American Nationalism: Addressing the Challenge of Identity and Threat

November 02, 2004

Coalition members Anatol Lieven and Steven Clemons spoke at a special event moderated by Jessica Matthews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Anatol Lieven, Carnegie senior associate, analyzed the diverse and conflicting currents in contemporary American nationalism, arguing that aspects of this nationalism are the greatest present threat to American hegemony in the world -- greater even than the actions of America's enemies. In Lieven's view, American nationalism possesses two souls. The first is an optimistic and universalism civic nationalism based on the values of democracy, law, and individualism. Although a foundation of America's global leadership, this nationalism is flawed by a tendency to messianic and the self-defeating pursuit of absolutist goals on the international stage.

The other strain in American nationalism, by contrast, is pessimistic, embittered, and chauvinist, rooted in citizens who feel they have suffered a series of historical defeats at the hands of modern economic, social, and cultural change.

The event, co-sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the New America Foundation, also included comments by New America's Steve Clemons.

Wednesday, 13 October 2004
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.

For more information, contact Jennifer Buntman at 202-986-4901 or via e-mail at

Posted by coalition at November 2, 2004 08:26 PM

<< Lessons from the Iraq War | Main | No Adult Supervision >>

Email to a friend

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Featured Articles

Doubting Afghanistan
Should the United States Withdraw from Afghanistan?
The War We Can't Win
United Colors of Democracy
How Dangerous Are the Taliban?
Woodrow Wilson's War
Empire Falls
Another War, Another Defeat
Advice for the SecDef
Pentagon 1, Obama 0