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Fear of the Russian bear? Negotiating Finnish national identity online

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Nations and Nationalism

Published online on


["Nations and Nationalism, Volume 28, Issue 3, Page 861-876, July 2022. ", "\nAbstract\nNational identities are an important tool for collective political persuasion and mobilisation among political elites and lay people. Recent research on nationalism has shown that the negotiating of national identities, like any political deliberations and operations, increasingly occur on the Internet. In this study, we contribute to this research by examining the relational construction of Finnish identity online. More specifically, we focus on how the users of the largest discussion forum in Finland constructed Russia as a threat. A massive dataset spanning 12 years enables us to map the recurring patterns and temporal shifts in the discussions. We show that the construction of Russia as a threatening national other was used to both oppose and support Finland's alliance with the West, namely, becoming a member of NATO.\n"]