December 11, 2019 by Burak Tan

The Failure of American Hegemony: Why Nationalism Trumps Liberalism Every Time

This conversation focuses on two major themes of my latest book “The Great Delusion,” in which I attempts to explain why American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War up until the present day has been such a colossal failure, and how much of this failure can be ascribed to a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of America’s foreign policy elite about the relationship between nationalism and liberalism. I argue that nationalism is by far the more powerful of the two forces and that therefore, liberal hegemony was always destined to fail. I make the argument for a more restrained, humble US foreign policy that acknowledges not only the limits of nation-building but also the realities of international conflict that the United States is at risk of instigating with countries like China and Russia with whom it is currently in a deep security competition.