Public lecture video by Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS). This lecture was held on November 28, 2016. The speaker was Jeff Kingston, Director of Asian Studies and Professor of History at Temple University Japan Campus.
The election of Donald Trump has shocked Americans and the world as leaders adjust to the uncertainties and risks of a Trump presidency. Like the recent “Brexit” vote, in which Great Britain has proved to be a not so united Kingdom, Trump’s election highlights a conservative shift toward reactionary nationalism, fed by economic anxiety, animosity toward minorities and immigrants and a desire to change by returning to an idealized past. Similar themes are evident in Asia as discussed in Kingston’s new book Nationalism in Asia: A History Since 1945 (Wiley 2016), an overview analyzing manifestations of nationalism in the region. He argues that chosen traumas are key to understanding the sense of victimhood evident in national identities and explains how the greatest danger of nationalism is internal, fanning intolerance towards minorities. In his view, the riskiest flashpoints are the Korean Peninsula and Kashmir and to a lesser degree the competing claims in the South and East China Seas.