American historian and political scientist Mark Lilla has said globalisation has flattened the cultural landscape and the world is facing a challenge from "mono-culturalism". Speaking at a session titled 'The Interplay of Politics and Society' at the seventh World Government Summit (WGS 2019), he said people were beginning to feel that they are like elementary particles floating in space and not part of the narrative of one particular culture or country.
The professor of humanities at Columbia University also said that the challenge of our time is not multiculturalism, but mono-culturalism. "Due to the internet culture, our children are much more alike than the people in this audience, and this will become more and more the case with time," he added. "A lot of the identity politics that we see in the world, in conflictual terms, does not come from hatred or distrust of the other, but from the anxiety in the face of a monoculture that no longer roots us in one place," Lailla said.
To counter this, the governments need to create a strong political identity by focusing on civic education as the glue that binds citizens together. "Civic duty has to be inculcated at an early age and based on a political idea, not just a cultural one," he added. Laill was in discussion with other academics to share his views on the state of the world's politics, political tribalism and the need for governments to promote civic education.