How Globalization Engenders Ethno-Religious Nationalism

From Myanmar to the United States, Growing Transnationalism Is Weakening Secular States While Driving the Spread of Ideology

When Franklin Graham, the son of the famous Christian evangelist Billy Graham, praised President Donald Trump for banning Muslims from entering the United States, he said that America was at “war with Islam.” Of the 80 percent of evangelical Christians who supported Trump’s election, doubtless many agreed with the idea that religion should be a test of American citizenship. And thus, a strain of Christian, anti-immigrant xenophobia is clearly on the rise in the United States, much like the other religious nationalisms—Muslim, Buddhist, or otherwise—that are sweeping places around the …

How Modern India Was Built on the Legacy of British Institutions

Indians Have Drawn From a Dark Colonial Past to Create a More Liberal and Open Society

In the years after India’s independence in 1947, Britons tended to congratulate themselves on their legacy to the subcontinent.

Although the empire’s successor states, India and Pakistan, had been born amid …

The Philosopher Who Coined the Term ‘Nationalism’ Also Preached Inclusivity

275 Years Ago, Johann Gottfried Herder Imagined Nations Forming Around a Common Language and Culture, Not a Common Enemy

Since the French Revolution, a brilliant cast of ideologies has starred on the world stage, ranging from conservatism to liberalism to communism. Yet the -ism that has been most resilient, …

Why the ‘New Nationalism’ Can Only Flourish in Conflict

Built on Hatred, and the Need for an Adversary, It Thrives on Contempt for Other Cultures, Religions, and Even Languages

Nationalism as we know it today—a global movement of states led by strongmen decrying globalization—is a recent invention. But a brief and broad history of nationalism reveals its important paradoxes …

The Savvy Press Agent Who Invented Buffalo Bill

"Arizona John" Burke Perfected the Art of Hype That Converted a Bison Hunter Into a Symbol of National Character

To appreciate the wonder and luster of a star in the sky, one must look off to its side—“averted vision,” it is called.

So it was in the late 19th century …

The Bedouin People Who Blur the Boundaries of Egyptian Identity

An Indigenous North African Minority Near the Libyan Border Has Often Been Treated Like Foreigners

In November 1940, a group of Bedouins from Egypt’s Western Desert region sent an unusual petition to the Egyptian government. The petition arrived at a time of great turmoil in …