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Nationalism in the Digital Age

Nationalism in the Digital Age

Type of Group

Initiative group/Network group

Area Focus

Transregional research group


Krisztina Lajosi
Joke Hermes

External partners

Dr Margit Feischmidt (Hungary, Hungarian Academy of Science, Budapest and Pécs University)
Dr Samuel Greene (UK, King’s College London)
Dr Amr Hamzawy (USA, Stanford University) 
Dr Janroj Yilmaz Keles (UK, Middlesex University, London)
Dr Carly Machado (Brazil, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro)
Dr Paul Mepschen (Netherlands, University of Amsterdam)
Sriram Mohan, MA (USA, University of Michigan)
Dr Pál Nyíri (Netherlands, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Dr Florian Schneider (Netherlands, Leiden University)
Dr Damien Stankiewicz (USA, Temple University, Philadelphia)
Dr Cathrine Thorleifsson (Norway, University of Oslo)

Research programme

The main aim of the research group Nationalism in the Digital Age is to study the interactions between the recent upsurge of nationalism and digital social media from a global and comparative perspective. How are localized nationalist movements influenced by algorithms that transcend national boundaries? How does technology shape the construction of national identity in the 21st century? How do internet policies impact national politics? The rise of nationalist movements and the political and cultural role of social media platforms have received significant attention in both academia and the media; but understanding the impact of technology on society and culture (and vice versa) requires exchange, collaboration, and comparison across disciplines and communication among various cultural and linguistic contexts.

There are a number of studies about the effects of social media on individuals, or social groups such as children or youth, but the large-scale effects of digital culture on collective (national) identity have not been thoroughly examined. How has the development of the internet influenced the relationship of the local to the global? How does global differentiation generate local integration? Has the “national” gained a new meaning through its digital reconstructions?  

A global and comparative perspective can shed light on the thoroughly transnational nature of the new digital nationalism. How do social media affect national or ethnic identity politics? How are the old concepts of national identity (myths of origin, heroes, national narratives in art, music, and literature) remediated in digital space, and how do they convey new political messages? How are the traditional guardians of nationhood (the print media, educational and cultural institutions) affected by the new media?

The interdisciplinary approach of this group will promote intellectual exchange and cross- fertilization by bring together expert researchers reflecting on nationalism and digital media cultures in a global context.

The goals of the research group are to:

  1. study the complex relations between 21st-century nationalism and digital media;
  2. organize a network to consolidate existing collaborations between scholars in the field of nationalism and digital media;
  3. organize workshops and expert meetings;
  4. prepare major grant applications;
  5. publish research results;
  6. reach out to a broader public and create partnerships with civil organizations.

Aims 2018-2021

The main aims of this research group are to

  1. consolidate the existing research network among scholars of digital nationalism in a global context;
  2. prepare a major grant application (ERC, Horizon, etc.).

Current projects

Nationalism, Netizens, and Social Media in a Comparative Global Context: workshop on 7 December 2018 (funded by a Cutting Edge AIHR grant and co-funded by ARTES) with a group of international scholars to discuss the current state of research in the field, to develop further ways of collaborating, and to discuss strategies for major grant applications.

Valorization activities

Contributing contextual information for the Dutch television program Nieuwsuur