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Future of Democracy Series: National Identity and the Challenges of Democratic Cooperation (FON1-V22)


This event recording explores the types of national identities that foster democratic cooperation rather than undermine it.

Duration: 01:28:06
Published: November 28, 2022
Type: Video

Event: Future of Democracy Series: National Identity and the Challenges of Democratic Cooperation

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Future of Democracy Series: National Identity and the Challenges of Democratic Cooperation

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Transcript: Future of Democracy Series: Helping Governments Meet Future Challenges

[Dramatic music plays. Video opens with animated image of a web forming. As the titles are being shown, the image pans out to show the web has covered a map of the globe. Title texts on screen read "Canada School of Public Service/École de la function publique du Canada; And University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy/Et l'École Munk des affaires internationales et des politiques publiques à l'Université de Toronto; Present Future of Democracy Series/Présente la série L'avenir de la démocratie; National Identity and the Challenges of Democratic Cooperation/Identité nationale et défis de la cooperation démocratique]

[Daniel Jean appears on screen. Text on screen "Gatineau, Quebec"]

Daniel Jean: Good morning, everyone. Bonjour tout le monde. My name is Daniel Jean, and I am a Distinguished Fellow for the Canada School of Public Service. I am pleased to be the moderator for today's event on the Future of Democracy. First, I'd like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which I am, and where the production is, is traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe people. I recognize that our participants are from various parts of the country, and therefore you may work on a different indigenous territory. I encourage you to take a moment to think about the territory you occupy. I'm now pleased to introduce today's event and title, National Identity and the Challenges of Democratic Corporation, which is the third event in the future of Democracy series. We have a great discussion planned for you today, and I want you to have the best possible experience.

Therefore, I have a few housekeeping items to go over. First of all, today's event is in English, but there is simultaneous interpretation, as well as the service of real time captioning that is available if you want to follow in the language of your choice. So, just look at the symbol on your screen. To access these features, please click on their respective icons directly from the webcast interface, and you can refer to the reminder email that was sent to you by the School of Public Service. To optimize your viewing experience, we recommend that you disconnect from your VPN or use a personal device to watch the session, when possible. If you are experiencing technical issues, it's recommended to relaunch the webcast link provided to you. During the event you may submit your questions at any time by pressing the raised hand icon located at the top right hand corner of your screen.

We've planned some time for a question-and-answer period at the end of the session. And in fact we're just talking to speakers and we're going to try to make even more time available. Now, without further ado, we'll start today's event with a presentation by Francesca Polletta, Chancellor's Professor of Sociology at the University of California Irvine. We've got to thank Francesca to be here so early for her, because it's seven o'clock in the morning in California. Her research interest includes social movements; democracy; culture; gender and social theory. Her new book, Inventing the Ties That Bind: Imagine Relationships in Moral and Political Life is forthcoming. So here's a short introduction by Francesca on the importance of corporation in the futures of democracy. Francesca?

[Francesca Polletta appears on screen. Text on screen reads "National Identity and the Challenges of Democratic Cooperation; Democratic Requirements]

Francesca Polletta: Hi, my name is Francesca Polletta. I'm Chancellor's Professor of Sociology at the University of California Irvine. And I'm grateful to the Munk School for giving me this opportunity to think through with you the challenges of cooperation in modern democracies. So let me begin with the fact that democracy demands a lot of its citizens. It requires us to obey laws we may not want to; to vote even when we're busy; to accept the election of leaders that we didn't personally vote for, and the adoption of policies that we may not agree with. It requires us to recognize the rights of people we may not like and, through our tax dollars, to support people who are in need, even if we can't imagine ourselves ever being in those circumstances.

The question then, and it is one that scholars across disciplines wrestle with as well as people in the trenches of government, is how to secure that cooperation?

Certainly you can offer people incentives to participate, appeal to their self-interest. You can appeal to their fear of punishment for not cooperating. You can build their trust that their democratic institutions are fair. Now, each one of these makes sense, but as prescriptions for strengthening democratic solidarity, they're either fairly self-evident - Yes, making institutions fairer increases people's trust that those institutions are fair ones - or they're surprisingly unpredictable in their effects.

Just to give one example, research shows that when people are offered incentives to cooperate, they tend to cooperate only as long as they're offered the incentives. After that, even people who would've cooperated in the absence of the incentives stop cooperating. It's not that they're greedy, it's that they assume that everyone else was cooperating all along only because of the incentives.

So, self-interest, trust, a respect for the rules, all of these matter, but something else seems to matter too: Citizen's love for the nation. People's willingness to cooperate in a democracy may depend on that mushy, hard to explain, hard to even conceptualize sense of national identity.

Canadian democracy works in this view because of your sense of "Canadian-ness", and that's what I'd like to talk about today. Now, there is abundant social psychological evidence for the motivating power of group identity generally, and national identity in particular. Once you put people into groups, and the basis for the group can be fairly minimal, the earliest experimental studies assigned people to groups simply based on which modern painter they preferred. But once people see themselves as members of a group, they act to support the group, even when it is not in their self-interest to do so. They don't have to know each other personally to feel that sense of group loyalty, only that others are members of the group to which they feel emotionally attached.

And in this vein, the historian Benedict Anderson famously referred to nations as "imagined communities". You will never know a fraction of the members of the nation, and yet you feel that there is something that binds you to one another. The bonds are fictional, but the feelings are real.

And those feelings motivate democratic cooperation. Research shows that people with a strong sense of national identity pay more attention to politics; they vote more; they trust fellow citizens more; they're more willing to make sacrifices for the nation, and they're more likely to support redistributive policies. That is government policies that support the needy.

There's a hitch though. Research also shows that people who identify strongly with the nation tend to be biased in their assessment of economic conditions and political leaders. In other words, they vote more, but their voting tends to be less well-informed. They are less likely to trust immigrants, and they are often less likely to support redistribution to people in need.

So, which is it? [laugh] Is national identity good or bad for democratic cooperation? Or, perhaps better, when is it which? What seems to be important is not only the strength of one's identification with the nation, but the content of that identification. It depends on what you believe being Canadian means. Now, of course, it means many things, but studies show that people who emphasize inherited, unchosen traits in their definition of national membership, traits like ethnicity, race, religion. People who define, for example, being truly American as being white, Northern European and Christian. These people tend to be hostile to immigration, hostile to minority rights and hostile to government support for those in need.

And the reason may be that this way of thinking about the nation, is based on a myth of ethnic ancestry. That we're all figuratively or really descended from the same group. I think you can see that that sense of imagined kinship would produce solidarity, but also that it might make it easy to see people who came later to the nation, or who were already here, or who for other reasons are simply more difficult to see as family, seem also less deserving.

Some scholars have argued then that democratic cooperation depends not on an ethnic conception of nationhood, but on a civic one. What joins us is not that we share the same origins, not that we're something like family, but rather that we share the same values. And so, to promote democratic cooperation, we simply need to remind people of those national values.

Being Canadian in this view means being committed to equality, and diversity, and freedom, and human rights. Being American means being committed to equality, and diversity, and freedom, and human rights. Being Guatemalan means being committed to equality, and diversity, and freedom, and human rights. I think you can see the problem here.

Conceptualizing the nation in terms of its values doesn't do much to distinguish this nation from other democratic nations. It doesn't foster the kind of loyalty to the group that a notion of nation as kinship does. We're not even a group in this view. We're just people who happen to believe the same things that people in many other democracies believe.

This then, I think, is the challenge. Can we foster an understanding of the "we" that is thick in the sense of emotionally compelling, that gives us that sense of groupness, but a groupness that is inclusive rather than exclusive?

Now, at a time in the United States, when our democracy seems close to the brink, the challenge has become an urgent one. And in my own research, I've been intrigued by what has become a popular answer to that challenge. Today there are countless initiatives that bring together people across the divide to talk to one another. Bring together Democrats and Republicans, Muslims and Christians, white Americans and black Americans; bring them together to share their stories, to listen empathetically with the idea that the mutual understanding, and even friendship, that is formed in these encounters will spiral outward to create the broader solidarities that we seem to lack.

Now, I have a lot to say about these initiatives, but my main concern is that just how intimate conversations among a few people who want to talk to one another, will somehow create broader solidarities among a vast number of people who have no interest in talking to one another, isn't clear.

If imagined kinship isn't an adequate basis for democratic cooperation, I'm not convinced that real friendships are either. The community of the nation must be imagined, I think, and it must include people who are not our intimates and will never be our intimates.

But here's the key, and here's where I do see promise: family and friendship are not the only two relationships with which most of us have experience. We have relationships as coworkers, and as colleagues, and as neighbours, and as hosts and guests. We cooperate in these relationships, but we do so in a different way than we do with friends and family. We cooperate by way of reciprocity, rather than altruism; equality rather than communal sharing; fair procedure, rather than intimacy.

And so, what if we imagined the national community not as kin or as friends, but rather as people who cooperate for a common purpose? Yes, that purpose may be to enact shared values. We're back to the civic conception of nationhood. But what matters is less the values, than the relationships that are needed to enact those values.

[Text on screen reads "Political Psychology, Vol. 25, No. 5, 2004; What Does It Mean To Be An American?; Patriotism, Nationalism, And American Identity After 9/11; Qiong Li, Merskon Center, Ohio State University; Marilynn B. Brewer, Department of Psychology, Ohio State University]

Francesca Polletta: Let me give you an example of what I mean. In 2002, social psychologists Qiong Li and Marilynn Brewer had research subjects, all American, read one of two statements. One group read that the 9/11 attacks had united Americans by reminding them, and I'm quoting here, what we have in common as Americans, the core essence of what it means to be American, end quote. The other group read a slightly different statement. That 9/11 had united Americans by reminding them of, quote, a common purpose to fight terrorism in all its forms and to work together, end quote.  Then both groups were asked their views of policies around immigration and minority rights.

People in the first group, who were primed to think about their Americanness as a kind of fundamental and timeless essence, tended to oppose policies supporting immigrants and minorities. In fact, the stronger their sense of national identity, the stronger their opposition.

But people in the second group, who were primed to think that what joined them was the importance of their working together, rather than their common essence, expressed more tolerant views, even when they scored high on markers of national identity. In other words, how subjects imagined the bonds that joined them led them to support more or less inclusive policies.

And I want to note that these ways of thinking about the group were not new to research subjects. People were familiar with both conceptions of their American-ness. The more inclusive conception simply had to be primed.

And so the question that I ask is, how do we do that priming in real life? How do we get people to think about the ties that make up the national community as ones of cooperation, rather than as ones of sameness or kinship? I don't know the answer to that, but in thinking about it, I've come to see Canada's policies of multiculturalism in a somewhat different way than I used to.

Canada, you may know, is one of the few countries where a strong sense of national identity is associated with support for immigration, rather than opposition to it. Again, one of the very few countries in which that's the case. And one explanation that scholars have advanced plausibly, is that pride in multiculturalism is a part of Canadian national identity. That being Canadian means, in part, to support multiculturalism. But what strikes me about Canada's multicultural policies is not so much the abstract value of diversity they promote, as the work those policies require to actually accommodate difference. Not just to celebrate difference, to accommodate it.

The work that policy makers, and administrators, and advocacy groups, and employers, and ordinary citizens do to figure out, for example, just when a commitment to difference threatens a commitment to equality, and what to do about it. To negotiate minor controversies as much as major ones.

Some years ago, Will Kymlicka made the point that already multiculturalism in Canada had become banal. He meant banal, not in the sense of stupid or trivial, but rather that it had become the task of everyday politics. Perhaps that was made easier by the fact that Canadians have never been able to operate on the myth of a single people. But one of the things that that everyday politics of multiculturalism is doing, it seems to me, is figuring out in a very practical way what cooperative relationships across difference should look like. Multiculturalism. And again, not the value so much as how that value was put into practice, models a distinctive kind of political belonging in which the negotiation of our differences is what joins us. It's negotiation that is time consuming, difficult, sometimes tiresome, but in a democracy, is unavoidable. Indeed, is what democracy is.

So, let me conclude with three tentative observations.

One, that we can imagine our co-nationals in different ways, not only as something like family, but also with something like collaborators; neighbors; hosts and guests; stewards of a common inheritance. There are likely others. Relationships that emphasize cooperation, rather than sameness.

Two, that these alternative ways of imagining the ties that bind can be communicated by culture; by the stories we tell; by the histories we learn, but also by way of the policies we enact. They too send a message about how we are joined.

And three, that that work of imagination may be essential to democracy.

So let me stop there and I look forward to our discussion. Thank you.

[Daniel Jean appears on screen]

Daniel Jean: Thank you so much, Francesca. A lot of food for thought there. Three key takeaways that you want us to focus on. The importance of cooperation. The fact that these ties can also be communicated both by stories, but also by policies that are enacted. And the fact that imagination is important, like you say, it's essential.

We're going to have a chance to speak further to Francesca in a few minutes but let me now introduce Ron Levi. He's the Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the Department of Sociology, and he's a Distinguished Professor of Global Justice. He holds a Courtesy Cross appointment to the faculty of law, and he's a permanent visiting professor at the University of Copenhagen.

Ron works at the intersection of political sociology and the sociology of law. In fact, he was just before the session talking to us about some work he's doing, some research work he's doing, on policing in marginalized, racialized communities.

Ron let's give you a chance to have a quick reaction before we get into a more interactive panel. Go ahead, Ron.

[Ron Levi appears on screen. Text on screen reads Toronto, ON]

Ron Levi: Thank you, Daniel, and thank you everybody who's there, out there. I hear a lot of people are out there in this audience, so it's wonderful to have this opportunity and to be here with Francesca Polletta, who I should say is a colleague and friend but also, frankly, someone I've been reading for a long time. So to be able to be on the panel with Francesca is a real treat.

So, that's an amazing talk for me, Francesca, and I want to both congratulate you on it, but push you on it. Because in its core, this is a story you're telling about how, at least as I hear it, it's not all the idea of family, kin, it's not all the idea of friendship, close relationships. It's also cooperation. And that we have experience, as I heard you say it, with ways of being in interaction with each other, through cooperation, even without deep, thick emotional attachments.

But that puts a lot, I think, on that moment of cooperation. And so I want to raise, three tension points with that. And maybe they're not contradictory, I hope they're not, I don't think they are. But I think it forces us to think through three other dimensions.

The first is at the level, let's call it, of the state. Of the state's ideas about itself and about the nation. And so, if we think of Canada as having multicultural policies, for example, other countries having other personalities or ideas of themselves that are put out through policy. Vanessa Barker, in Sweden, talks about Swedish ideas of the welfare state that are enacted through policy, for example.

To what extent do those vary, and can they fuel or detract from that cooperation? I guess I'm saying here, let's not put it all at the feet of you and me, or you, me and Daniel, who have to go out and cooperate now. What's the level of policy here that matters, and how does it matter?

The second question I have about this, and I think we're really alert to it over the past several years, both south of the border and elsewhere, including Canada, is the question of politicians. So, aside from the state, the bureaucracy, the policy field, the sort of political speeches, the narratives of politics, and to what extent are these ideas of cooperation commensurate with what's happening recently in politics? And maybe it's not that recent, but what's happening in political speeches.

The last one, I'll say, is that as individuals, we come to this cooperative possibility with pasts, collective pasts, sometimes from countries of migration, and sometimes from neighbourhoods in which we live. Daniel was saying, I'm working on policing. So in the context of cities like Baltimore and Cleveland where I've been doing a lot of interview work, these are cities rife with tension with the police, the experience of policing is not only at my interaction with the state, it's where I live. It's the stories that are told around me about the state and about others, to use your language, and so to what extent are being nested in those neighbourhoods, or in those pasts, I'm not sure how to think about it, relevant to thinking about cooperation as a mode of doing the nation, for you?

So, those are my three questions. I don't know if they're questions so much as just thought bubbles, but I know that you've got ideas about all of these issues, so I'll turn to you.

[Daniel Jean appears on screen]

Daniel Jean: Excellent. Thank you so much, Ron. So, we'll try to get to some of those issues, including the role of the state.

For our audience, I know I've mentioned in the introduction that you could put your questions by raising your hand. The production team tells me that you should actually be putting your questions in the chat, and we will get into the moderated portion of the panel right now, but we'll try to leave as much time as possible to answer some of your questions.

So, let's look at the first question for both Francesca and Ron.

Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: In our two previous events on the subject, we've come to the conclusion that while Canada has some polarization, it doesn't have the level of political division that the US seems to have, but social divisions and intergroup conflicts persist. Why aren't we not able to resolve some of these conflicts to one-on-one exchanges and dialogue? Francesca, you want to go first?

Francesca Polletta: Yes, sure. And thank you, Ron, for those terrific questions. I'll see if I can try to weave some of what you asked into my response to the really interesting question Daniel posed.

[Francesca Polletta appears on screen]

Francesca Polletta: So, in the United States where we have just a scary, frightening level of political polarization, polarization in which not only do we disbelieve one another's facts, but we distrust one another. We dislike one another. We live in different places, we talk to different people, where the level of political polarization in the United States is an extreme, and it is affective, emotional polarization.

And what I've been struck by, in the last few years, is that one of the common responses to that polarization is that we need to talk to one another across the partisan divide, as well as across divides of class, religion, race, ethnicity. If only we can bring people together, Democrats and Republicans, Trump supporters and opponents, Muslims and Christians, if only we can bring people together, one-on-one, to share stories, to empathize with one another's experiences, to begin to understand those differences, that that experience of intimacy, of something like friendship, will then spiral outward to create broader solidarities. And that, in turn, will help to diminish the levels of polarization.

Now, when I hear those solutions, there's a lot to recommend them, but the first question I always have is, why doesn't the leader of the Democratic National Committee sit down with the leader of the Republican National Committee and have a friendly conversation, trade stories, learn to empathize with one another? Why doesn't Sean Hannity, a notorious right-wing commentator, sit down with someone from a mainstream news organ, and talk about the norms of responsible political journalism?

I fear that by vesting our hopes in ordinary conversations that we miss the ways in which the polarization that we have in the United States owes to institutions, owes to politics, owes to the media. It's simply not clear to me how those individual conversations will spiral out, will ripple outward into broader solidarities.

Moreover, and this is something that I hadn't realized when I began studying these initiatives to bring people together for one-on-one conversation, there's a lot of evidence that suggests that talking to one another is not quite all that it's cracked up to be. Research shows that if you ask someone to take the perspective of someone who fits a stereotype they have, their stereotypes are likely to be even more firmly held. They hunker down in those stereotypes. We know that people who are naturally empathetic tend to be more polarized in their political views. We know that it's much easier to feel empathy for people who are like you, than people who are different from you. And so, I'm suspicious of this easy faith in the power of individual encounters to change a political landscape that owes to politics, Ron, as you said, to institutions, to politicians, and to collective memories.

So, I would say again, that our sense of "we-ness", our sense of identity must be, in part, imagined. As members of a nation, we can't know everyone. And so there has to be some sense that, even though we don't know others, we're in this together.

The question is then, what fosters that sense of "we-ness"? What fosters that sense of cooperation? Ron, as you suggested, we can meet someone and begin to cooperate with them, but we often come to an interaction with ideas in our head about what this person is like, about what this encounter will be like. In the case of policing, about how police treat people like me. And so, I would suggest simply that we need to think much more about the different ways in which our institutions; our government; our public servants; our popular culture; the ways in which our institutions communicate messages about who we are, and what it is that joins us.

I have much more to say. I'll stop there, so I can give Ron a chance to jump in.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Thank you, Francesca. I'm going to go to Ron right after, but I'm just wondering, and you started to do this, so it can't be just individual conversations. There has to be some imagination. We have to transform the way we develop cooperation on these issues. [[He said, what foster risks.]]

Ron asked a question about the state, he asked a question about collective memories. How important are these two things as the enablers to foster such an environment?

[Francesca Polletta appears on screen]

Francesca Polletta: Absolutely essential. Rogers Smith is a political scientist who has this wonderful term. He talks about our stories of peoplehood. In order for people, for citizens to cooperate, we need to have a sense of a shared story of peoplehood. I agree, but I think it's more complicated than that. First, because as Ron points out, we are not one single people. Canadians know that perhaps better than anyone. And the problem with the kind of standard narrative of an originating people, people who settled; people who conquered; people who discovered, is that it leaves out people who came late.

And we know I mentioned research suggesting that Americans who tend to see being American as being Anglo-Saxon White Protestant, tend to have very exclusive understandings of the nation, and very narrow ideas of to whom resources should be made available.

So, the stories of peoplehood that we need to tell are multiple. And part of the work, I think, of culture, is working out how these multiple stories fit together, if they can be made to fit together.

But the second point I would make, and this goes back to Ron's point about institutions, is that it's not just textbooks, and speeches, and holidays that communicate stories of peoplehood. It is also the everyday work of government. The policy making, the policy implementation. It's in that everyday machinery of government that government agencies are sending a powerful message about who we are; who we're not; who is among us; who is outside the circle of the "we".

And so I would argue for really thinking a lot about the messages that policies communicate about what it is that joins us.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Thank you, Francesca. So Ron, from your research, how do we foster this cooperation? How do we transform the way we do things to make our democracies even more healthy and vibrant?

Ron Levi: So, classic academic, I'm going to duck. And I'm going to say I don't know how, but let me give you three data points. So, I should have said when we started, I work on ideas about justice. And those ideas about justice are sometimes what we call everyday experience,

[Ron Levi appears on screen]

Ron Levi: which frankly I think is a terrible term because every experience is everyday experience or lived experience, but what we call everyday experience, but also at the level of within the bureaucracies. So, just to give you a sense, I've been doing research, as I mentioned in some cities in the US, with tough relationships or difficult and violent relationships between often minority residents, often African American but not exclusively, and the police, but also with international bureaucracies, like the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, and how it thinks about justice.

And so, I think I've been moving within bureaucracies within the state, let's call it, and within sort of everyday experience to think about how justice is thought about. And with that, also some collective memory in a new project in France, that Francesca's been helping me with actually, to think about the memory of the collective memory of the Algerian Muslim community around violence of the 1960s.

And so, when you ask how can the state do this? You know, I think one has to be attentive to all of these three dimensions, as I mentioned earlier. At the level of policy, at the level of the past, and at the level of the state's own understanding of what is just. So, let me give you three data points to maybe give us a hint into the how.

The first is that it's not only one-on-one relationships that matter, one-on-one people talking that matters, as you asked Daniel, partly because people invest a huge amount of their understanding of themselves in the relationships, not only with each other, but the relationships to the state.

And what's been remarkable to us in the research we've been doing in Cleveland, let's say, is that no matter how often the state, and in this case policing, fails people, people a) continue to call the police when they need them. That's not surprising, it's the only game in town, as I've said, who else are you going to call in marginalized neighbourhoods? But when they are asked how they make sense of doing so, it's apparent that people in these neighbourhoods, often people who have just been arrested, frankly, who we've been talking to, invest a huge amount of a sense of recognition in the fact that they can call the state. That the state is there for them, and their inclusion as a citizen is their capacity to call on the state, even with the sense that that state agency will fail them. So why will talking one-on-one not break into group conflict and social division is because people's sense of inclusion isn't only about the relationships with each other, it's also about the relationships with the state, and the degree to which that state can or cannot serve them.  So, I think that's one piece.

The other is, as I mentioned before, politicians' speeches. And so, why won't one-on-one get there? We did some work that came out in the proceedings at the National Academy of Sciences recently on, in the US, on how people who believed the narrative of America first. This is a populous narrative that suggests that immigrants are bad. In particular, in this case, Muslims are bad. International trade isn't so great, it's bad for America. This is the MAGA, make America first Trumpism of the past several years. We found that folks who believe that narrative, who held onto that narrative, had statistically lots of conflict with the state, and law enforcement agencies as well. And that this wasn't true for other populous narratives. Of feeling like you had no say or feeling like elites had a better world than you did.

But there was something about, what Francesca's calling an idea about the nation that was exclusive, that was tapping into also past volatile relationships with the state. So that's really interesting, actually. That something about a sense of exclusion, a sense of conflict with the state also leads people, or correlates at least, with people having a sense of America first-ism, as opposed to a sense of internationalism.

And the last thing I'll say is that I'm suspicious of this idea that more engagement leads to more kindness. And the reason I say this is someone in the chat, I've noticed already, has a question about immigration.

So, some work we did in a Canadian city, that we don't name but is just alongside Toronto and has a major international airport, work we did there demonstrated that support for redistribution, which we can think of as inclusion in many ways. Support for welfare-ist policies is higher amongst first generation immigrants, a little lower amongst the one and a half generation, a little lower amongst the second generation. And at its lowest when you look at what we can call the third generation, which the literature sometimes calls native born. But basically support for broad redistribution falls with immigration status.

And so, here, the question of whether more interactions with fellow Canadians, in this case they have thought of this as time in country, leads to more support for redistribution. We find the opposite. That the support for redistribution is highest amongst the most recent immigrants to Canada.

So, would one-on-one engagements include inclusion? I don't know. The state matters, memories matter, pasts matter, and it seems that in immigration questions, time in country matters.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Thank you, Ron, and I think where both your observations have taken us is going to lead me to the following question. And you mentioned, Francesca, in your initial introduction, that as much as the stories and the collective memories are important, the policies also are important. So are there strategies for governments to promote more inclusive understandings of national identity or belonging?

And I want to thank our participants. We already have some questions that have been sent to us, and we'll get to some of these questions in a few minutes.

Francesca Polletta: Thank you, Daniel. And yes, and I should say, I'm an American. I'm an expert on the United States, so I'm hoping to learn from you and from members of the audience about Canadian policies.

[Francesca Polletta appears on screen]

Francesca Polletta: But I am struck by the fact that, so researchers have shown that cooperation depends on trust in institutions. A kind of generalized sense of trust. What the research has shown is that it's more important that people trust the agencies that are implementing policy, than that they trust the agencies that are making policy. And so, this suggests that it is at the level of the everyday bureaucracies that people interact with, that that trust is really essential.

So, how do we create that sense of trust? And here, what was really striking to me about reading about Canada's multiculturalism policy was not just the celebration of diversity, in the United States, we celebrate diversity too. It was the active, practical, daily mundane government work that is required to accommodate differences. And I think that that work in figuring out when does a respect for religious freedom bump up against a human right, gender rights and so on? And how do we negotiate that difference? How do we figure out which minority groups should have religious holidays recognized. That very local and negotiated process of figuring out how we accommodate difference, I think is actually central to communicating a message about who we are as people who are different but manage to live together in spite of those differences.

A lot of the politics that we see, and I think this is true in Canada as well as the United States, a lot of the politics we see is speech making, is politicians talking about who we are, a grand nation and so on.

What I would like us to see much more of is the negotiation that policy making involves. The work of figuring out how do we reconcile competing agendas? What can we give on? After George Floyd's death at the hands of police, there were huge protests around the world, as you know, and there was a lot of media coverage of the protests. What there was not coverage of, and I wish there had been, there was not coverage of a group of mayors sitting down to meet with Black Lives protestors, as well as other organizations, to figure out just what can we do to change policing.

And so, I think I would argue, I'm not sure what kinds of policies will do this work, but I think that the kinds of policies will, are ones that emphasize the fact that democracy is this negotiation of differences in a very practical and daily, and banal, Will Kymlicka uses the word banal, and I think I would use that term too, in a banal way. In the United States, we don't have the experience of that the way I think Canadians do.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: It's very interesting, Francesca, and what you've said about the trust is as much as the delivery as the elaboration and the calculation of the policies is an interesting description, given what we've gone through in Canada. I mean, from the pandemic standpoint, the public, you saw rise in trusts in public institutions go up, because while it wasn't perfect, I think the public in general realized the importance of government. And our government was trying to respond in an agile way to an unprecedented, at least for generations, unprecedented crisis. And where actually what happened when we were heading back towards normality, if there's such a thing right now, the government started to fail on basics delivery: passport services; immigration; airport clearances, and all of these things. And you saw that the gains that had happened during the pandemic, stepped back. Which is, I think is something very important for our audience who are public servants to say the policies are important, but for the public to know that we are able to deliver these basic services is a very important.

Ron, on this notion of what are the policies that can actually promote a vibrant democracy, meaningful engagement of what Francesca said, as opposed to the [inaudible] speech writing.

[Ron Levi appears on screen]

Ron Levi: I think it's just a brilliant question, and I agree with Francesca, that it's the level of the implementation. But I think it may even go, for everyday residents, it may go further even than implementation of the policy. It may go to the enactment of the policy, at the level of the individual.

So, I study policing. And in places like Baltimore and Cleveland, I'll tell you what people say. People want to be treated fairly and equally, and in a just way. The story that law tells of itself. The story of fairness, of rights, of freedoms, of being treated equally to any other citizen in the nation. And people tell us this, they say, don't treat me differently because I live here; don't treat me differently because I'm black, in the cases of Baltimore and Cleveland in particular; don't make assumptions about us. There's a real strong need expressed to us. We've done, I should mention, 200 interviews or so in the jails of Baltimore and Cleveland, and that's where these data come from. And people talk about this.

And at the same time, and I'm going to say at the same time, within person and across people. People say, you know what? Acknowledge that we're in a different neighbourhood than some other places you police. We're not the suburbs. Don't just treat us as if you're ignorant about our circumstance.

So, there's an appetite, a need for the state to do inclusion work to both treat people equally and fairly, in that sense, but also to defer, to understand local community needs, to understand the appetite for difference, to understand that my challenges may be different than what you're used to seeing in other neighbourhoods that you police. To giving me a break a little bit, because my circumstances are different.

And these are not contradictory for people. People quite seamlessly hold both of these hopes and aspirations for the state. Treat me fairly, and treat me with empathy. Treat me justly, and treat me with deference. Treat me through law, and treat me through community. And it's our capacity to navigate both those desires that people talk about when they say, live up to what you promised you'd do, but live up to something more, too.

So, that's one piece. I'll add, and Daniel I wasn't going to mention this, but you mentioned the sort of the everyday work as well as the exceptionalism work. So we asked people in these cities, what does police professionalism look like to you? You could translate that question into what does good government look like to you? It's the same question, really. And folks told us four things.

They said, listen, police have to be at least minimally competent. Get out of the cars, don't just avoid us, show up on time. Minimal competence. They told us they should be ethical in their relationships with us. Treat us fairly, don't cheat, don't lie, that sort of thing. But they also told us two other things that I think might be interesting lessons for government.

One is, expand your domain. Don't just come and police us. Actually help us paint this house here at the corner. Help us with the kids who are in the streets. Help us do things that are outside of your remit, because it shows that you believe in the place, and that's what a professional does. A professional takes care of a situation, that they worry about the whole context. And, show us that you're willing to learn. Be reflexive about what you're doing. When people tell you that what you're doing isn't right, think about it. Reflect, learn, and admit that you've learned. And those two might be interesting lessons for thinking about government, as people have told us this, as they thought about what a police professional would be for them.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Great. Thank you, Ron. It's very interesting, and we're now going to go to some of the questions from the audience. And, we spoke before the session, we're going to try to keep our answers as brief as possible to try to entertain as many of the questions as possible. Francesca has a sharp deadline, she teaches at noon, so we'll have to be done by noon.

[Daniel Jean appears on screen]

Daniel Jean: The first question we have, and I'm going to go to Ron first, but I'm going to ask for Francesca's reaction, is, what do you think of the future of populism in Canada? We've heard in previous elections slogans like Brexit or separation of Quebec. Do you think the future of Canada will be a more polarized society or not? I trust here your views, Ron, as a Canadian, and somebody does research on both sides of the border, but Francesca, from your research, I'd be interested to hear what you would propose as advice to us Canadians on that issue. Go ahead, Ron.

[Ron Levi appears on screen]

Ron Levi: So, I could make a lot of money, if I could tell the future, so I don't know about that. But, I want to disentangle two things, actually. I want to disentangle the idea of populism, from the idea of polarization.

Populism historically and geographically comes from the right and from the left. Populism, even in the context of the United States, where, I think, all of our eyes were on for several years at least, even in the context of the United States, has different dimensions. Some of it may be a kind of America first-ism, which has a long history in the United States. A long and very dark history in the United States, going back to the thirties. But some of it may be a sense that people don't have a say and feel left out of politics.

And those are very different pieces of a populist puzzle, some of which may be more divisive than others. Some of it may lead to more social polarization than others. So, as an individual, as a citizen of this country, I worry about the kinds of populism that Francesca was pointing to, which are about saying, I'm part of this nation and you are not. But we can imagine more diverse ideas about what populism is.

So, are we seeing more of that in Canada? Are we seeing more of a kind of, who is included, who is not, in the nation? That's what I would be most attentive to in asking about the question of social division. I think if there's a question about, have the fruits of globalization, let's say, let's call it that, been distributed equally across societies? I think the easy answer to that question is probably not <laugh> And if there is some populism that calls attention to that, I think that's a very different political moment, or political worry, than a populism that says some of us belong and some of us do not. Some of us are part of the genuine nation, and some of us are not. And so, I want to just disentangle those things, but I'll turn to Francesca.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Francesca? And particularly this notion of the globalization has not been as good for everyone, has been very much at the heart, I think, of the polarization we've seen in the US. I'm interested in your views on this.

[Francesca Polletta appears on screen]

Francesca Polletta: Yes, it's interesting. When Donald Trump was first elected, the sort of standard sociological line was that the people who voted for Trump had been left out of globalization, right? That they were economically marginalized, that their jobs were less secure and so on. And then what subsequent studies showed that that wasn't in fact, the case. That many of Trump's supporters had done very well, that their futures were not economically precarious. And that, in fact, it was rather a sense that the United States had been left out of these globalization processes.

And so, people in one study, fascinating by Roy McVay, people would talk about their own experience, but really they weren't talking about their own experience. They were talking about the fact that Americans had been left out, that white people were losing their power. So, that sense of the "I" was intimately connected to the sense of the "we".

I would just make one other point about populism in this country, that I think because there are a lot of studies of populous beliefs that are individualistic. That ask, what beliefs do people have who are populist? Or what beliefs do people have who are polarized? It's easy to miss the fact that polarization takes place, and the rise of populism, takes place in an institutional context.

And so, I think it's really important to realize that in the United States, for example, transformations in party politics over the last decade or two have been really important to understanding why there's been this level of polarization spurred by populist beliefs, and populist movements.

The media, I don't think Canada has something that's analogous to Fox News. And one of the important things about Fox News, one of the reasons I think it played such a role in the rise of the populist right, is that populist Fox News commentators did not just comment on news developments, they also told viewers how to interpret mainstream news stories. And so, at the beginning of each show, news commentators would say, here's a story that appeared in the New York Times, or the Washington Post. Here's why you should not believe it. There was a kind of teaching going on, a kind of pedagogical function going on. And so, one of the results, one of the consequences of that, I think, was that Americans came to distrust the mainstream media. Among Republicans, the levels of distrust of the mainstream media are in the lowest they've ever been, and far lower than they've ever been.

And so, I would simply argue that in thinking about the rise of populism in Canada and what threat it poses, we think about the institutions within which these political ideas gain traction, gain force. And are there ways in which we can structure our institutions so that there's more balance?

If American journalists were able to maintain a kind of professional commitment to objectivity and balance, then we would have much less distrust of the media and much less political distrust, more generally.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Go ahead. Of course.

Ron Levi: Can I turn the tables on you? I think of the three of us, I'm pretty sure you're the only one who's worked in government. And so I'd be curious to know from inside government, how that very question is seen.

Daniel Jean: Ah? The question?

Ron Levi: The question of social fracture, yes.

[Daniel Jean appears on screen]

Daniel Jean: The question of social fracture is seen as there has definitely been an erosion in democratic institutions in Canada. I don't think we have the type of polarization we see in the US, but I think certainly there is a strong sentiment that there's been.

That it is striking the fourth pillar, which is a very important pillar, which is of course, the media. The fact that the new reality, maybe because of social media, maybe because of trust factors affected. People tend to wish to read what they believe, as opposed to read things that may actually influence their views, their thoughts, make the interaction between public policies, the government, and the citizen, a much more difficult environment. I think it's very critical.

I'm going to bring an example on the national security side. When the US election foreign interference occurred in 2016, we had been warning about the fact that the Russians could be doing disinformation for some time, because we'd seen what they had done in the context of sport: the Olympics, and the attack on the World Anti-Doping Agency. But interestingly, when this happened, there's nothing like a case study to awaken interest from everyone, politicians, public servants and all of that, and the focus was all on the election. And many, many of us who have worked in various spheres of government in Canada said, We don't think that's the major threat in Canada. Our electoral system is very solid, very independent, very different than the US system, but we are quite worried about how a foreign interference campaign, like what the Russians do, could do on polarizing the country on issues like west versus east, Quebec identity issues, and these kinds of things. And, I think that that's the challenge, I think, for the public service right now is, in the world where there's been an erosion of trust in public institutions, including government, how do you find ways to bring policies that foster the kind of cooperation that Francesca has been talking about in her initial speech when there seems to be a lot of barriers in having meaningful engagement? That would be my take on that.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Ron Levi: That's really interesting. So, I just want to turn to Francesca's point about context, in a way. The field of the media, which I'm not at all an expert, seems to me nontrivial here. The competitive dynamics in that field, of having to sell <laugh> but also, there's this recent article that came out just last week, maybe two weeks ago, by someone called Petter Törnberg in the proceedings of the National Academy, where he shows, and I can't recall if it's Twitter or some other social media, where he shows that's actually not the echo chamber that leads to polarization, but it's being confronted with radically different views from what you're used to encountering. So actually, we all encounter different views every day, but it's within a certain confidence interval, somewhat different views from mine.

But actually, through social media when it's not so much that I'm only hearing myself, but I'm hearing views that are, to me, just outlandish, and actually they appear to have a lot of people who agree with them. And that, the Törnberg article is suggesting, is what leads to the kind of polarization, more so than the echo chamber. It's being confronted with radically diverse views that appear to have some stability. So, getting our hands on this very question, Daniel, of to what extent is it about to the media, the sort of the corporate media, the institutional media, the social media. The bubble versus the radical difference, I think is so core to what Francesca's talking about, and our capacity to cooperate.

Francesca Polletta: Sorry, can I just jump into that, because I think it's such an important point. Christopher Bail is an American sociologist who has also shown that exposing people to competing views in online media

[Francesca Polletta appears on screen]

Francesca Polletta: tends to increase polarization, rather than decrease it. That was always the democratic hope, that when we're exposed to views that are different from ours, we rethink our own opinions. We recognize compromises we might not have seen, we recognize alternatives we might not have seen. That's no longer the case.

But I also want to recall that when I grew up reading a newspaper, I knew that the most important piece of news was in the upper right-hand corner. I could count on the editor telling me, as a member of the public, this is the news that you need to pay attention to, to be a well-informed member of the public.

Now, there are all kinds of problems with that. What is most important in the view of the editor is not necessarily what is most important, but there were certain shared habits of determining what news we need to pay attention to, what news we should trust, and that one of the effects of social media is that we lack that. There's not that guidance. The news that we're exposed to is the news we've said we've liked before. The news that we're exposed to is the news that we're likely to click on the headline because it's provocative.

And so that, in turn, shapes the kinds of discussions that we have, as a nation. The kinds of deliberations, the kinds of opinion-sharing that we engage in.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Yes, that's a very interesting point. And Ron, I must say, I enjoyed what you've said about how the reading of volumes of comments that actually infuriate you, make you even more, because my reaction as an older person to a social media, particularly Twitter, when I look at it is I feel it's like the good old church porch when I grew up, with both the potential to communicate very important information to a number of people, but can also become the forum for some of the worst of human being tragedies, gossips. And it's interesting, but what you're basically saying is people by being exposed in the digital world, where [inaudible] becomes even more not willing to listen. So that's an interesting point.

Francesca, we have an interesting question, because you talk about how the fact that open migration in Canada, as you know, may have created the right conditions for cooperation and all of that in your talk, but there's one of our participants in the audience who also says, sometimes the immigrants come from different places where countries may be at odds. Where there may be conflicts between what they're living here, versus what's happening. We see some of that here sometimes in the Chinese diaspora between people who may have come from Hong Kong, who are much more critical on what's happening on the mainland, than maybe people who've come from the mainland.

Your views on that, how this does this impact cooperation?

[Francesca Polletta appears on screen]

Francesca Polletta: I think that's exactly why it is important to develop a sense of the "we", of the national "we". And I would argue that certainly Canada has not been completely successful in doing it, but I think you've done it better than we have done, which is to develop a sense of the "we" that encompasses differences among the groups that make it up. To tell a story of peoplehood that is not just a kind of combination of all the stories of the people who have come here with their conflicts, but that tries to integrate those stories into one of what it is to be Canadian.

And so, I think that that task is just really essential. It's a cultural task, but as we've been suggesting, it's a political task too.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Ron?

Ron Levi: Yes, I'll just add to that, that it's a political task, but it's not a partisan task, or it need not be a partisan task. And so that very article I was mentioning, talking about internationalism and how it taps into,

[Ron Levi appears on screen]

Ron Levi: how anti-internationalism and anti-immigration taps into underlying volatility that we found empirically. It turns out not to be predicted at all by whether you voted for Trump or not, that actually didn't tap into, as Francesca was saying, didn't tap into any underlying volatility. And other aspirations for the nation that were about change, and populous change as people were calling it in questions, didn't tap into the volatility. What tapped into the volatility, that we found, was when people thought, I belonged and you didn't. That immigrants didn't belong, and that internationalism, as such, was bad for the nation. That engaging outside the borders of the nation was itself bad. That was what tapped into volatility.

So, the fact that we found no partisan differences actually by voting patterns for this, tells me what Francesca says, which is stories about inclusion need not be partisan, in fact aren't empirically partisan, but when they're exclusionary, they take on a different, well, when they're exclusionary, they're exclusionary, I'm not sure what else to say. When they're exclusionary, they say, I belong, and you don't, and that appears to tap into earlier frustrations with the nation.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Good. Our panelists are so good that they've actually managed to answer two questions we had received from participants in the chat. The one about the possibility of the tensions where you come from, your state and all of that, but we also had one about, if you focus too much on the differences, is it not going to be divisive? And, what I'm hearing from the two of you is, it has to be respecting differences, but not making it an exclusive. They have to build the "we", as what Francesca described, correct?

Ron Levi: Can I intervene and maybe, Francesca?  So I'm dying to know Francesca's answer to this, actually, because I'm starting to work on France. And, this is like the crucible for this question. We have histories of ethnocultural communities in France who were French, of course, they were colonized, so the Algerian community, let's say, in France. And we have a story and a narrative, a state narrative,

[Ron Levi appears on screen]

Ron Levi: about Laïcité, sort of a secularism that is a republicanism, which everyone is a member of the state, and we don't see colour or difference in that sense. Okay? We could talk about the French story there, the French account of itself. You know, Daniel, you're saying respectful of difference, but of course, the Republican story in France is that the way to be respectful of difference is precisely different than let's say the Canadian narrative of multiculturalism. That Laïcité is the way to manage difference by creating a single collectivity. I'm really interested in that, because I think it has to negotiate cultural and collective memories at once. But I'd be curious to know from you, and from Francesca actually, what your views are on that mode of doing difference looks like.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Francesca?

Francesca Polletta: It's a terrific question, and I noticed that a participant had asked something like, what's wrong with seeing your country as number one?

[Francesca Polletta appears on screen]

Francesca Polletta: Nothing at all. And so in this vein, scholars sometimes distinguish between patriotism, which is a love of nation, and what they called chauvinism, which is a love of nation, but also, a tendency to be exclusive, to see other nations as inferior, to resist any kind of collaboration or cooperation.

Now, it's really hard to draw the line. What is patriotism, and what is chauvinism? And as Daniel said, the $64,000 question is, how do you maintain that sense of unity while being respectful of difference? What I would suggest only, is that we emphasize less who is in and who is out. We emphasize less the boundaries. Because, certainly, we can't let everyone in. We can't treat everyone as being an equal member of the polity, but that we focus less on the boundaries distinguishing who is in and who is out, and more on how we are joined. What the character of our bonds are.

And in that respect, and again, I'll suggest you're probably sick of me hearing this, and you may disagree, but I think that what Canada does better than France, is to put forefront the work of negotiation. The daily political work that is necessary to accommodate differences. As opposed to what I understand to be the French solution, which is to say, we have this idea of what it is to be French, and it trumps other understandings of what Frenchness is. It's that showing the work of negotiation, and that that is what democracy is. I think that's a powerful way to respond to that challenge.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: That's a very, very good point, Francesca, and to go back to your question, if you try to ask it to me, Ron, I would say that, listening to both of you today, and looking at your question, if I were to answer as a Quebecer who lives in the Ottawa area, so I read both Francophone and Anglophones press, I'm always struck at how the English media in general in Canada misunderstand the whole Laïcité debate in Quebec.

[Daniel Jean appears on screen]

Daniel Jean: It has a lot less to do, and I don't, don't necessarily agree with all the policies that have been enacted, so let's make it clear now, like the religious symbols, I don't necessarily agree with all of that, but what I'm struck when I read mainstream newspapers in Canada describing what's happening in Quebec, is how much they don't understand what you refer as collective memories of Quebecers, which is being raised under the umbrella, very tight umbrella of the Catholic Church; being told you should go into business because this is like the protestants that do that, you should. And, there's a huge societal reaction to, no we don't think it's that we should have an identity that is not based on religious things, we should be based on language, on culture, on trying to live together. It remains a society very open to migration, but with some concerns on the impact that religion can have on the public space.

And, I have this conversation with a lot of migrants who are friends, and it's interesting how few of them understand the history of Quebec through the lens of, we were under the ropes of the Catholic Church for so long, and with very little liberty.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Ron Levi: I'll just, add to that. I'm always surprised by the thin understanding Anglophone Canada has, often of French policies of Laïcité, which also ignore those moments. I'll just add, it's interesting to have this conversation, the three of us. Sort of as a personal, just to put the personal on the table, I'm the only one of my family, my nuclear family, to have been born in Canada, a family of Egyptian origin. Both my parents had been born in Egypt. We spoke French, Arabic, Hebrew and English at home. And my whole story, my whole lived experience, as we say, it came through Quebec's policies around its nationhood, and around thinking about at the time what was Bill 1 0 1, and later. So, Daniel, these stories also hit home very personally often, as part of one's own individual trajectory that matches collective stories.

Daniel Jean: We have a question here that gets to the role of the state, and the fact that state may have different political systems at play. It says, on Francesca's and Ron's point about the role [inaudible] in fostering national identity and perhaps tampering polarization, at least in Canada. I wonder if this could be extended to the difference of government systems that we have, even just having two parties in the US versus now multi-party in Canada. Your views on that?

Francesca Polletta: Yes, <laugh>, yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And again, to the point about the power of institutions, that it is very difficult to see in the United States how we can have compromises. How we can have actually the kind of policy that the majority of Americans want.

[Francesca Polletta appears on screen]

Francesca Polletta: Americans want some restrictions on gun ownership. But in a Congress that is divided, and in a political system in which primaries; the use of the filibuster; other norms of doing the work of politics, point in the direction of polarization and the benefits, the advantages, the incentives to polarizations. It's very hard to see how we will be able to have the kinds of compromises that would allow American citizens, who do agree on some things, to get the policies they want.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Ron?

Ron Levi: I don't have a lot to add to that. I didn't know how to answer, Francesca answered in ways that I find very convincing. I'll say there are countries that are at the other extreme of that distribution. So a country like Israel, where all governments are made through coalition, may be an interesting comparison case. Where political compromise is always on the table, and then the question is, in which directions does that political compromise have to pull in order to get enough seats to govern? So, it's not an answer so much as just a reaction to what I thought was very convincing by Francesca.

Daniel Jean: Okay. And we're going to go for our last question from the audience before bringing the session to a wrap. How do we account for the rise of a more ethnic and exclusionary sense of Canadian identity? Is it due to the influence of national ideologies from other countries? Perhaps more notably American perspective and belief, but yet we see populism in many, many other countries than the US?

[Francesca Polletta appears on screen]

Francesca Polletta: I'll just say two things. One is that I think when researchers interview people about how they understand who they are, and what their nation is, what they find is a kind of remarkable diversity of views. That the same person may talk about what being Canadian is, or what being American is in very different ways. In ways that are more civic, in ways that are more ethnic.

And so, to me, that points that that sort of diversity of views suggests not that we are irrational or incoherent, but that by priming some of those beliefs, by emphasizing, by reminding us that yes, we are a nation of immigrants, or by reminding us of our civic national identity, we can encourage people to emphasize that part of themselves. So yes, I think that we see both conceptions in most people.

And, on the issue of what accounts for the rise of more ethnic conceptions of identity, one of the things I find striking in survey research, is that Canada is not a country that sees immigration as a crisis. European countries do, Americans do. And that it's not just a perception of what challenges face your nation, but whether they rise to the level of crisis. That that really affects the ways in which you think about who should be within the circle of the "we".

And again, then we need to pay attention to the role of politicians and the media in defining what challenges rise to the level of a crisis.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Thank you. Ron?

[Ron Levi appears on screen]

Ron Levi: Yes. So, it's a good question, whether empirically we have a more exclusionary sense of Canadian identity than we have in the past. It'd be interesting to know how to track that. I mean, it's a very interesting question. I will say that even if we were to, let's just take for granted that maybe we do, there's still a question of national styles that matter. And so it, how should I say this? It may be that exclusionary politics are on the rise everywhere in some countries, in Canada, and the US, but they may take on very different flavours. And that those flavours may matter.

So, when Covid 19 began, a student and I did some work, actually a colleague and I now, did some work on how border closures were being talked about. Because of course, most countries had engaged in border closures at the same time. And we found that in the US, border closures were justified under some justifications. And in Canada, the same policies were justified differently. In Canada, the focus was often on expertise, on science. In the US context, it was based on a "we" that had to be isolated from the outside. And so we were able to track this in some speeches. There you have the same policy, justified very differently. And that justification, you can say it's just symbolic, but I would say it's precisely symbolic, actually. It's precisely those justifications that communicate to the polity why these policies are being enacted. And they tell a story, in Francesca's terms, about who we are and why we enact some ways of acting and some political decisions and not others.

So, I guess I would, in thinking about whether we are more exclusionary or not, I would also think about a) the material outcome maybe, but b) the justification and the story about it, which may be very different, and which may tap into different senses of the nation and may tap into different possibilities for solidarity within the country as well.

[Daniel Jean, Francesca Polletta, and Ron Levi appear on screen in video chat panels]

Daniel Jean: Thank you, Ron. Thank you, Francesca. It's been a very interesting conversation. We had an audience of several hundred participants today, and for this audience of public servants, I think having this reflection on what fosters cooperation, what can make our democracies even more vibrant. How do we create the condition for a meaningful engagement with the public, with Canadians, both to the[inaudivle] of our policies for that you also said the actual delivery of these policies is also very important, is so critical.

[Daniel Jean appears on screen. Text on screen reads "Browse the Learning Catalogue! It includes courses, events and other learning tools; Visit; Consultezle catalogue d'appretissage!; Il vous propose des cours, des événements et des outils d'apprentissage"]

Daniel Jean: So, I'm really grateful on behalf of the Canadian School of Public Service for the time that you've extended to us today. Francesca, you'll be right on time for your seminar. Ron, it's good to see you. Big, big thank you to you. Thank you to the audience as well. I want to remind you that the next session of the Future of Democracy series will be the fourth event, the 7Cs of policing and will be held on November 24th, 2022, so November 24th, and encourage them to check the CSPS, the Canadian School of Public Service website for more information. And since it's going to be on policing, I would say Ron is giving you a good appetizer for that next session. Merci, thank you. Have a great day.

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