Theorists of post-nationalism examine the (re)configuration of national identity, membership and rights. Yet while normative scholarship has conceptualized post-nationalism as an ongoing practice of discursive contestation over the role of national group membership in liberal democratic societies, more empirical studies have tended to overlook these features to predominantly focus instead on top-down legal and political institution-building as evidence of post-nationalism. In this article I argue in favour of an empirical conceptualization of post-nationalism which more effectively captures micro-level practices of discursive contestation. Specifically I posit that post-national activists, or actors engaging in post-national practices of contestation from within the state, are a key focus of analysis for scholars of post-nationalism. I develop this claim through the analysis of data collected with individuals working on civil society campaigns for migration rights in Europe, Australia and the USA who–I demonstrate–embody many of the characteristics of the post-national activist.
Bibliographical note© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
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Funding: British Academy, grant ref. SG142335.
- human rights