Craig Calhoun: The Future of Nations – Anxieties about Voice and Belonging to a Global World

The Thesis Eleven Centre presents a public lecture by Professor Craig Calhoun.

The Future of Nations: Anxieties about Voice and Belonging to a Global World

In an era of globalization, it has been common to assert that nations and nation-states will lose significance and perhaps even fade away. Observers have accordingly been surprised by the renewal of nationalist politics around the world. But in fact, nation-states are still of enormous practical influence, and socio-cultural nations are basic to the way they work. Nations are also important to the identities of individuals and to projects of social cohesion. Nationalism need not always be belligerent or oppressive but for the foreseeable future it will remain important, influencing both domestic politics and international relations. The key question is not whether nations have a future, but whether in the future nations and national politics can be organized for greater global cooperation, and better domestic integration.

Craig Calhoun is President of the Los Angeles-based Berggruen Institute, which works globally to advance cross-cultural understanding, improve governance, and deepen knowledge of great transformations shaping the human future. Calhoun was previously Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he remains Centennial Professor and before that President of the New York-based Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and University Professor of Social Sciences and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU. His books have been translated into 18 languages and include Does Capitalism Have a Future? (2013), The Roots of Radicalism (2012), and Nations Matter (2007), which predicted rising nationalist and populist challenges to cosmopolitanism grounded in a highly unequal global economy.

Professor Calhoun’s visit to La Trobe was part of the university’s 50th anniversary celebrations and was jointly sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor, The College for the Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce, and the Thesis Eleven Centre.

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