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This book offers a concise mapping of the concept exceptionalism, interconnecting uses of exceptionalism typically studied in isolation from each other. Associated with narratives of nationhood that understand the country in terms of uniqueness, it is a term that has been utilised by leaders and pundits eager to confirm the preparedness of the nation to face challenges. This volume crucially provides an analytical and comparative approach, investigating the meaning and uses of the concept of exceptionalism, while demonstrating the ways in which it manifests itself in different historical and geographical settings. Exceptionalism offers comparative case studies from different parts of the world, showcasing the way in which exceptionalism has come to occupy an important narrative position in relation to different nation states, including the US, the UK, the Nordic countries, various European nations and countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. An introduction to and overview of a term that has come to define the past and present identity of many nations, this book will appeal to scholars of sociology, anthropology, geography, cultural studies and politics.
Table of Contents
1. From Colonial to Postcolonial Exceptionalism
2. Welfare state exceptionalism in the Nordic countries and Britain
3. Nation-building and Nation Branding
4. Altered states of exceptions: Africa-Europe/ US-Latin America
5. Exceptionalism in the Times of Crisis and Pandemics
Lars Jensen is Associate Professor at Cultural Encounters in the Department of Communication and Arts, at Roskilde University, Denmark. He is the author of Postcolonial Denmark. Nation Narration in a Crisis Ridden Europe and Postcolonial Europe, and co-editor of Crisis in the Nordic Countries and Beyond and Whiteness and Postcolonialism in the Nordic Region.
Kristín Loftsdóttir is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Iceland. She is the author of Crisis and Coloniality at Europe’s Margins: Creating Exotic Iceland and the co-editor of Whiteness and Postcolonialism in the Nordic Region; Messy Europe; Teaching ‘Race’ with a Gendered Edge; and Topographies of Globalization.