Cultural globalisation

My second line of research revolves around the broad impact of cultural globalisation on nationalism/ethnic conflict, exploring how both are deeply related to changing – yet crucial – political concepts, such as democracy [21-25], self-determination [26], new notions of sovereignty [27, 28], war [8, 29], the Left-Right divide [12, 30-32] and ‘secularised’ ethno-religion [33].

This second line of research is deeply interconnected with the first through the common thread of the politics of culture. Both state-led cultural homogenisation and market-driven cultural globalisation refer back to unilateral or unidirectional processes of cultural diffusion, imposition and engineering – despite a body of literature indicating a pluri-directional set of processes (Giddens, Held, Turner). In fact, a successful sub-area focuses on the eminently pluri-directional use of the internet, covering the impact of cultural loss on nationalist radicalisation among online diasporas [34]. This adds yet another layer by contributing to theorising the complex multi-layered interaction between cultural diversity and globalisation.

Among several initiatives in this area, a conference on ‘Nationalism and the Market’, which I co-organised with the University Paris 1 SciencePo and the University of Rome La Sapienza, has resulted in the presentation of various paper proposals by both established and emerging scholars (soon to be collected in a volume that I am co-editing).

The general framework for these articles, book chapters and initiatives remains my long and well-established research expertise on the centrality of cultural practices, symbols and traditions in initiating, sustaining and terminating ethnopolitical conflicts. As a corollary, cultural revivals, intergenerational continuity, cultural heritage, cultural vitality and creativity play a crucial, yet overlooked, role in implementing peace processes and reinforcing institutional legitimacy. The broader goal is to theorise the connection between culture and peace.

Two articles in high-ranking journals [22, 35] and two book chapters [36, 37] have explored and bridged these two lines of research, and also form part of a book project on ‘Beyond Nation-Statism: Globalisation, Post-Sovereignty and Cultural Diversity’ (provisional title).

The two lines of research reflect, and connect with, my previous work on Basque and Catalan nationalism [38], occasionally updating it, as in a recent article that explores how neoliberal globalisation contributed to reshaping the practices of interculturalism and multiculturalism in Catalonia [39]. The latter study reconnects with both my first and second lines, redefining interculturalism/multiculturalism as the flip-side of cultural homogenisation in the era of globalisation. In fact, both lines of research are clearly interconnected, as they deal, respectively, with the nation-state and the ‘market’ as arenas of cultural homogenisation.

In the meantime, my previous research expertise in Basque and Catalan nationalism is still in great demand and continuously sought for projects involving the Basque Country and Catalonia, whether in the form of book chapters, research project evaluations, article refereeing, conference presentations, keynote speeches, radio interviews, international collaborations, and so on.