Rising Micro-Nationalism and Self-Determination
The panel on “Rising Micro-Nationalism and Self-Determination” which is organized by Euro Politika Quarterly with the support Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) was held on March 9, 2019. At the panel, why and how micro-nationalism, which is one of the most important outcomes of the evolution of the far-right parties in Europe in recent years, has spread rapidly to the European continent are discussed in the framework of immigration, security, and political-economy by experts, academicians, and journalists.
The panel was composed of speeches of four different speakers and moderated by BİLGESAM General Coordinator Elnur Ismayıl. Prof. Dr. Ayhan Kaya who is a lecturer at İstanbul Bilgi University and Head of Jean Monnet Intercultural Politics, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özgür Ünal Eriş from 29 May University Political Science and International Relations Department, Dr. Sezgin Mercan From Başkent University and Journalist Sezin Öney attended the panel as guest speaker.
The first speaker Prof. Dr. Ayhan Kaya evaluated the reasons behind the rise of populism and populists rhetoric that is gaining strength by giving brief information about approaches defining populism. Kaya pointed out that the past was emphasized in the absence of utopias and indicated the central parties were desperate to find a solution to the social, political and economic crisis that lasted since the 1970s. He also underlined that populism is not a cause of the current problem but, it is a result of the issues that have been experienced for a long time.
In the next part of the panel Assoc. Prof. Dr. Özgür Ünal Eriş held the floor, and analyzed the economic crisis that is on the current agenda of the European Union and tendencies of electorates to vote for far-right parties in countries that are migration route for Syrian migrants who flee from Syrian Civil War with reference to Karl Deutsch's "security community" concept and to the critique of traditional/realist security approach and Security Building theories of Copenhagen School.
As the third speaker, Dr. Sezgin Mercan gave a speech on "Separatist Codes in Europe and Approaches in Spain’" in a theoretical framework and then mentioned on stateless nations especially by focusing on Catalonia and by linking its political situation with Hobsbawm arguments about Catalans. He analyzed the region through 3 elements that are determinants of separatism that are ethnicities, language, and culture.
Journalist and Political Scientist Sezin Öney, the last speaker of the panel, indicated that after a long period of conflict between separatist Catholics and pro-union Protestants in Northern Ireland, "Good Friday Agreement" which was signed 21 years ago, was considered to build a permanent peace in Northern Ireland however after Brexit, the tension between Northern Ireland and England has aroused again due to border problem. She stated that the recent explosion in Londonderry revealed that those caught were members of a terrorist organization called The New IRA, and this led increased tension in Northern Ireland and also the demands for independence of Northern Ireland were being raised out loud. Öney underlined that this situation has already caused Scotland to reintroduce its demands for independence, while the United Kingdom's most loyal ethnic group, Wales, has voiced its demands for independence too and analyzed that the rising micro-nationalism wind in Europe has made itself felt every day. After speeches of Prof. Dr. Ayhan Kaya, Associate Dr. Özgür Ünal Eriş, Dr. Sezgin Mercan, and Journalist Sezin Öney; the panel ended with the questions and opinions of participants.