Is there really a strong division between folks like Brexit leader Farage and global citizens Bill Gates and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau? REUTERS/Peter Nicholls, Geoff Robins
Are you more of a nationalist or a cosmopolitan? Or both?
Recent events suggest that a nationalist backlash to globalization is on the rise. The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, Donald Trump’s win in the U.S. presidential election and the growing popularity of right-wing parties in France, Austria and Germany attest to this.
Liberals in particular are puzzled by the spike in nationalism on a global scale. Some may wonder, where have all the global citizens gone? The answer, I argue, is nowhere. The confusion comes in because the ideal of a selfless global citizen, someone who puts global issues above national interests, does not really exist.
It’s true. Data from the World Values Survey shows that since the early 1990s, the integration of markets, communities and cultures has bred a new generation of people who consider themselves “cosmopolitan,” or global citizens. The World Values Survey was started by social scientists in 1981, and is often conducted face-to-face with representative samples of adults from each country. Researchers such as Pippa Norris and Roland Inglehart, among others, have also used the World Values Survey data to identify trends in cosmopolitanism.
Three-fourths of nearly 85,000 adult respondents from 60 countries surveyed by the World Values Survey between 2010 and 2014 identified as global citizens.
However, my research shows that global citizenship and nationalism are not mutually exclusive.