Advertisement

Nationalism Without Nationalism? Dutch Self-Images Among the Progressive Left

  • Josip Kešić
  • Jan Willem Duyvendak
Chapter

Abstract

Kešić and Duyvendak address a specific and often overlooked Dutch solution to a more general problem: how to enact the nation and nationalism without being nationalist? They focus on the least likely case of a least likely case: a left-progressive nationalist discourse in the Netherlands. Through detailed analysis of cultural and political examples from the period between 2005 and 2013, they show how by distancing themselves from right-wing nationalism, left-progressives consciously and proudly identify with, defend, promote and enact Dutchness as anti-nationalist nationalism. Counterintuitively, they demonstrate that being critical, ironic, postmodern, international and self-denigrating by no means undermines nationalism. Rather, it produces chauvinist national essentialism with exclusionary effects. Thus, this study sheds new light not only on an overlooked aspect of nationalism in the Netherlands, but also on nationalism more generally: attitudes considered incompatible with nationalism prove to produce the very same nationalism, though in more subtle, paradoxical and therefore unexpected ways.

Keywords

National Identity National Feeling Collective Memory Moral Progress National Identification 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Arndt, A. (2007). North/South. In M. Beller & J. Leerssen (Eds.), Imagology. The cultural construction and literary representation of national characters: A critical survey. New York: Rodopi.Google Scholar
  2. Commissie Ontwikkeling Nederlandse Canon. (2006). De Canon van Nederland. The Hague: Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.Google Scholar
  3. Commissie Ontwikkeling Nederlandse Canon. (2007). De Canon van Nederland. The Hague: Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.Google Scholar
  4. De Swaan, A. (2004). About the misconception that the Dutch don’t have an identity of their own. Accessed March 22, 2013, from http://deswaan.com/about-the-misconception-that-the-dutch-dont-have-an-identity-of-their-own/. Original title: Over het misverstand dat de Nederlanders geen eigen identiteit hebben. In: De Gids, May/June (Special Misverstand Nederland).
  5. Duyvendak, J. W. (2011). The Politics of Home: Belonging and Nostalgia in Western Europe and the United States. Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  6. Het Filosofisch Kwintet. (2013). Geschiedenis en identiteit. Accessed July 20, 2013, from 16 June, http://www.npo.nl/het-filosofisch-kwintet/16-06-2013/VPWON_1192761
  7. Leerssen, J. (2000). The rhetoric of national character: a programmatic survey. Poetics Today, 21(2), 265–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Leerssen, J. (2006). National thought in Europe: A cultural history. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Leerssen, J. (2009). Foreword. In S. Jakobsson (Ed.), Images of the North. Histories–Identities–Ideas. New York: Rodopi.Google Scholar
  10. Meijer, H. (2011). Vrijzinnig nationalisme. Tijdschrift de Helling, 24(3). Accessed January 8, 2013, from http://bureaudehelling.nl/artikel-tijdschrift/vrijzinnig-nationalisme.
  11. NRC Handelsblad. (2006). Er bestaat niet zoiets als de identiteit van een land: Frits van Oostrom wil een levende geschiedenis van Nederland. 16 October.Google Scholar
  12. NRC Handelsblad. (2007). Identiteit? Praat liever over binding. 13 October.Google Scholar
  13. Pels, D. (2005). Een zwak voor Nederland. Ideeën voor een nieuwe politiek. Amsterdam: Anthos.Google Scholar
  14. Schinkel, W. (2007). Denken in een tijd van sociale hypochondrie: Aanzet tot een theorie voorbij de maatschappij. Kampen: Uitgeverij Klement.Google Scholar
  15. Van Ree, E. (2002). The political thought of Joseph Stalin: A study in twentieth-century revolutionary patriotism. London: Routledge Curzon.Google Scholar
  16. Van Reekum, R. (2012). As nation, people and public collide: Enacting Dutchness in public discourse. Nations and Nationalism, 18(4), 583–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Van Reekum, R., & Duyvendak, J. W. (2012). Running from our shadows: The performative impact of policy diagnoses in Dutch debates on immigrant integration. Patterns of Prejudice, 46(5), 445–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Van Reekum, R. (2014). Out of character: Debating Dutchness, Narrating Citizenship. Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  19. Van Rooij, H. (2013). In de ernst ging het mis met het koningslied. Accessed November 3, 2013, from 30 April, http://www.socialevraagstukken.nl/site/2013/04/30/in-de-ernst-ging-het-mis-met-het-koningslied/

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josip Kešić
    • 1
  • Jan Willem Duyvendak
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations