Kishore Mahbubani: How do you account for the rise of ethno-nationalism?

Question: How do you account for the rise of ethno-nationalism?

Kishore Mahbubani: : Well, actually what you do see in Asia is that the economic development is leading to a diminution of the traditional tensions within Asian countries. I mean one thing that people haven’t noticed is that all the three biggest wars since World War II are fought in East Asia, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Sino Vietnamese War, and hundreds of thousands of people died. Today the guns are completely silent in East Asia, and the silence of the guns is not an accident. The silence of the guns is a result of a very carefully thought out decision by all the leaders saying “hey, this is our moment to make it, let us focus on economic development and let us not get this distracted by war and conflict.” Now the Asians haven’t had--even though they have achieve zero wars within any two nation states-- have not reached the highest level of human civilization, which is what the European union has achieved where in Europe you don’t just have zero wars, you have zero prospect of war and that is an incredible civilizational achievement. But I think that is the direction of the Asians want to go to also, they want to replicate Europe also in that area.


When looking at Asia, Mahbubani thinks its important to distinguish between inter and intrastate tensions.

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
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Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
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  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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