The Nation-State Is Needed Now More Than Ever

Postmodern Europeans may not like to hear it, but nation-states are still essential to preserving the continent’s culture and safety.

Gary Waters/Getty Images.

Gary Waters/Getty Images.

Response
Jan. 11 2016
About the author

Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His writings are posted at www.PeterBerkowitz.com.


In his introduction to Democracy in America (1835), Alexis de Tocqueville explained that Europeans could learn much about their future from the United States: the place where equality of social relations—the defining feature of the democratic age into which both Europeans and Americans had entered—had reached its most advanced form. The young nation’s experience, Tocqueville wrote, shed light on certain tendencies inherent in democracy that could actually weaken the passion for freedom and the institutions that protect it. Understanding this potentially destructive drift would, he hoped, assist lovers of liberty in both Europe and America in fashioning measures to safeguard freedom and thereby fortify democracy.

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More about: Europe, liberal democracy, Politics & Current Affairs