Thursday, Sep 23, 2021
11:00 PM - 12:45 AM (UTC)
Arts & Culture
Government & Politics
Asia Society welcomes national security expert Ben Rhodes, former White House aide and close confidante to President Barack Obama, to discuss his new book After the Fall. During a moderated conversation, Rhodes will talk about the rise of nationalism around the globe, with a particular look at Asia, and what lessons the U.S. should learn in addressing both the root causes and the current effects. He will share what he learned from his travels around the globe, meeting with politicians, activists, and dissidents confronting the same nationalism and authoritarianism experienced in the United States in recent history. In the last half-decade since the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union in 2016, followed by the U.S. election of Donald Trump on an "America First" campaign, the world has seen a distinct rise in nationalist sentiment. Right-wing parties like the Northern League in Italy and Marine Le Pen's National Rally in France have gained popularity on rhetoric critical of multiculturalism and globalization. In Asia, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines maintains sky-high popularity as a political outsider who rejects the political establishment and "any meddling by foreign governments." Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi won reelection by a landslide in 2019 as head of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Learn more about the drivers behind the growing rejection of globalism and the international order, why democracy is so threatened in America and around the world, and what we can do about it.
About the SpeakerBen Rhodes is a writer, political commentator, and national security analyst. He is currently a contributor for NBC News and MSNBC; co-host of Pod Save the World; a senior advisor to former President Barack Obama; and chair of National Security Action, which he co-founded with Jake Sullivan in 2018. From 2009-2017, Ben served as a Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama. In that capacity, he participated in all of President Obama’s key decisions, and oversaw the President’s national security communications, speechwriting, and public diplomacy. He led the secret negotiations with the Cuban government that resulted in the effort to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, and supported the negotiations to conclude the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. He is the author of After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made, and the New York Times bestseller The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House. His work has also been published in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Foreign Affairs. A native New Yorker, Ben has a B.A. from Rice University and an M.F.A from New York University.