Schools no longer aspire to be the next École Nationale d’Administration, which has long cultivated the French classe dirigeante, or like the original incarnation of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. They have a tendency to portray the world as a collection of problems that only a worldwide cooperative process can address, rather than as a strategic landscape within which each country — with its particular history, intellectual foundations and cultural underpinnings — has to assess trade-offs and act to protect its citizens.
The task of forming reasoning patriots seems to be increasingly ceded to military academies and war colleges, while civilian universities seek to churn out global citizens.
The most immediate risk is that we will face a homogenous and bland educational landscape. Students will have a hard time learning the French or the American perspective on the world, as these will be swapped for whatever the global vision is. So much for intellectual diversity.
More important, if we train elites to be imbued with higher esteem for the abstraction of a global community than for the reality of the particular group in which they live, we deprive our nation of the ability to defend its interests and maintain its well-being. After all, implicit in the argument for global citizenship is the idea that the pursuit of national interests is dangerous because the solitary actions of individual states undermine the possibility of solving global problems.