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. In Why Nationalism, she explains why it is more important than ever for the Left to recognize these positive qualities of nationalism, to reclaim it from right-wing extremists, and to redirect its power to progressive ends. Provocative and hopeful, Why Nationalism is a timely and essential rethinking of a defining feature of our politics.
Yael (Yuli) Tamir is president of Shenkar College of Engineering and Design and adjunct professor at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. The author of Liberal Nationalism (Princeton), she is a former Israeli legislator and cabinet minister and a founder of the Israeli peace movement.
"A stimulating reading about nationalism and democracy for both scholars and practitioners interested in contemporary politics."—Alon Helled, Democratization
“Interesting and provocative. . . . Highly ambitious.”—Jonathan Derbyshire, Financial Times
“Why Nationalism is a pungent critique of arid, cosmopolitan neoliberalism, and a clear call to bring back a politics of national solidarity in which we are all in it together.”—Michael Ignatieff, President, Central European University, Budapest
“An important contribution.”—Ian Reifowitz, Daily Kos
“[Tamir] courageously defends moderate and universal nationalist outlooks, [and] masterfully distinguishes between these and the murky populist wave washing over societies worldwide and endangering the Western democratic order. . . . [Why Nationalism] is outstanding.”—Shlomo Avineri, Haaretz
“Free-market libertarians and social democrats both have lots to learn from this measured and thoughtful book.”—David Conway, Jewish Chronicle
“Tamir elegantly recounts nationalism’s virtues."—Peter Spiro, Lawfare