SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

The Ideological Multiplicity of New Nationalism

Dr Sivamohan Valluvan

Date: 6 January 2016Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 6 January 2016Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G52

Type of Event: Seminar

The British political landscape is currently undergoing a defining transition – being remade by increasingly aggressive populist-nationalist movements (‘new nationalism’) that assert a set of related anxieties concerning immigration, multiculturalism, Muslims, Europe and globalisation. When recent political developments across Europe are seen collectively, it might reasonably be mooted that the contemporary historical ‘conjuncture’ (Hall, 1978) is best bracketed by this toxic revival of a diffuse European nationalism (Carvalho, 2015; Fassin, 2014).

This talk aims to explore how this newly configured nationalist ascendency draws upon and ‘sutures’ (Hall, 1996) a number of contradictory, conflicting and politically disparate rationalities (Gilroy, 1987). Resisting the tendency of much contemporary analysis to attribute a unitary (generically Rightist) character to this emergent nationalism, the talk aims to sketch how its heightened appeal and reach hinges on processes by which multiple new racist ‘political rationalities’ (Brown, 2006) converge at crucial points. Some of the traditions which this talk will touch upon include: classical value-liberalism; resurgent anti-market Left communitarianism; neoliberal individualism and the racialised pathologization of poverty; some feminist sexual freedoms and liberation rhetorics; strands of environmentalist conservationism; as well as a more orthodox phalanx of conservative or neoconservative nostalgia for the putative unity, stability and public morality of pre-war, colonial whiteness.

 About the speaker

Sivamohan Valluvan is a lecturer in Sociology, University of Manchester. Valluvan’s research interests lie in ‘race’ and racism, nationalism and cosmopolitanism, consumerism, urban inequality, and social and cultural theory more broadly. His doctoral thesis, awarded in 2014, explored urban multiculture as lived in both London and Stockholm. On-going and future research areas include the rise of a new European nationalism which traverses a range of ideological and cultural repertoires; the resurgence of religious identity and consciousness and its implications for the sociology of ‘race’ and racism; and also, the affective and spatial dimensions of contemporary urban inequality, with particular emphasis on consumerist practices of social identity, urban access and morality.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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