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Review Essay

Good Fences Make Good Politics

Immigration and the Future of the West

In This Review

Go Back to Where You Came From
Go Back to Where You Came From
By Sasha Polakow-Suransky
Nation Books, 2017, 369 pp. Purchase

The rise of right-wing populism in the West is the story of our time. In the United States and western Europe, recent years have seen antiestablishment parties and candidates win unprecedented electoral victories by casting themselves as defenders of their nations against the twin threats posed by foreigners and a corrupt elite. The two major shocks to the international order in recent years—Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president—were both manifestations of this larger trend.

The populist story is primarily one of culture and identity, in particular the fear among white voters across the West that their cultures and identities are under threat. The current populist wave began with the 2014 elections to the European Parliament, in which the Danish People’s Party, France’s National Front, and the UK Independence Party (UKIP), all right-wing populist parties, came in first in their respective countries—results

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