John Mearsheimer – The Battle Between Liberalism vs Nationalism

Mid-October 2023

In this episode, Rob chats with John Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Mearsheimer presents a nuanced perspective on liberalism, emphasising a crucial distinction between its positive impact domestically and its potential pitfalls when applied as a foreign policy approach. He delves into his views on modern-day liberalism, exploring the concept’s “crusader impulse” and its role in intervening in other states’ perceived rights. Mearsheimer critically examines instances where the U.S., driven by a belief in the universality of liberalism, has sought to impose its values on other nations, resulting in interventions like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. He highlights the unintended consequences of such interventions, often leading to the rise of nationalism in the affected regions. Mearsheimer explores the intricate bond between liberalism and nationalism, expressing his disagreement with prevailing foreign policy stances that tend to fuel nationalist sentiments. Mearsheimer provides insightful perspectives on the complexities of liberalism and its intersection with nationalism in the realm of foreign policy.

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