Nationalism and political symbols, legitimacy and identity of political actors, European and post-Soviet regions
Higher education and employment history
PhD degree in political sociology, nationalism and legitimacy studies at the University of Oslo. Master’s degree in European Studies from Aarhus University in Denmark and Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University in Lithuania.
‘(In)visible Power of the State: National Flag, Nation and State in post-1990 Lithuania’
This thesis examines the tensions that arise between the nation and the state in the process of symbolic nation-building in post-Soviet Lithuania. It contributes to the study of symbolic national identity construction in Eastern Europe and post-Soviet space by investigating how nationhood and statehood are perceived in the legal, parliamentary and semi-public discourses of Lithuanians who have spent their formative years in post-1990 Lithuania, concerning the national flag after independence from the Soviet Union.
As regards symbolic nation-building, the official state discourse appears to prioritize the fostering of civic awareness and emotional attachment of the nation towards the state, over attempts to solve issues relating to the unity and cohesion of the national community itself. However, this focus on the perceived fragility of statehood, with attempts to strengthen its importance within national community, may also lead to a discursive separation between the nation and the state rather than rapprochement between the two. Reserving matters of the state for politicians, political institutions or experts, thereby excluding the nation, may contribute to the persistence of symptoms of political apathy and alienation among the populace.
By contrast, national cohesion and inter-ethnic co-existence emerge as key preoccupations within focus group discussions conducted for this study. Ethnic-based tensions were seen as existing not only between different ethnic groups in Lithuania but also between the state and its ethnic minorities. Nevertheless, official and semi-public discourses show that the Lithuanian nation-state has managed to establish its overall legitimacy. This does not make it unassailable, but moderates the ways in which social criticism, dissatisfaction and protest are expressed.
- Kesylytė-Alliks, Eglė (2018). State, Nation and National Flag in the Post-Soviet Lithuania: Legitimating Identities of the State within Institutional and Social Discourses. Nationalities Papers. ISSN 0090-5992.
- Kesylytė-Alliks, Eglė (2017). Discursive construction of Lithuania’s “others:” the case of Belarus. Nationalities Papers. ISSN 0090-5992. 45(1), s 80- 95 . doi: 10.1080/00905992.2016.1250068
- Kesylytė-Alliks, Eglė (2017). “Locked Up” in Nation States: Perceptions of the Relations between the State and National Community within Political and Social Discourse in Lithuania. Druzboslovne razprave. ISSN 0352-3608. 33(85), s 73- 89
- Kesylyte-Alliks, Egle (2017). (In)visible Power of the State: National Flag, Nation and State in post-1990 Lithuania.
- Kesylytė-Alliks, Eglė (2016). National flags and negotiation of collective identities: A study of public and social discourses.