Debate night: Promises and Pitfalls of Liberalism.

Navigating between nostalgic nativism and hopeful realism.

March 29, SPUI25 together with Amsterdam Centre for European Studies ACES. Sign up

Liberalism has been much maligned in the last decade for its failure to provide people with a sense of collective identity and meaning. But for many people, liberal ideas themselves provide this meaning. In this interdisciplinary exchange, two books are discussed that, respectively, explore the extraordinary rise of nativism in liberal societies, and the possibilities for revivifying liberal ideals in a changing world.

The event begins with a short introduction of The Return of the Native: Can Liberalism Safeguard Us Against Nativism? (Duyvendak & Kesic, with Stacey 2023) by one of its authors, Josip Kesic. This introduction is followed by two discussants and a response from Jan Willem Duyvendak. The Return of the Native explores the extraordinary rise of nativism in liberal settings, paying particular attention to nativist narratives that intertwine islamophobia, racism, populism and nostalgia.

De kloof tussen Amsterdam en het platteland is kleiner dan ooit, zeggen deze sociologen

‘De gewone man’ wordt volop gebruikt in het publieke en het politieke debat, zonder dat we precies weten wie daarmee wordt bedoeld. Sociologen Jan-Willem Duyvendak en Menno Hurenkamp schreven een boek over ‘het gewone’ en ander ‘populisme in de polder’. ‘Echt, de verschillen nemen alleen maar af. Nederlanders zijn steeds meer op elkaar gaan lijken.’

In Het Parool