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Charisma and communities of feeling

Nations and Nationalism

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["Nations and Nationalism, Volume 27, Issue 1, Page 130-147, January 2021. ", "\nAbstract\nTheories of nations and nationalism have serious problems when dealing with the concept of charisma. Besides frequent conceptual confusion, the concept of charisma is predominantly observed from either the structuralist position or the perspective of psychological reductionism. Charisma is so often sought in the properties of an office, within an ideology, character of a leader or general socio‐economic circumstances of an epoch. In the example of the commonly examined case—that of Hitler—this article argues that charisma is a property of experience and it is the emotional reaction of the audience that validates it. This article builds on Erika Fischer‐Lichte's theory of performance to argue that successful performances of charisma create a type of community that is not based solely on common beliefs but more importantly on shared emotions and experiences. Studying charisma as a property of experience is a step toward understanding the emotional character of nationalism itself.\n"]