Aram HurMar 3, 2023
Narratives of Civic Duty
How National Stories Shape Democracy in Asia
Cornell University Press 2022
Especially within the last decade, the word "nationalism" often evokes images of bombastic demagogues and democratic backsliding. But does nationalism always hurt liberal democracy?
In Narratives of Civic Duty: How National Stories Shape Democracy in Asia (Cornell UP, 2022), Aram Hur argues that the answer might be "no". Instead, under specific circumstances, national attachments can actually strengthen democracies.
Hur—an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri—explores this phenomenon through a close examination of South Korea and Taiwan. She finds that, if a strong linkage between a national people and their democratic state exists, then nationalism may inspire a greater sense of civic duty, and build democratic resilience.
Amidst rising demographic challenges and geopolitical tensions in East Asia, Narratives of Civic Duty helps readers rethink the role nationalism plays in the continued health of democracies in the region, and beyond.
Anthony Kao is a writer who intersects international affairs and cultural criticism. He founded/edits Cinema Escapist—a publication exploring the sociopolitical context behind global film and television—and also writes for outlets like The Guardian, The Diplomat, and Eater.