Date of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Joseph J. St. Marie

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Robert J. Pauly, Jr.

Committee Member 2 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 3

Tom Lansford

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 4

Iliyan Iliev

Committee Member 4 School

Social Science and Global Studies


Nationalism is nothing new to Europe. While theoretical explanations of the catalysts of post-1989 European nationalist phenomena remain contested along material and non-material lines, this dissertation posits that it is the interaction of economic insecurities, societal fears, and populism over time that have shaped the rise and types of post-1989 European nationalisms. Fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) is combined with a collective case study design to examine: 1) how forces – political, economic, societal, or other – have dominated the formation and latest surge of European nationalisms since the end of European Communism in 1989; and 2) whether different, context-dependent types of European nationalisms exist as a result. The five cases examined – Germany, Italy, Hungary, Ireland, and Sweden – extend the scope of earlier methodological efforts by: 1) recognizing the intersectionality of economic, societal, and political variables; and 2) are geographically, economically, culturally and politically representative of all Europe. Findings indicate that while modest generalizations across the cases can be drawn, there is no universal trend or type of post-1989 European nationalism. This is because national identities and their expressions depend critically on the claims people attach to them in different economic, cultural, and political contexts and times. Thus, nationalism – its origins, dynamics, and types – are unique, evolutionary, and context-dependent. With some historic and symbolic features that are continuous, they adapt to transforming landscapes to guarantee a sense or perception of belonging, national self-determination, and economic, cultural, and political autonomy.