Eritrea Goes Global: Reflections on Nationalism in a Transnational Era

Abstract

Many scholars have seen globalization and transnationalism as ushering in a postnational era. The new nation of Eritrea serves as an example suggesting that transnationalism does not only operate in opposition to nationalism but can also work to reinforce it. Eritreans in diaspora helped to liberate Eritrea from Ethiopia and continue to participate in the economics and politics of Eritrea. Official constructions of Eritrean citizenship and the national community take this into account in surprising ways. Theories of globalization, transnationalism, and the wired world that emphasize their unboundedness and their unifying and universalizing effects overlook the ways in which people reimagine community and nation and reassert local loyalties and identities even as they engage in global processes and inhabit transnational spaces.

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