Chapter 2: The populism-nationalism nexus
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Whereas early scholarship on European populism often conflates populism with nationalism, recent works have conceptually distinguished the two phenomena, understanding each in terms of its own discursive pattern. This theoretical breakthrough enables a more thorough understanding of their relationship, highlighting the existence of multiple configurations, from transnational to nativist-nationalist populism. These configurations hark back to two types of community - ‘the nation’ and ‘the people’ - whose boundaries are contingent and often contested. The relationship between populism and nationalism depends on how ‘the nation’ and ‘the people’, as meaningful identities, are constructed in a given context and on their political articulation with related concepts such as sovereignty, democracy and citizenship. This points towards the importance of studying populism and nationalism also in relation to (a) intended political strategy and (b) meaningful sedimentations that enable or disrupt political intentions.

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