Reconfiguring nationalism: Transnational entanglements of Hindutva and radical right ideology
AbstractThis dissertation explores a minority within the Indian diaspora who support the radical right in the West. It highlights the Brexit referendum and Trump’s election in 2016 as manifestations of the radical right, which provided an opportunity to merge the ideology of Hindutva (or Hindu nationalism) with these phenomena. This dissertation traces the historical origins and growth of Hindutva in India, its reformulation with the diaspora in the UK and US, and its convergence with the Brexit and Trump campaigns. It engages with scholarship in nationalism studies, as well as diaspora and radical right literature, focusing on the conceptual overlaps between these fields. Over the course of five articles, it combines a genealogical approach, online-based methodologies, and semi-structured interviews in order to demonstrate that Hindutva and radical right ideology are operationalised at multiple scales and sites. This dissertation finds that transnational entanglements between Hindutva and the Western radical right results in an ideological hybridity, in which exclusionary elements within each are brought forth and merged into a new expression by virtue of the Indian diaspora acting as a bridge between these movements. Such transnational dynamics aim to reinforce and reproduce not competing, but complementary nationalisms. Consequently, the boundaries of inclusion and exclusion in identity making are constantly being redefined within nationalist imaginaries.
List of papers
|Article I: Hindutva as a variant of right-wing extremism. Eviane Leidig. Patterns of Prejudice, 2020, DOI: 10.1080/0031322X.2020.1759861. The paper is included in the thesis. Also available (Open Access) at: https://doi.org/10.1080/0031322X.2020.1759861|
|Article II: From cyber-Hindutva to Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkar: (Trans)national entanglements of Hindu diaspora political integration. Eviane Leidig. Published in: Political Integration in Indian Diaspora Societies / Ruben Gowricharn (editor). Routledge, 2020. ISBN 9781138346857. https://www.routledge.com/Political-Integration-in-Indian-Diaspora-Societies/Gowricharn/p/book/9781138346857 The paper is included in the thesis.|
|Article III: Immigrant, nationalist and proud: A Twitter analysis of Indian diaspora supporters for Brexit and Trump. Published in Media and Communication, special issue ‘Communicating on/with Minorities’, Volume 7, Issue 1, pages 77-89, 2019. DOI: 10.17645/mac.v7i1.1629. The paper is included in the thesis. Also available in DUO: http://urn.nb.no/URN:NBN:no-78161|
|Article IV: New forms of civic nationalism? American and British Indians in the Trump and Brexit Twittersphere. Eviane Leidig, Bharath Ganesh, and Jonathan Bright. Submitted to Nations & Nationalism, special issue ‘Digital Nationalism, Social Media, and Strongmen’. Published as: Leidig, E., Ganesh, B., & Bright, J. (2021). New forms of cultural nationalism? American and British Indians in the Trump and Brexit Twittersphere. Nations and Nationalism, 1– 20. DOI: 10.1111/nana.12781. The paper is included in the thesis. Also available (Open Access) at: https://doi.org/10.1111/nana.12781|
|Article V: Looking back, looking forward: Nationalist imaginaries of Indian diaspora supporters of Brexit and Trump. Eviane Leidig. Unpublished manuscript (included in the thesis).|