The Dis-Integrative Revolution: The Rise of Populism, Nationalism, and Cultural Essentialism

A special issue of Humans (ISSN 2673-9461).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 283

Special Issue Editor

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Global Center for Religious Research, Denver, CO 80202, USA
Interests: anthropology; religion; violence; populism; authoritarianism; illiberalism; post-truth

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the 1960s, Geertz heralded an "integrative revolution" in which "primordial" identities and sentiments would give way to larger, more inclusive and cohesive systems such as multinational states. Decades before that, Boas predicted and celebrated the same processes. However, these hopes seem doomed, as the twenty-first century is witnessing a dis-integrative revolution. Not only “new states”, but old and supposedly firm liberal democracies, are yielding to partisan and populist identities and politics—often understood in ethnic or racial terms—that valorize local or national cultures and vilify the previously lauded forces and processes of integration, liberalization, and globalization.

Essays for this Special Issue are invited that explore—ethnographically, comparatively, conceptually, diachronically, or critically—the worldwide phenomenon of intolerant, separatist, illiberal, and often isolationist cultures and politics operating in the world today. Much of this attitude and practice seems to flow from a disillusionment with liberal democratic politics (for instance, “human rights”), a revival of exclusivist and essentialist “nationalist” cultures and identities (accompanied by more or less invented “traditional” cultures and histories), and fears of cultural loss or racial “replacement” through immigration. Topics could include:

  • Anti-globalization sentiments, policies, and activism;
  • Anti-immigration policies;
  • Border security, including border walls;
  • Neo-traditionalism, invented tradition, and the return of cultural essentialism;
  • Populist and illiberal politics and leaders;
  • Neo-nationalism and isolationism;
  • Disengagement from international institutions (e.g. Brexit, fraying of alliances such as NATO, withdrawal from multilateral organizations and treaties).

Dr. Jack David Eller
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humans is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • anti-globalization
  • disintegration
  • essentialism
  • illiberalism
  • nationalism
  • populism
  • traditionalism

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop