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Nationalism and environmentalism: The case of Vauban


Nations and Nationalism

Published online on


["Nations and Nationalism, EarlyView. ", "\nAbstract\nAlthough nationalism has been identified as the dominant ideology of the modern era, and environmentalism is the 21st century rising star, few studies address the relationship between them. The consensus seems to be that they are hardly compatible, considering that nationalism is a boundary‐building phenomenon while environmentalism advocates for the safeguarding of the environment beyond national borders. Drawing on evidence from fieldwork in the region of Freiburg‐im‐Breisgau, near the French‐German border, our study challenges this assumption. Not long ago this was a heavily militarised territory and a place of historical national friction between France and Germany, yet now it has been converted to, and rebranded as, a model of a successful, environmentally friendly region. Rather than wearing down nationalist sentiments, national pride has been reinvigorated as the vestiges of German nationalism have been buried under a thick layer of environmental paint; this time national pride is grounded not in the military power of the nation but in its defence of the environment. Through this case study, framed within the lens of nationalism theories, we argue that nationalism has the potential power to adapt to harmful heteronomous threats such as environmentalism, leverage on and bond with them and finally re‐emerge even stronger.\n"]