The Relationship Between Nationalism and Globalization

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In the 20th Century: Nationalism and Its Impact

In the 20th century, the system of nationalism which was developed to promote the social, political and economic interests of specific information. Nationalists primarily established nationalism with the aim of countries gaining independence, self-governance or sovereignty and maintaining it in their homelands (Finlayson, 2014). During the 20th century, many nations, especially in Africa had been colonized by European nations. In a bid to regain their sovereignty, nationalist movements that were either cultural or political to struggle for autonomy in their nations. In some case, the movements used military tactics in their struggle so that they could preserve or regain their independence when there was a need. In other parts of the world, nationalism movements were developed so that people could identify with their cultural and national values (Guibernau, 1996). Many of the events that shaped the world in the 20th century were as a result of nationalism. Either civic or ethical reasons inspired nationalism movement.

The Negative Effects of Nationalism

During the 20th century, nationalism created some problems in the world. The ideology of nationalism was meant to make sure that people felt proud of their culture or nation and have a belief that their country or culture is more important than other cultures or countries. This affected the quality of life for many people in the world, having the belief that one is better or important than the other means that people will not be treated equally as they should be treated across the world. Because of this, nationalism created competition that was not necessary and that led to war in many cases. For instance, it led to World War I in which property was destroyed, and more than one million people died. Nationalism has also been blamed for the development of some of the most extreme movements during the 20th century such as Nazism. The love and pride that Hitler had for Germany made him develop one of the most extreme movements in history. Nationalism was also a threat to diversity that was being promoted at the time. The problems that were created as a result of nationalism were significant since they adversely affected the development of the world.

The Rise of Globalization

On the other hand, globalization is a process or system of integration and interaction that occurs between governments, companies or individuals throughout the world. The growth of globalization has been primarily attributed to the advancements being made on the fields of information communication technology and transportation. Globalization encourages the interaction of different people from different countries to interact and enjoy the diversity of different cultures around the world (Steger, 2017). This means that people from different countries need to respect each other and treat each other equally. In the 20th century, globalization majorly occurred because of economic and technological reasons. Through the advancement of technology, for instance, the inventions of airplanes, communication satellites, television sets, the internet, computers, and microprocessors allowed people to interact easily. Economically, world economic leader such as the United States developed trading agreements with other countries. Development in transportation also enabled people to migrate to different parts of the world. Through these developments, people from different parts of the world were able to interact easily.

The Conflicting Relationship between Nationalism and Globalization

The ideologies of nationalism and globalization endorse different forms of relationships between countries and people in the world. Nationalism is seen as an ideology that promotes the interests and values of a particular country or region, on the other hand, nationalism is a process that supports the integration and interaction of people throughout the world. The relationship between these two concepts is conflicting. Globalization strongly challenges the ideas and aspects that are supported by nationalism. For instance, the ideology of nationalism is meant to make people believe that they are better than the rest and that they can live autonomously, the process of globalization promotes the integration of people from different countries, it endorses the idea that people in a particular country cannot live autonomously without sharing with people who are in different parts of the world. Through nationalism, individuals are supposed to be proud about their countries and even engage in a struggle which is meant to protect their countries, globalization presents a different approach, it promotes interaction and integration which makes all people from different countries equal. Nationalism ideology promotes the independence of different countries and the abilities that the people in the countries have to govern themselves. Globalization supports this aspect of nationalism. The process of globalization is not meant to deny countries the opportunity to govern themselves or a sense of feeling in their countries. The process only supports the interaction and integration of people, governments, and companies from different countries. For this interaction to happen, people, governments, and companies from these nations need to make sure that they treat each other in an equal manner (Petersson, 2005). Unlike the ideology of nationalism where people can get into struggles to protect their countries, globalization promotes the integration of people from different nations.


Finlayson, A 2014, ‘Nationalism’, in V Geoghegen (ed), Political ideologies: an introduction, Taylor & Francis, Hoboken. pp. 99–120

Guibernau, M., 1996. Nationalisms: The Nation-State and Nationalism in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge: Polity. Google Scholar.

Petersson, N.P., 2005. Globalization: a short history. Princeton University Press.

Steger, M.B., 2017. Globalization: A very short introduction (Vol. 86). Oxford University Press.

November 24, 2023

Philosophical Theories

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Nationalism Globalization

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