Pandemics and other crisis situations create ‘unsettled times’, or ontologically insecure moments when social and political institutions are in flux. During such crises, the ordinary and unnoticed routines that structure everyday life are thrust into the spotlight as people struggle to maintain or re-create a sense of normalcy. Drawing on a range of cases including China, Russia, the UK, and US, we examine three categories of everyday practice during the COVID-19 pandemic that respond to disruptions in daily routines and seek a return to national normality: performing national solidarities and exclusions by the wearing of facemasks; consuming the nation in the form of panic buying and conspiracy theories; and the enforcing of foreign policies through social media and embodiment. This analysis thus breaks with existing works on everyday nationalism and banal nationalism that typically focus on pervasively unnoticed forms of nationalism during settled times, and challenges approaches to contentious politics that predict protest mobilization for change rather than restoration of the status quo ante. In highlighting the ways that unsettled times disrupt domestic and international structures, this work also presents a first attempt to link everyday nationalism with growing work on international practices.
- everyday nationalism
- foreign policy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations