What neonationalism may mean for higher education

What is neonationalism, and what does it mean for colleges and universities around the world?

Last week the Future Trends Forum hosted University of California-Berkeley research professor John Aubrey Douglass to discuss.  He’s the editor of Neo-Nationalism and Universities: Populists, Autocrats and the Future of Higher Education, as well as the author of several chapters therein.  The book offers studies of the development as a whole, along with case studies of it manifesting in different nations: Brazil, Britain, Russia, China, Hungary, etc.

Our discussion covered a lot of ground, starting with defining neonationalism:

a term that describes the rise, and in some cases revival, of extreme right-wing movements in key areas of the world, often characterized by anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric; economic protectionism; constraints on civil liberties; attacks on critics, including journalists and academics; denial of science related to climate change and the environment; and the emergence and empowerment of demagogues and autocrats.

We probed into that definition and its applications, academic platforming, implications for the climate crisis, classroom problems, how the neonationalist tide might ebb, challenges for the reputation of science, and the relationship between nationalism and religion.

You can find the whole recording linked here, or embedded below:


Right now the whole book is freely available at Project MUSE, so you can dive right in.

Many thanks to professor Douglass and to the Forum community for a rich and vital discussion.

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