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Banal Nationalism Disputes in Venezuela: 1999–2019

À propos de cet article


Michael Billig's idea of “banal nationalism” is a useful concept to approach a frequently neglected aspect of Venezuelan political disputes in the past 20 years. In Billig's formulation, banal nationalism is the constant reaffirmation of a nation's identity, through the display of national symbols. After Hugo Chavez rose to power, there were changes to Venezuela's flag, coat of arms, and banknotes. This aroused disputes that served as a micro-cosmos of Venezuela's larger confrontation. This article reviews the disputes over the changes made to those national symbols. It concludes that, although political and economic issues are at stake in Venezuela's current crisis, there are also ongoing culture wars. In that sense, an analysis of Venezuela's recent crisis would be incomplete without a consideration of its banal nationalism disputes.