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Author Meets Critic: Discussing David Kamens' "Beyond the Nation-State: The Reconstruction of Nationhood and Citizenship"
Dr. David Kamens

The book is an institutional account of the effects of education and knowledge societies in creating a common global culture. The data consist of 33-45 countries and samples of their populations from 1981-2004 on 33 nation-states and data from 2005-2007 on 45. The data show a number of surprising patterns:

(1) individuals, especially schooled ones, tolerate a wider range of people, e.g., gays, those of other ethnicities, religions, directly reflecting the diffusion of human rights scripts;

(2) but they are much less tolerant of intolerance, I.e. orthodox religions; political radicals;

(3) public opinion expands around the world and majorities of the populations, particularly the more educated, describe themselves as 'autonomous persons';

(4) modern persons using a global cultural frame subscribe to democracy and imagine an orderly world; but they are often (and increasingly) critical of elites and institutions of their national states, even when these are functioning democracies;

(5) many educated persons describe themselves as 'global citizens of the world' but do not see this as being incompatible with being strong 'nationalists' in support of their own nation state. Surprisingly, more people in the second and third world describe themselves as 'global citizens' than in the developed world;

6) tolerance for multi-cultural views of society are stronger in newer societies than older nation-states whose citizens seem wedded to older concepts of the nation-state.

The book discusses these findings in light of world society theory and pinpoints world regions that have antagonistic traditions, supported by local institutions that also have transnational roots, e.g., the Orthodox Church in Eastern Europe. It raises issues for future research of whether these institutions can effectively deter the emergence of a global cultural frame in these areas.

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CIES 2013 : New Orleans
Department of Educational Administration & Policy Studies (EAPS) in the School of Education at the University at Albany
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