Nationalism and Illiberalism - A Dangerous Pair

Plenary Sessions

Recent years have seen the rise of two seemingly disparate, yet undeniably related, social phenomena: the renaissance of nationalism, and the emergence of illiberal backlash. These trends are observable around the world in transitional or hybrid regimes, but also in established democracies. Nationalism comes with significant political, economic, and cultural implications; it restricts multilateral cooperation, disrupts trade, and inhibits work on shared problems like climate change. Domestically, meanwhile, nationalism produces tension between regions and ethnic groups, endangering the social cohesion within countries. While evidence abounds of nationalism’s potential harms, many observers increasingly worry about the effects of illiberal tendencies in the public sphere. The coupling of nationalism and illiberalism pose a serious threat to democratic and liberal institutions, principles, and values, both domestically and internationally. This roundtable will discuss the implications of renationalization and illiberal backlash from different regional perspectives.