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Johnston, Savannah Eccles. “The Rise of Illiberal Conservatism: Immigration and Nationhood at National Review.” American Political Thought 10, no. 2 (2021): 190–216.


This article traces the shift toward illiberalism in the National Review on the topic of immigration and nationhood. At the height of the fusion movement at National Review, the journal espoused a compromise view on immigration, hence the relatively muted debates on immigration and the concept of nationhood. The past three decades, however, have been punctuated by fierce and increasingly radical disagreements among conservative intellectuals in the pages of National Review on the question of immigration and nationhood. This study traces the development of these debates across 70 years of the National Review to demonstrate the trajectory of illiberal views toward immigration and regarding the concept of nationhood within the fusion.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.