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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Countering Violent Extremism in Australia and Abroad: A Framework for Characterising CVE Programs in Australia, the United States, and Europe

Countering Violent Extremism in Australia and Abroad: A Framework for Characterising CVE Programs in Australia, the United States, and Europe. RAND Corporation.  Andrew Lauland et al.  April 4, 2019.

As countries around the world develop countering violent extremism (CVE) programs to prevent homegrown terrorism, there is a dearth of understanding about what types of CVE programs exist and which CVE approaches are most effective. (CVE is a relatively new, and potentially still evolving, term for a set of programs that share ties to, but are distinct from, traditional counterterrorism efforts and domestically focused law enforcement activities, such as community policing.) Significant differences exist across nations in terms of CVE strategy and approach, how long government-funded efforts have been underway, and how government and other partners and stakeholders work together.

This report documents an effort to help CVE program directors and policymakers in Australia place their efforts in context and identify promising approaches internationally. The authors developed a general framework for characterising CVE programs and then interviewed project staff at and collected information on two promising Australian CVE programs. Using this framework and the results of the interviews and data collection, the project team analysed the Australian programs to identify their primary characteristics, and then examined publicly available information to identify programs in Europe and the United States with goals, approaches, and target populations similar to the Australian programs. This method for mapping programs against goals and activity types could facilitate information exchange across countries. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 112 pages].

Europe in 2019: A Critical and Transitional Year

Europe in 2019: A Critical and Transitional Year. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Rachel Ellehuus, Ricklef Beutin, Quentin Lopinot. February 7, 2019

CSIS Europe Program experts Rachel Ellehuus, Ricklef Beutin, and Quentin Lopinot provide a snapshot on some of the most significant events on the European and transatlantic security and defense calendar for 2019 and the important stakes that are at play. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 6 pages].

Eastern and Western Europeans Differ on Importance of Religion, Views of Minorities, and Key Social Issues

Eastern and Western Europeans Differ on Importance of Religion, Views of Minorities, and Key Social Issues. Pew Research Center. October 29, 2018

People in Central and Eastern Europe are less accepting of Muslims and Jews, same-sex marriage, and legal abortion

The Iron Curtain that once divided Europe may be long gone, but the continent today is split by stark differences in public attitudes toward religion, minorities and social issues such as gay marriage and legal abortion. Compared with Western Europeans, fewer Central and Eastern Europeans would welcome Muslims or Jews into their families or neighborhoods, extend the right of marriage to gay or lesbian couples or broaden the definition of national identity to include people born outside their country.

These differences emerge from a series of surveys conducted by Pew Research Center between 2015 and 2017 among nearly 56,000 adults (ages 18 and older) in 34 Western, Central and Eastern European countries, and they continue to divide the continent more than a decade after the European Union began to expand well beyond its Western European roots to include, among others, the Central European countries of Poland and Hungary, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 30 pages].

Shifting Tides: Radical-Right Populism and Immigration Policy in Europe and the United States

Shifting Tides: Radical-Right Populism and Immigration Policy in Europe and the United States. Migration Policy Institute. Martin A. Schain. August 2018.

 Even as populist radical-right parties have experienced mixed electoral success, their ideas have gained traction in Europe and the United States. This report analyzes the economic, political, and social factors behind the rise in support for the radical-right agenda, and the impact of this trend on immigration policymaking and the broader political landscape on both sides of the Atlantic. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 38 pages].

The U.S., NATO, and the Defense of Europe: Underlying Trends

The U.S., NATO, and the Defense of Europe: Underlying Trends. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Anthony H. Cordesman. June 27, 2018

 The Trump Administration has adopted an “America First” strategy, and taken aggressive stands on NATO burden sharing, trade, the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran, and the treatment of refugees that have led many in Europe to question its support for NATO and the Transatlantic Alliance. At least some European security experts talk about the U.S. as it was backing away from the NATO alliance, and a split between the United States and Europe that will force Europe to create its own approach to creating military and other security forces.

Many aspects of the Trump Administration’s approach to foreign policy are as controversial in the U.S. as in Europe, and President Trump has proved to be an exceptionally volatile and combative leader who can express himself in extreme terms and suddenly change his positions. However, it but it is important to note the underlying realities that shape the new U.S. strategy, the U.S. military role in the NATO alliance, and Europe’s own divisions and failures to create effective forces. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 60 pages].

The Future of the United States and Europe: An Irreplaceable Partnership

The Future of the United States and Europe: An Irreplaceable Partnership. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Jeffrey Rathke et al. April 13, 2018

 The partnership between the United States and Europe has been an anchor of the world’s economic, political and security order for more than seven decades. The U.S. relationship with the European Union is the deepest in the world – but we should not take it for granted. Transatlantic relations are at a critical point in their history, and it is necessary to reassess their trajectory, as well as the prospects for EU-U.S. cooperation. In a new publication, CSIS, in partnership with Chatham House, assesses the top policy priorities on both sides of the Atlantic, identifying areas of potential cooperation as well as growing divergences to be managed. United States cooperation with Europe is essential to meeting global challenges – this is a conclusion that every U.S. administration has reached in the past 70 years. Our recommendations seek to strengthen that relationship and promote that community of democratic values that upholds the international order. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 51 pages].