Aspen Ideas Festival: John Judis on ‘The Nationalist Revival’

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Journalist and author John Judis says nationalism doesn’t start with political ideology, it starts with psychology and sentiment. And he says a sense of national identity is important to sustain a democracy.

Zanny Minton Beddoes opened the session by quoting two current world leaders:

President Trump said “I’m a nationalist, OK?”

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May said “If you consider yourself a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere, you don’t know what the word citizenship means.”

What is the distinction between patriotism and nationalism?

Judis and Beddoes agreed that some of the rise in nationalism can be attributed to three underlying factors: insecurity, loss of identity and fear. Another factor that plays a role is the scale and pace of immigration.

Judis says America “has always been a country of immigrants … and we’ve always had these blowups over immigration.”

John Judis is an author and journalist. He has written eight books, most recently “The Nationalist Revival: Trade, Immigration and the Revolt against Globalization,” and “The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics.”

An editor at large at Talking Points Memo, Judis was previously senior editor of The New Republic for 20 years and a senior writer at The National Journal.

The moderator was Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of The Economist. The event was held June 25, 2019 at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado.

To listen to their conversation click the audio player above.

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