The question of dignity is an extremely old question. It’s as old as political life.
Starting in the 1970s, political scientist Francis Fukuyama says the world saw a significant expansion of democracy. Dozens of countries were becoming democracies and by 2008, more than 100 democracies existed around the globe. Now, says Fukuyama, liberal democracy is being challenged by populist nationalist leaders and they’re fanning the flames of identity politics. Instead of uniting over a shared sense of humanity, people are identifying in narrower ways based on things like religion, race, ethnicity, and gender. Fukuyama believes that in order to support democracy, we must inculcate a greater sense of dignity into society. Fukuyama speaks with Elliot Gerson, executive vice president at the Aspen Institute. The views and opinions of the podcast guests are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Aspen Institute.