Creating a decent civilization in this century depends on human identity expanding to the scale of the planet. Pervasive divisions leave many pessimistic that this can happen. Still, in the course of social evolution, the circle of identity has ballooned from clans and tribes to nations and beyond, while science has confirmed the key role of cooperation.
Now, the contemporary condition of shared destiny urges a global locus for institutions, reciprocity, and empathy. Richard Falk’s opening essay reflects on a “politics of impossibility” for realizing this imperative. Two panels weigh in, the first with a range of theoretical perspectives and the second with pragmatic ways forward.