Nationalism and Knowledge: Predicting New Zealand’s Future
5.30pm drinks reception | 6.30pm Inaugural lecture
The belief that an educated population will be committed to democracy is challenged by the resurgence of various forms of ethno-nationalism. These movements threaten the democratic systems that have enabled pluralist populations to cohere as modern societies. Democracy is the only socio-political system able to hold progressive and reactionary forces in a state of permanent tension. But democracy’s very strength is also its weakness. The unresolvable tension between the imagined stability of tradition and democracy’s future focus can easily trigger a retreat into ethno-nationalism – as present events show. My presentation identifies two key conditions in New Zealand that are essential to maintaining and building democratic-nationalism. The first condition concerns academic knowledge. The second is the integrity of our institutions.
The presentation is a narrative of how I have developed this argument over the decades of my academic career.
About Professor Elizabeth Rata
Elizabeth Rata is a professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland where she is the Director of the Knowledge and Education Research Unit. She has given numerous addresses at major international universities and has a prolific publication record. She was a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Georgetown University, Washington DC in 2003, and a Visiting Scholar to Cambridge University in 2011 and 2015. Her major works are A Political Economy of Neotribal Capitalism and The Politics of Knowledge in Education.