President Trump petulantly attacked U.S. allies at the G-7 summit in Quebec, then dashed off to Singapore to heap praise on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. You couldn’t ask for a more vivid illustration of the illiberal spirit that shapes his “America First” doctrine.
But Trump is hardly alone in embracing hyper nationalism. According to PPI President Will Marshall, illiberal nationalism is the common thread running through the three most potent threats to the democratic world: the rise of national populism, especially in Europe; Russia’s reversion to despotism at home and adventurism abroad; and, the emergence of China’s autocratic capitalism as a plausible alternative to market democracy.
Marshall elaborated on the dangers of neo-nationalism in comments prepared for the Biennial Colloquy on the State of Democracy, organized in Rome this spring by the Centro Studi Americani. That commentary follows: