Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

International Affairs

First Advisor

Benjamin Teitelbaum

Second Advisor

Vicki Hunter

Third Advisor

Thomas Zeiler

Abstract

Through personal interviews with young nationalists from Belgium, Hungary, and Sweden, I seek to understand what motivates young people to identify with far-right nationalism in Europe. By providing an individual-level investigation of what motivates young Europeans’ nationalist ideology, I deliver a humanized, nuanced, and multidimensional understanding of nationalist views for young people in Europe. This analysis demonstrates that nationalism in Europe is not the same across different countries. With my sample set of Belgium, Hungary, and Sweden, representing Western, Central, and Northern Europe respectively, it is clear that nationalism varies according to the context within which it exists. In addition to exposing the differences, the research reveals similarities across the interview subjects including feelings of patriotism and self-proclaimed national love, an anti-establishment and rebellious nature, aversion to outsider groups, a call for traditionalism and resistance to change, and rhetoric which frames national identity against a domestic ‘other’ group.