Question of the Month: December

Simon Purdue's picture

H-Nationalism’s Question of the Month series offers a forum for discussing the big questions surrounding research, pedagogy, and practice in the field of nationalism studies and the history of nationalism. Use the reply feature to join the conversation! Email Simon Purdue ( of Northeastern University if you’d like to propose a question of you own. If you need technical assistance with logging in and posting comments, please contact H-Net’s Help Desk (

Dear Subscribers,

It is hard to believe that we're already launching the final Question of the Month of 2020. This year has brought unprecedented challenges for all of us and I'm sure we're all hoping for a less eventful 2021. This year has brought into stark focus the importance of the study of nationalism, and has made very evident the ways in which nationalism can find its way into discourse surrounding topics ranging from epidemiology to disasters both natural and distinctly manmade.

Although it feels like a lifetime ago, prior to the rapid global spread of COVID the story of 2020 seemed destined to be defined by the catastrophic Australian wildfires that ravaged the outback. Only months later, amidst the very worst of the pandemic, California was hit by the worst fires the state had seen in a generation. These fires and the responses to them have inspired this month's question, as we ask:

What is the relationship between nationalism and environmentalism or ecologism?How has the mainstreaming of ecologism over the last twenty years affected nationalist discourse, and how has nationalism impacted upon the environmentalist movement? What do the responses of national governments to environmental disasters tell us aboout the relationship between nationalism and environmentalism or ecology? Finally, as we are seeing self-annointed eco-fascist groups emerge both in Europe and the United States, what does the future of the intersection between extreme nationalisms (racist psuedo-nationalisms included) and radical ecologism look like?

As always we eagerly anticipate your responses on this timely and interesting question. Please spread the QOTM far and wide, and we encourage you to introduce your students to the series if this question is of relevance to your class. 

Best wishes,

Simon Purdue -- Network Editor