Postnationalism or non-nationalism[1] is the process or trend by which nation states and national identities lose their importance relative to cross-nation and self-organized or supranational and global entities as well as local entities. Although postnationalism is not strictly considered the antonym of nationalism, the two terms and their associated assumptions are antithetic as postnationalism is an internationalistic process. There are several factors that contribute to aspects of postnationalism, including economic, political, and cultural elements. Increasing globalization of economic factors (such as the expansion of international trade with raw materials, manufactured goods, and services, and the importance of multinational corporations and internationalization of financial markets) have shifted emphasis from national economies to global ones.

At the same time, socio-political power is partially transferred from national authorities to supernational entities, such as multinational corporations, the United Nations, the European Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and NATO. In addition, media and entertainment industries are becoming increasingly global and facilitate the formation of trends and opinions on a supranational scale. Migration of individuals or groups between countries contributes to the formation of postnational identities and beliefs, even though attachment to citizenship and national identities often remains important.[2][3][4]

Postnationalism and human rights

In the scholarly literature,[which?] postnationalism is linked to the expansion of international human rights law and norms. International human rights norms are reflected in a growing stress on the rights of individuals in terms of their "personhood," not just their citizenship. International human rights law does not recognize the right of entry to any state by non-citizens, but demands that individuals should be judged increasingly on universal criteria not particularistic criteria (such as blood descent in ethnicity, or favoring a particular sex). This has impacted citizenship and immigration law, especially in western countries. The German parliament, for example, has felt pressure to, and has diluted (if not eradicated), citizenship based on ethnic descent,[citation needed] which had caused German-born Turks, for example, to be excluded from German citizenship.[citation needed] Scholars identified with this argument include Yasemin Soysal, David Jacobson, and Saskia Sassen.[5]

In the European Union

European integration has created a system of supranational entities and is often discussed in relationship to the concept of postnationalism.[6][7][8]

In Canada

During the 2011 election, John Ibbitson argued that the fading issues of the "Laurentian Consensus" were responsible for turning Canada into the first post-national state.[9] In 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while defining Canadian values, also declared his country to be the world’s first post-national state.[10][11] Writing in Le Devoir in 2019, Robert Dutrisac described multiculturalism as an ideology associated with English Canada.[12] In opposition to the perceived shift toward post-nationalism in Canada, John Weissenberger has argued that it is the Laurentian elite themselves who have "diluted the 'Laurentian' nature of the class and boosted their disdain for national character."[13]

In the media

Catherine Frost, professor of political science at McMaster University, argues that while the Internet and online social relations forge social and political bonds across national borders, they do not have "the commitment or cohesiveness needed to underpin a demanding new mode of social and political relations".[14] Nonetheless, it has been argued the increasing options of obtaining virtual citizenship from established nations (e.g., E-Residency of Estonia) and micronations[15] can be seen as examples of what citizenship might look like in a post-national world.[16]

In sports

Postnational trends have been evident in professional sports. Simon Kuper called the 2008 European soccer championship (UEFA Euro 2008) "the first postnational" European Championship.[17] He argues that during the tournament both for players and fans sportsmanship and enjoyment of the event were more important than national rivalries or even winning.

See also


  1. ^ Bennett 1998, p. 232.
  2. ^ R. Koopmans and P. Statham; "Challenging the liberal nation-state? Postnationalism, multiculturalism, and the collective claims making of migrants and ethnic minorities in Britain and Germany"; American Journal of Sociology 105:652–96 (1999)
  3. ^ R.A. Hackenberg and R.R. Alvarez; "Close-ups of postnationalism: Reports from the US-Mexico borderlands"; Human Organization 60:97–104 (2001)
  4. ^ I. Bloemraad; "Who claims dual citizenship? The limits of postnationalism, the possibilities of transnationalism, and the persistence of traditional citizenship"; International Migration Review 38:389–426 (2004)
  5. ^ Yasemin Soysal, "Limits of Citizenship:Migrants and Postnational Membership in Europe," University of Chicago Press, 1994; and David Jacobson, "Rights Across Borders: Immigration and the Decline of Citizenship", Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996
  6. ^ M. Rambour; "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2008-07-02.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) (2005)
  7. ^ J. Shaw; "Postnational constitutionalism in the European Union"; Journal of European Policy 6:579–97 (1999)
  8. ^ M. Wilkinson; "German Law Journal - ESSAY: Postnationalism, (Dis)organised civil society and Democracy in the European Union: Is Constitutionalism Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?". Archived from the original on 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2008-07-02. (2002)
  9. ^ "The death of the Laurentian consensus and what it says about Canada". Retrieved 2019-12-08.
  10. ^ Tom Nuttall (28 May 2016). "Politicians must keep better control of migration, and tell the truth". The Economist. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  11. ^ Guy Lawson (8 December 2015). "Trudeau's Canada, Again". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Séduction multiculturaliste". Le Devoir (in French). 29 November 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  13. ^ Comment, Full (2019-12-05). "John Weissenberger: Meet the Laurentian Elite, the mediocre masters of Canada | National Post". National Post. Retrieved 2019-12-07.
  14. ^ C. Frost; "Internet galaxy meets postnational constellation: Prospects for political solidarity after the Internet"; Information Society 22:45–49 (2006)
  15. ^ Bicudo de Castro, Vicente; Kober, Ralph (2019-04-15). "The Royal Republic of Ladonia: A Micronation built of Driftwood, Concrete and Bytes" (PDF). Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures. doi:10.21463/shima.13.1.10.
  16. ^ Keating, Joshua (2018-06-26). Invisible countries : journeys to the edge of nationhood. Nelson, Bill (Cartographer). New Haven. ISBN 9780300235050. OCLC 1041140240.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  17. ^ Simon Kuper; "Steeds Liever"; Vrij Nederland p. 24, June 28, 2008