Lunch Briefing

Tuesday 26 March 2019, 12:30 - 13:30

Is Nationalism Contagious?

Michael Goebel

Associate Professor of International History and Pierre du Bois Chair Europe and the World

Auditorium A1A
Maison de la paix, Genève

Though scholars have long warned that globalisation neither flattens difference nor erases political claims-making under the banner of national belonging, the speed and forcefulness of the past years’ rise of nation-firsters around the world has baffled social scientists. Some see the present rise of nationalism and right-wing populism as a, perhaps cyclical, response to dislocations promoted by global economic changes; others are more inclined to focus on changes in the public sphere, social media and ideological contagion.

Short of explaining today’s resurgence of nationalism, this Lunch Briefing seeks to provide some historical depth to the current discussion by inquiring into historiographical debates concerning the global spread of nationalism. Specifically the talk relates these debates to the disciplinary developments in history during the last decades, such as the rise of global history and campaigns against “methodological nationalism.”

Michael Goebel is Associate Professor of International History and Pierre du Bois Chair Europe and the World at the Graduate Institute.
Prior to joining the Institute in 2018, he worked at Freie Universität Berlin, Harvard University, and the European University Institute, Florence. Though a historian of Latin America by training, he has grown increasingly interested in the intersection of global and urban history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, postcolonialism and nationalism. His most recent book, which won the Jerry Bentley Prize in World History, is Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third World Nationalism (Cambridge University Press, 2015).