Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Europe’s Identity Problem and the New Islamist War

Europe’s Identity Problem and the New Islamist War


Fundamental transformations of identity within Europe have historically resulted in great wars, which in turn resulted in fundamental transformations of identity. This essay discusses, first, four great periods of war in Europe and the succession of identities they produced, and then the new war that Islamist terrorists, and Islamism more generally, have brought to Europe and the West. It considers the inherent weaknesses and failures of the now-dominant Western ideology and identity, liberalism, in dealing with this new war, and concludes with a consideration of the once-dominant Christian identity in Europe. That identity, much more than liberalism, would have strengthened Europe in its current war with Islamism.

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