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Deadly exceptionalisms, or, would you rather be crushed by a moral superpower or a military superpower?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5123-1357
2018 (English)In: Political Geography, ISSN 0962-6298, E-ISSN 1873-5096, Vol. 64, p. 83-91Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this essay, I consider the ways in which nationalism in both the U.S. and Sweden relies on notions of exceptionalism, and I discuss what this means materially for their own populations and for the world. The analysis consists of two lines of attack against both these assumptions of exceptionalism – one focusing on psychological processes and the other political economy processes. I examine the historical development of the ideas of U.S. and Swedish exceptionalism, and consider the roles of ignorance, denial, and projection in maintaining these problematic ideas. Through the use of a materialist definition of racism, I show how the nationalist ideology of exceptionalism in these two cases harms the well-being of their own citizens as well as citizens of other states. I argue that a combination of the psychological and political economy approaches are necessary if we are to both understand the power and impact of exceptionalism as a nationalist ideology and to be able to effectively work against their tendency to “crush” marginalized groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 64, p. 83-91
Keywords [en]
Exceptionalism, Nationalism, Ideology, Racism, U.S., Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-350509DOI: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2017.12.007ISI: 000432759900009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-350509DiVA, id: diva2:1204939
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P11-0754:1Available from: 2018-05-09 Created: 2018-05-09 Last updated: 2018-08-13Bibliographically approved

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Jansson, David

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