Politics of Peoplehood: the Birth of a New Nation?

  • Nuria Sánchez Madrid Complutense University of Madrid
Keywords: Peoplehood, Partisanship, Populism, Republicanism, Orwell, Laclau; Ypi, Žižek, Benhabib


The political legitimation of nation states traditionally tended to claim homogeneity requirements that often exclude large sections of population. Taking this account of the traditional correspondence between nationality and state as a backdrop, I will attempt to sketch a new conception of peoplehood not based on class, race or religious membership, but on the acceptance of manifold social differences and on the construction of new belonging models. Basically I will suggest the exploration of new avenues of political research about the future of the nation with the following main goals: a) to argue for the persistence of differences among the members of a society at a global scale as a positive feature able to remove deep prejudices and biased views about the others, b) to highlight the prejudices that the neoliberal frame of the EU has supposed in the West Balkans area and c) to criticize the ideological resistance stemming from the idea of a nation state that usually turns down the birth of new nations in history as the result of wrongly solved conflicts. My claim for a politics of peoplehood as a regular source of conflicts and demands, which shouldn’t be viewed as a civil failure or breakdown, will be especially inspired by some texts from Seyla Benhabib, Slavoj Žižek and Lea Ypi focusing on the necessary updates that the conditions of membership and political participation ought to include in our current times.



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