Elina Kränzle


Nation, Culture, Public Space
How Nationalist Practices, Discourses and Representations Redraw National Boundaries in Cologne and Vienna 

Summary   In recent years, European cities have witnessed the resurgence of populist political movements, mobilizing against immigration and demanding protection of the ‘national people’. Their demands for national sovereignty against the ‘paternalistic’ EU have been expressed from both right- and left-wing parties and have brought with it a discourse on national culture. This research focuses on the spatial conditions, operations and implications of the witnessed political tide through exploring nationalist appropriations of public spaces in Austria and Germany. It examines political movements and everyday practices in the cities of Vienna and Cologne with a focus on nationalist notions and practices in contrast to the multicultural and cosmopolitan life and understanding of these cities. The analysis does not provide a holistic analysis of rightist and conservative intellectual trends, ideologies and social contexts, but zooms in on the spatial aspects evident in nationalist ideology, appropriation and mobilization strategies in public space, and thus their relation to the ‘urban’ and to ‘cities’. The research asserts that while in past decades the nation-state and nationalism used to be constituted primarily through territorial borders and borderlands, in spatial peripheries between countries and nations, today they are re-made in the centre, in public space, in everyday life. The main aim of the research is to understand how public spaces have been rendered central arenas in establishing, continuing, and furthering anti-or ethno-pluralist, xenophobic and nationalist ideas. Another aim is to pay attention not just to the overt protests and demonstrations but to expose more subtle patterns of everyday- and popular nationalism and transnational nationalism, a form of nationalism that is developed and expressed outside the state territory of the nation, in the public spaces of diversified cities. ​
Supervision   Prof. Dr. phil. DI (FH) Sabine Knierbein (TU Wien, Austria)
Scholarship   Promotionsförderung der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes