Navigating Nationalism and Religion in an Age of Populism and Inequality

Prof. Mark Farha
Open Panel

Has globalization run its course? Must we consign the optimistic promises of convergence theory and cosmopolitanism to the dustbin of history?
Are we witnessing the fulfillment of Huntington's curse of a clash of civilizations?
With increasing inequalities and the crumbling of the liberal elite, populisms of various stripes have risen to fill the void across the globe.
While Europe, South America and the Far East has seen a resurgence of patriotic pride, the Middle East has seen a rise of Islamist parties.
This panel shall grapple with the following questions, both from a global-comparative and nation-based perspective:
What are the conceivable reasons for this sudden rise of religious and secular nationalisms and chauvinisms?
Are apologists for populism and religious politics correct to identify the bankruptcy of the liberal state as the chief culprit?
If so, how do economic inequality and levels of injustice correlate with instability?
Or are the claims of the nativist parties and religious fundamentalists merely a fig leaf hiding a destructive thirst for power and domination which needs to be contained? Moreover, where can political scientists draw the distinction between constructive patriotism and destructive nationalism? How can we distinguish between legitimate desires for religious freedoms and hidden agendas of sectarian hegemonies?