Democracy and the failure of liberalism? : globalization and the reemergence of Orientalist essentialism in Hindutva's construction of fundamentalist Hindu identity
This dissertation demonstrates the emergent character of nationalism in conjunction with economic liberalism and global capitalism. It demonstrates how globalization and right wing fundamentalist nationalisms are mutually dependent. The cultural aggrandizement and glorification of the nation, an ugly reality in western industrialized countries, can be seen as a way in which states seek to engage productively with the processes of capitalist expansion and global competitiveness. In the post-colonial nation of India, the discourse of cultural unity and chauvinism takes particular forms that trace their lineages to the practices of colonial subordination and anti-colonial resistance. The Indian state's relatively recent open markets and the rise of Hindu Right-Wing movement invites us to reconsider the relationship between globalization and nationalism in more complex terms that takes cognizance of postcolonial agency. It also draws attention to the antidemocratic and illiberal effects of globalization. Across the globe, mainstream conservative parties have adapted to the rise of the far-right by co-opting some of their largest issues like religious fundamentalism, racial hegemony, and fear of the other. So far, that strategy has proven mostly successful, but this dissertation contends that a push for a well-informed and educated citizenry who can partake in nuanced dialogue is the way to the combat the rise of fundamentalisms.
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