004 - Globalisation and Nationalism

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

The correlation between increased globalisation and renewed nationalism/tribalization.


The processes of globalisation have the power to create growing nationlism/tribalization sentiment in populations.


  • To be able to describe and explain the correlation between increased globalisation and nationalism/tribalization.

  • To have knowledge of two detailed examples to illustrate geopolitical tension/conflict associated with nationalism/tribalization.

Key Terminology

            • Deglobalisation Wave

            • Emerging Market Economies

            • Tribalisation

            • Populism

            • Nationalism

Define the key terms above by using the 'Useful Links' below:

Useful Links

Activity One - Describe

Before we look at specific examples of geopolitical tension it would be good to investigate whether there is a link between globalisation and rising discontent.

      • Read the two articles in the 'Useful Resources' box and make notes on whether there is a link between globalisation and the rise in discontent.

Activity Two - Detailed Example - Brexit

Brexit is an ideal example to investigate as a country which has increasing geopolitical tension due to its national borders becoming less distinct. There is tension on a global scale due to the reach of the UKs trade links and migration. It is happening on a regional scale as Europe resents the fact that the UK wants control over its own laws and borders and are weakening the power block of the EU. There is also tension on a national and local scale as the population of the UK were not uniorm in their willingness to leave the EU. How has the UK got to this point? And what are the potential geographical impacts of Brexit at varying scales?

      1. Using the map below describe where the leave and remainers are located on a national scale?

      2. Explain the pattern of the votes. Consider where the economic hubs are and the resulting infrastructure.

      3. How did anti-globalisation movements within the UK move from a left wing view to a right wing view?

      4. How can Brexit impact globalisation?

Image One - Brexit - Red equals leave and blue equals remain - NYT Map

Activity Two - Detailed Example - Boko Haram

Boko Haram are a civil society militant group who are based in northeastern Nigeria but are also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon. They were initially set up in 2002 with the key aim to 'purify Islam in northern Nigeria'. They oppose the Westernisation of Nigerian Soceity and therefore their attacks on the population reflect this. They are specifically opposing the wealthy elite, which also happen to be Christian, as 173 million Nigerians live on less than $1 a day. From 2015 Boko Haram became aligned with ISIS and is now percieved to be one of the deadliest terror groups. They have bombed UN buildings and created so much fear from the mass abductions of school chioldren (the infamous kidnapping of 276 school girls happened in 2014) that 2.3 million people have become displaced.

      1. Who are Boko Haram?

      2. Why are they opposing Westernisation?

      3. What are they doing to show that they are rejecting Westernisation?

      4. How successful have their campaigns been?

Exam Style Question

Using named examples, examine the role globalisation plays in growing nationalism/tribalisation. [12 marks]

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com