From “Nipple” to “Nambia” and Everything In-Between: Donald Trump’s Mental Maps and the Unraveling of the Liberal World (Dis)Order

Luis da Vinha, Anthony Dutton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Donald Trump ran for the American presidency attacking his opponents and allies and promising to upend politics in Washington and around the world. Trump advocated for an “America First” foreign policy that denounced America’s postwar project of promoting the liberal international order. In place of international institutions and multilateral cooperation, Trump emphasized a populist-nationalist strategy favoring unilateral action. Rather than seeking to promote a “global community,” Trump engaged in international relations as a zero-sum game where nations compete for advantage. Underscoring this behavior and the “America First” foreign policy were Trump’s mental maps of a weak and insecure America that was exploited by international and domestic elites. Trump also helped shaped the mental maps of many Americans by creating a sense of crisis about the nation’s place in the world. Emphasizing a host of security threats ranging from economic to existential insecurity, which justified a radical transformation of policies to “Make America Great Again.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationU.S. Democracy in Danger
Subtitle of host publicationThe American Political System Under Assault
EditorsAdebowale Akande
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-36099-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-36101-2
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameSpringer Studies on Populism, Identity Politics and Social Justice
ISSN (Print)2731-894X
ISSN (Electronic)2731-8958


  • “America First”
  • Moving Beyond Trump
  • Donald Trump
  • Liberal International Order
  • Mental Maps
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • MAGA


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