Managing the rising influence of nationalism

The World Today
Published 22 January 2020 Updated 2 November 2020 4 minute READ

There is an urgent need for global responses to a host of shared challenges, from climate change and technological disruption to financial imbalances. And yet, perversely, atavistic politics that seek to divide people are returning to the fore in democracies and autocracies alike. What is going on?

The rise and fall and rise of nationalism

All the world’s nations and nation states are organized around myths. In 1983, the Irish historian Benedict Anderson described how political leaders beginning in the 18th century created “imagined communities” in order to build modern, industrialized European states; more recently, Israeli historian Yuval Harari has explained how humanity used “lies” and “stories” to transition from small hunter‑gatherer tribes to large, complex political entities.

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