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What factors make nationalism a force in world politics, particularly in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, and Libya?

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Two salient factors in the issue of nationalism in world politics are the union of religious issues with issues of politics and the shifting global economic profile resulting from globalization. nationalism is ill-defined by scholars. The best current definition is that of Graham Evans and Jeffrey Newnham, who emphasize that nationalism is a psychological characteristic that can have good or ill effects:

This term is used in two related senses. In the first usage, nationalism seeks to identify a behavioral entity - the nation - and thereafter to pursue certain political and cultural goals on behalf of it. In the second usage, nationalism is a sentiment of loyalty toward the nation which is shared by people. (Evans and Newnham qtd. in Charles Hauss)

Egypt, Syria, Tunisia and Libya are four countries that illustrate the effect on world politics of the union of religious issues with political issues. While there are internal struggles between religious faction, with each faction aspiring to embody the definitive concept of nationalism, there are external conflicts that are triggered by the demands of religion on the arena of world crises. For instance, as Eygpt's opposition faction assaults Islamist President Morsi's faction, Obama has withdrawn all nonessential U.S. personnel and U.S. funded military has warned it might take over is violence becomes widespread. Obama warned that instability in Egypt has international effects "more broadly."

Globalization, which in theory attempts to open markets and multinational opportunities (at an unspoken environmental and cultural cost), has had a reverse effect on nationalism: globalization has fostered a resurgence of nationalistic psychological feeling that emphasizes an "us-them" perspective on world politics. This is especially evident in African nations where IMF and NGO loans for medical, educational and infrastructure advancement have proven to have a hidden impact of environmental damage.

Recently and dramatically in the Middle East and, ever more so, in Africa, nationalism’s complex interrelationship with religion has added yet another volatile dimension to the challenge.  Perhaps most significant—and perplexing—has been the interplay between nationalism and the integrative, technologically driven-imperatives of a globalizing world,... (Geneva Center for Security Policy)

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