The rise of nationalistic political leaders has spanned the globe—from Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen in the West, to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Middle East, to Narendra Modi and Rodrigo Duterte in the East. To varying degrees, each of these leaders espouse an “our country first” mentality, skepticism or outright hostility toward multilateral institutions and global trade, and leadership styles that emphasize ethnic or group identification, distrust of immigrants, and increased assertiveness sometimes bordering on bluster and aggression. How do we measure this phenomenon called globalization? What are some underlying causes of the backlash against globalization? Is national progress incompatible with global progress? Has globalization stopped or slowed in recent years? Is nationalism—or a “my country first” approach—compatible with economic growth? What leadership qualities are needed for a 21st-century civilization? Are leadership styles that emphasize strength of personality, ethnic or group identification, and increased assertiveness compatible with human progress and civilization? In the most general sense, does human evolution suggest a dominant role for competition—or cooperation?
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