the complex structures of modern world in simplifying terms, for which nationalism and antisemitism provide precast instruments. By means of these two case studies the specific interferences of nationalism and antisemitism shall be deciphered with regard to continuities and discontinuities alike.
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