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Why Nationalism Reviews

Why Nationalism by Yael Tamir

Why Nationalism

Yael Tamir

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1 review

Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 18 Jan 2019
ISBN: 9780691190105

Why nationalism is a permanent political force--and how it can be harnessed once again for liberal ends Around the world today, nationalism is back--and it's often deeply troubling. Populist politicians exploit nationalism for authoritarian, chauvinistic, racist, and xenophobic purposes, reinforcing the view that it is fundamentally reactionary and antidemocratic. But Yael (Yuli) Tamir makes a passionate argument for a very different kind of nationalism--one that revives its participatory, creative, and egalitarian virtues, answers many of the problems caused by neoliberalism and hyperglobalism, and is essential to democracy at its best.

2 stars out of 5
Nick Cohen
12 Feb 2019

"Yael Tamir offers an upmarket version of contemporary cliches. She is more wine bar than saloon bar"

The first sign that we may need to call her a cab comes when she slips uncritically into the language of Steve Bannon. Before the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote, “globalists” dominated politics. By “globalist”, she does not mean the handful of bankers and executives who can move from excessively well-remunerated job to job but hundreds of millions of voters in the west who live in cities and have broadly liberal instincts. The casual misuse of language matters because it allows her to dismiss vast numbers as corporate elitists when in truth they are no more likely to fly to Davos than to the moon...Is this a fair description of Labour Britain from 1997 to 2010, which I recall spent billions on combating social alienation by building everything from Sure Start centres to a generous system of pensioner benefits? Tamir does not say. Although she is a professor at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, she seems to feel no pressing obligation to provide anything resembling evidence.

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