In this week's special interview, UpFront meets with US political scientist Francis Fukuyama who famously argued in his 1989 book, The End of History, that Western liberal democracy had arrived at the end of its struggle.

Around the world, democracy is increasingly threatened by the rise of authoritarian, illiberal and nationalist leaders who are cracking down on the press and civil liberties. In a new book, Identity: the Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, Fukuyama argues that identity politics are partly to blame.

What begins as a drive for "recognition and respect" through group membership can have negative consequences because, he argues, "liberal democracy is based on individuals, not on group memberships."

But does that mean we should forget about things like race?

When asked how to square with the fact that in the United States, even black boys raised in the wealthiest families still make less than their white counterparts, Fukuyama replied, "Whether you've got a higher education or just a high-school education or less, is really the single thing that's the most determinative of your life, opportunities, and outcome."

On the rise of right-wing governments around the world, Fukuyama said: "I think that there is a kind of tone-deafness by, you know, from people on the left to actually what bothers people and what has made a lot of people vote for these populist candidates."

"If you don't figure out what's bothering them, you're not going to solve the underlying problem that is driving the polarization in the United States."

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Source: Al Jazeera