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John B. Judis: The Nationalist Revival

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In Conversation with Ruy Teixeira

Trump in America, Brexit in the U.K., anti-EU parties in Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, and Hungary, and nativist or authoritarian leaders in Turkey, Russia, India, and China -- Why has nationalism suddenly returned with a vengeance? Is the world headed back to the fractious conflicts between nations that led to world wars and depression in the early 20th Century? Why are nationalists so angry about free trade and immigration? Why has globalization become a dirty word?

Based on travels in America, Europe, and Asia, veteran political analyst John B. Judis found that almost all people share nationalist sentiments that can be the basis of vibrant democracies as well as repressive dictatorships. Today's outbreak of toxic "us vs. them" nationalism is an extreme reaction to utopian cosmopolitanism, which advocates open borders, free trade, rampant outsourcing, and has branded nationalist sentiments as bigotry. Can a new international order be created that doesn't dismiss what is constructive about nationalism? As he did for populism in The Populist Explosion, a runaway success after the 2016 election, Judis looks at nationalism from its modern origins in the 1800s to today to find answers.

John B. Judis is Editor at Large, Talking Points Memo, and previously a senior editor at The New Republic and a senior writer for The National Journal. He is the author of The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics, one of the first books to explain Donald Trump's historic candidacy, as well as seven other acclaimed books about politics and international relations. He has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The American Prospect, and The Washington Post.

Ruy Teixeira is a senior fellow at American Progress and co-director of the States of Change: Demographics and Democracy project, which documents and analyzes the challenges to democracy posed by the rapid demographic evolution of the United States from the 1970s to the year 2060. Teixeira’s book The Emerging Democratic Majority, written with John Judis in 2002, was the most widely discussed political book of that year and generated praise across the political spectrum. His most recent book is The Optimistic Leftist: Why the 21st Century Will Be Better Than You Think.

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