Secular Divergence: Explaining Nationalism in Europe

Secular Divergence: Explaining Nationalism in Europe. Brookings Institution. Carlo Bastasin. May 2019

The doctrine of nationalism will continue eroding Europe’s integration until its hidden cause is recognized and addressed. In order to do so, Europe’s policymakers must acknowledge a new, powerful, and pervasive factor of social and political change: divergence within countries, sectors, jobs, or local communities.

The popularity of the nationalist rhetoric should not be underestimated. Nationalist parties—like the Italian “Lega,” the French “Rassemblement National,” or the German “Alternative für Deutschland”—present themselves as a response to the damages inflicted by globalization in terms of impoverishment and inequality. Their rhetoric claiming that borders must be closed is simple and attractive. In fact, empirical evidence does not confirm a direct relation between open borders and impoverishment in Europe; there is also no univocal relation between economic inequality or stagnation and the rise of consensus for nationalist or anti-European parties. Finally, inequality seems to have increased more within countries than between them. Therefore, none of the reasons underpinning the claims for closing borders is watertight.

This paper offers a different explanation of the increasing unease in European societies leading to the popularity of nationalism: the development of two persistent social dynamics, the first trend driving individuals to fear their irreversible decline, and the second dynamic leading more prosperous parts of society to protect their increasing economic advantages and well-being. These dynamics lead to what I call “secular divergence,” a trend that does not coincide with the obvious inequalities, and not even only with regional inequalities. It is rather a protracted sense of marginality felt by those who fear the unstoppable decline of their profession, community, or family, and a sense of detachment among those who instead protect their growing well-being in an unstable world. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages].

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Americans See Advantages and Challenges in Country’s Growing Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Americans See Advantages and Challenges in Country’s Growing Racial and Ethnic Diversity. Pew Research Center. Juliana Menasce Horowitz. May 8, 2019

Most value workplace diversity, but few want employers to consider race or ethnicity in hiring and promotion decisions

As the United States becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, and as companies from Wall Street to Silicon Valley grapple with how to build workforces that reflect these changing demographics, Americans have a complicated, even contradictory, set of views about the impact of diversity and the best way to achieve it. Most say it’s a good thing that the country has a diverse population, but many also say this introduces its own set of challenges. And while a majority values workplace diversity, few endorse the idea of taking race or ethnicity into consideration in hiring and promotions, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages].

Diversity Defines the Millennial Generation

Diversity Defines the Millennial Generation. Brookings Institution. William H. Frey. June 28, 2016.

Racial diversity will be the most defining and impactful characteristic of the millennial generation. Millennials between ages 18 and 34 are now synonymous with America’s young adults, fully occupying labor force and voting ages. They comprise 23 percent of the total population, 30 percent of the voting age population, and 38 percent of the primary working age population. Among racial minorities their numbers are even more imposing. Millennials make up 27 percent of the total minority population, 38 percent of voting age minorities, and a whopping 43 percent of primary working age minorities. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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A Wider Ideological Gap Between More and Less Educated Adults

A Wider Ideological Gap Between More and Less Educated Adults. Pew Research Center. April 26, 2016.

Two years ago, Pew Research Center found that Republicans and Democrats were more divided along ideological lines than at any point in the previous two decades. But growing ideological distance is not confined to partisanship. There are also growing ideological divisions along educational and generational lines. Highly educated adults, particularly those who have attended graduate school, are far more likely than those with less education to take predominantly liberal positions across a range of political values. And these differences have increased over the past two decades. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 17 pages, 480.45 KB].

Point of Entry: The Preschool-to-Prison Pipeline

Point of Entry: The Preschool-to-Prison Pipeline. Center for American Progress. Maryam Adamu and Lauren Hogan. October 8, 2015.

The term “school-to-prison pipeline” has become a powerful metaphor to capture the processes by which children, typically low-income children of color, are pushed out of school and into the criminal justice system. While exact definitions of suspension and expulsion vary across states and school districts, it is clear that what were intended to be last resort and occasional disciplinary tools have become wildly overused and disproportionately applied to children of color, resulting in dramatically negative long-term effects. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 25 pages, 406.2 KB].

Exploring Racial Bias Among Biracial and Single-Race Adults: The IAT

Exploring Racial Bias Among Biracial and Single-Race Adults: The IAT. Pew Research Center. Rich Morin. August 19, 2015.

It’s hard to talk about race. Fear of saying the wrong thing, fear of expressing an unpopular view or simply the fear of offending others can dampen honest conversations about racial attitudes. Accurately measuring racial attitudes faces another formidable obstacle. Psychologists say that biased racial views are sometimes buried deep in a person’s subconscious, the byproducts of exposure to popular culture, the media and other factors. An Implicit Association Test (IAT), a technique that psychologists say measures subconscious or “hidden” bias by tracking how quickly individuals associate good and bad words with specific racial groups, was used for the report. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 42 pages, 1.6 MB].

Brown v. Board at 60: Why Have We Been So Disappointed? What Have We Learned?

Brown v. Board at 60: Why Have We Been So Disappointed? What Have We Learned? Economic Policy Institute. Richard Rothstein. April 17, 2014.

May 17 is the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision that prohibited Southern states from segregating schools by race. The Brown decision annihilated the “separate but equal” rule, previously sanctioned by the Supreme Court in 1896, that permitted states and school districts to designate some schools “whites-only” and others “Negroes-only.” More important, by focusing the nation’s attention on subjugation of blacks, it helped fuel a wave of freedom rides, sit-ins, voter registration efforts, and other actions leading ultimately to civil rights legislation in the late 1950s and 1960s. But Brown was unsuccessful in its purported mission, to undo the school segregation that persists as a central feature of American public education today. The issue brief highlights key elements of the American education system that have evolved in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages, 151.32 KB].