Think Tank (3/2020)
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Age of Rages: Nationalisms
19 May 2020
Yasmine Wong

The Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) organised a webinar series titled “Age of Rages: Nationalisms”. Three webinars have been held so far between 19 May and 16 June.

The series began with Nationalisms in Hong Kong and China featuring speakers Chi Kit Chan, Associate Professor, the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong and Florian Schneider, Senior University Lecturer, Leiden University as well as and Li Mingjiang, Associate Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies as discussant. Chan explored the potential of “stateless nationalism” to capture the dynamism of Hong Kong’s calls for political independence, while Schneider drew attention the role of technology in the development and distribution of Chinese nationalist narratives. Li emphasised that nationalism has become part of the Chinese social structure.

During the second webinar on Nationalism and the Far Right, Daphne Halikiopoulou, Associate Professor, University of Reading, shared how far-right parties in Europe use civic nationalist discourse to broaden their mainstream appeal. Speaking on a different element of far-right discourse, Bernhard Forchtner, Associate Professor, University of Leicester, explored the intersection of environmental and far-right narratives. The discussant, George Hawley, Associate Professor, University of Alabama exposed nuanced differences between far-right movements in the US and Europe.

The third of the series saw Professor Manjari Katju from the University of Hyderabad and Professor Mahinda Deegalle from Bath Spa University as speakers on the topic of Nationalisms and Religion. Both spoke on the rise of religious nationalisms in South Asia, with Katju focusing on Hindutva in India, and Deegalle discussing Siṅha‘lē’ in Sri Lanka. The discussant, Dr Ronojoy Sen, Senior Research Fellow, National University of Singapore, concluded the webinar by delving into the origins of Hindutva and its role in mainstream politics today.

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