War broke out, and it became clear that constitutional equality could not exist; instead Bosnia-Herzegovina faced a brutal partitioning whereby the Serbs would always be the outvoted minority (The Economist 2003: 26). The more intensely public opinion within a state tends to regard the frustrations of its own hopes and expectations. It can be argued that psychologically, all collectivities, such as states, tend to generate hostility towards outer groups as a means of achieving inner solidarity (Northedge 1976: 266).
The present formation of units larger than the nation-state as is the case of the European Union (EU), is a route to demise international tension whilst maintaining a nationalist feeling, thus states learn to lives with differences and make efforts to see that their differences do not get out of hand (Northedge 1976: 275). Often, efforts made to eliminate conflicts between states only creates more tension, and perhaps the safest rule is to accept that a degree of tension is inevitable in inter-state relations, but that it may be reduced and made more manageable (Northedge 1976: 275).
Modern politics are controversial and global and in that sense there are many implications in nationalism towards international order. International order today is regulated and headed by the United Nations. Formed in 1945, according to the Charter, the UN has four purposes: to maintain international peace and security; to develop friendly relations among nations; to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations (United Nations 2003: 12).
The UN is the largest organisation in history composed entirely of nation states. As such, it is probably also the most nationalist organisation in history, providing the means to help resolve international conflicts and formulate policies on matters affecting all of us (United Nations 2003: 12). Thus, it is inextricably linked to the idea of nationalism. A fundamental truth about nationalism is that as a universal ideology it is already global, in the sense that there is an almost undisputed world order of nation states.
Combine this with the formal equivalence of globalism and nationalism. With the dawning of the information age there has been a shrinking of relative distances between people and places all over the world. As expressed by Held, globalization can engender an awareness of political difference as well as an awareness of common identity (Spencer & Wollman 2002: 159), with an increase in international communication comes an increase in cultural sharing. Cultures all over the planet reflect influences of neighbouring cultures and other international trading partners.
Nationalism, which is far beyond its peak, has reshaped the political world. Region associations are developing and the growth of transnational relations is inevitably leading the state system to undertake a global political organization, crucial to international relations. Today it is common to see cross-cultural exchanges often rising from or result in common interests or concerns developing. All cultures are continually evolving and the information age has increased the ability of one culture to influence another culture.
As all cultures begin to adopt features of other cultures the population of the planet begins to develop a homogenous culture. The creation and spread of global culture is complex, timely, and far-reaching. The evolution of this ethnic melting pot or global village installs fear in some and jubilation in others, being a reality for all. For this to occur fruitfully, there should be an undertaking on the part of national societies not to institute restraints on the expansion of the cultural awareness of its people (Romulo 1964: 55).
Transnational social movements, movements where participants seek to influence the policies and actions of nations and international organizations, have been growing. Organizations such as Greenpeace or Amnesty International are strong catalysts of the global community. They operate on three different levels, individual, national, and international. By tying individual concerns into national and international concerns these organizations are able to address issues on a level that is not hindered by any language, ethnic, or national barriers.
Still, possessive nationalism is stronger than incipient internationalism (Birch 1989: 224) and in order to take the final step towards the success of the international system, there must be evidence of public loyalties towards supranational organizations. The global village is a stage that has great potential but faces great change. Change instils fear in many people. Those people who are afraid of change and anything that is different from the norm tends to find comfort in nationalism. They feel safe and secure when amongst familiar surroundings.
In this way, nationalism once again proves not only its significance towards international relations and contemporary world politics, but also its importance to smaller communities. There are constant criticisms towards globalization that incite more nationalism as well. Those who advance globalization tend to be both shocked by the economic gulf separating the industrialized states from the Third World (Birch 1989: 223). This struggle is reflected in the developing nation shouts of nationalism.
At the same time it can be argued that the growth of wider global form of political organization, that has gains loyalties as do political parties and leaders in nation-states, is necessary to provide a more equitable distribution of economic resources (Birch 1989: 223). Many nations take pride in their national quirks, and this is just another reason for nations to fear the effects of the global community. It possesses great potential for economic prosperity by way of the strong partnerships and cooperation that exist. Working together the people of this planet will have no restrictions.
It is only the fear of some that hinders the growth of the global village. Thus, nationalism being a ‘space’ for each ‘race’, a territorialisation of each social identity is evolving by becoming both local and global (Spencer & Wollman 2002:165). The process of deterritorialization is a crucial one for undermining traditional nationalism, because it is a central force in the modern world bringing labouring populations into the lower class sectors and spaces of relatively wealthy societies, while sometimes creating intensified senses of criticism or attachment to politics in the home state (Appadurai 1990: 11).
Migration will continue to support the forming of the global village weather or not the citizens have access to the technologies that are so difficult to separate from it. One nation is nationalism, federations of nations are nationalism, and the United Nations are nationalist: we live in a world increasingly driven by nationalism. In conclusion, the growing interests and concerns that nation-states have about security and stability show an increased trend towards global integration. This integration is fed by nationalism since it gives people the same need to rule and make decisions about international issues and the future of the planet.
The global view on nationalism, the historical and political changes that have taken place since the Cold War, and the theoretical proposals of international relations, sum up to prove that it is a positive, dynamic concept that presents opportunities for new forms of political identity. Understanding nationalism allows for prioritization within a common framework, demonstrating that it is possible to shift successfully from the formerly bipolar nature of international relations to a multipolar view (Price 1995: 23) that gains momentum and benefits more citizens of the world.