Governments should strengthen national identity amid globalization, academic says

The World Government Summit in Dubai is held at the Madinat Jumeirah. (AFP)
Updated 11 February 2019
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Governments should strengthen national identity amid globalization, academic says

  • The professor pointed to the decline in the younger generations’ cultural and political identities
  • Another professor said humans are “tribal,” and that we are “hardwired to need to belong to a group”

DUBAI: Globalization has led to the weakening of national identity, according to an academic who called for governments to strengthen civic education, where citizens learn more about where they live, as well as their duties and responsibilities.

Historian and humanities professor at Columbia University Mark Lilla pointed to the decline in the younger generations’ cultural and political identities, saying globalization “has flattened the world’s cultural landscape.”

“Due to the internet culture, our children are much more alike than the people in this audience are alike, and this will become more and more the case with time,” he said at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

He said people are beginning to “feel like we are elementary particles floating in space, and not part of the narrative of one particular culture or country.”

Also speaking about identities, Yale law professor Amy Chua said humans are inherently “tribal,” and that we are “hardwired to need to belong to a group.”

But Chua warned against “political tribalism,” where “members (of a group) start seeing everything through the lens of their respective groups with disregard to facts.”

She said multi-ethnic nations, such as those in Middle East, should aspire to become a “super group,” where there is strong national identity among citizens, while sub-groups are allowed to flourish.


Moon back in NASA’s court 50 years after 1st lunar landing

Updated 43 min 57 sec ago
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Moon back in NASA’s court 50 years after 1st lunar landing

  • The White House wants US astronauts on the moon by 2024, a scant five years from now

CAPE CANAVERAL: The moon is back in NASA’s court 50 years after humanity’s first lunar footsteps.
The White House wants US astronauts on the moon by 2024, a scant five years from now. The moon will serve as a critical proving ground for the real prize of sending astronauts to Mars in the 2030s.
The billionaires’ space club including Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Elon Musk is on board.
But Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins prefers a beeline to Mars. Buzz Aldrin, too, is a longtime Mars backer.
NASA’s Project Artemis aims for a landing on the moon’s south pole. The space agency says astronauts on the next moon landing will spend a longer time on the lunar surface unlike the Apollo missions.