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A Trend Around Nations

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A Trend Around Nations

Image courtesy of quora.com

Image courtesy of quora.com

Image courtesy of quora.com

Image courtesy of quora.com

Tylyn Johnson, Chief Editor

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Ever since World War Two (“WWII”), the United States, as well as many other nations, took on a policy of globalization in order to protect the safety of their citizenry by maintaining peace through a more collaborative effort. Globalization describes the process by which globalism, the phenomen wherein the world is seen as very inter-connected, spreads and is enacted by world players in government, business, and technology. A concept with roots going farther back than the Silk Roads that brought European and Asian cultures together via trade, globalism has been steadily increasing for centuries.

The tragedies of WWII, as well as the constant tensions of the Cold War that came right after, had led political leaders of the time to the realization that there needed to be a more concerted global effort to maintain world peace, which upped the globalism present across the world. And because this globalization also allowed businesses like McDonald’s or Toyota to expand throughout the world, and for post-secondary institutions such as Butler University or Oxford University to develop diverse populations, one would expect this trend to be one that all are in favor of, right?

Well, current political trends are showing that nationalism is beginning to make a very strong resurgence in today’s world. Nationalism is essentially the opposite of globalism, wherein the focus of political and/or cultural groups is on maintaining themselves, without regard for the word at large. The homogeneity that is/was highly valued in Japan is one extreme example of this, especially when it was still isolationist. For example, the election of Donald Trump as the US President has been often cited by white nationalists as long-awaited justification for their beliefs. Since the election of Trump, the US has seen a sharp increase in the number of hate crimes committed, usually involving white nationalism, regardless of where the attribution of blame might lie.

When many Americans think of nationalism, the first thing that comes to mind are those built around racial dominance, like Neo-Nazi groups, or Malcolm X, a prominent black nationalist of the Civil Rights era. And while these are certainly examples of nationalism in the United States, there exists other forms of nationalism across the globe that need to be carefully observed. After all, nations turning towards policies of nationalism may, knowingly or not, create an atmosphere where an unspoken xenophobia becomes commonplace.

And this is not a trend occurring in only the US, for the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union in what was termed “Brexit” could also be considered another point for nationalism, while the almost sudden growth of nationalist parties like the AfD in Germany is a sign of a revival of nationalism throughout a world rocked by terrorism and economic insecurities.

A shift away from global cooperation by governments could very well see the exacerbation of existing tensions among political leaders in 2017. This has already shown manifestation amongst the world community in their dealings with Trump, especially following his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, which had been brought into being by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change during the Obama Administration.

And Trump’s recent declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel despite global pushback is also indicative of nationalistic interests. By doing so, he implies support for Christianity and/or Judaism at the expense of Islam. He is also reaffirming the disregard for the Arab population in the region that began with the end of WWII, when Israel had originally been formed in what had been considered Palestinian territory.

Interestingly enough, the IB Programme encourages students to develop a “global perspective,” recognizing the impact of decisions made at home on another, near of far. This extends to not only decisions in policy, but also scientific research, economic developments, or even literary exploration. Perhaps world leaders need to develop a “global perspective,” and be considerate of more than the needs of their constituents. But then, at what point should leaders put the citizenry of their nations before those of others?

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