Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


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Gerald Sider

Committee Members

Michael Blim

Jane Schneider

Gerald Sider

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Many early studies of globalization hypothesized a withering away of thee nation-state as a significant arena for the production of identity and social regulation. From this perspective the persistence of nationalism and resurgence of neo-racism in Europe have often been seen as a futile rear-guard defense by downwardly mobile classes or class fractions. More recent studies have suggested that rather than fading away, the nation and state have been undergoing a process of re-articulation. However, exactly how the nation and state are being re-articulated, and the implications of this process for our understanding of nationalism and national identity formation, are still unclear. Drawing on ethnographic data gathered from fieldwork in rural Greece during 2002–2004, I argue that the resurgence of ethnic nationalism has been instrumental to the incorporation of rural Greek communities into the globalized political economy of the European Union and its particular type of neoliberal political system. Greek farmers today are almost totally dependent on immigrant labor from Albania and other Eastern European countries. The presence of immigrants resolves a fundamental contradiction in the political economy of the E.U., namely the labor crisis created by social and economic liberalization. Racism and nationalism have become, paradoxically, fundamental elements of neoliberal governmentality and crucial techniques in the production of social elements of neoliberal governmentality and crucial techniques in the production of social relations of production and consumption. In contrast with earlier eras, the complex of racial, ethnic and national identities are being produced through a novel arrangement of nation and state. As institutions that focus and shape national identities, such as the mass media, have been largely privatized, the nation has come to be perceived as "against" the state. The resistance of the nation against the state appears on the one hand to absorb the opposition to the neoliberal project of the state while at the same time subsidizing and facilitating its implementation.


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