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The Price of Goodness: Everyday Nationalist Narratives in Denmark

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One of the most important political issues in Denmark today is the new upsurge of nationalism. This reached its height at the two latest general elections in Denmark, which in many ways struck the left with surprise and shock. The purpose of this paper is to try to make sense of this situation. The paper falls into four parts. After introducing the problem and contextualizing it in the “new” Europe, we provide a short presentation of the theory, methodology and analytical strategy behind the article. In the third section, we identify two conflicting discourses in current Danish debates on this issue. In the fourth section, we argue that in order to understand the present situation, a much more differentiated understanding of nationalism and its (re-)construction in everyday life is needed. Here such an understanding is pursued on the basis of an interview analysis of narrative constructions of nationalism conducted in a medium-sized Danish town. This, finally, is taken as the background for discussing the present advancement of nationalism in Denmark as interference between particular and more “universal” factors.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark; ,, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2007


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