Pluralism, Tribalism and Civility

  • David Bromell


Bromell suggests that while we invoke the symbol of the rainbow to acknowledge and celebrate diversity, the fact we need to invoke it at all points to enduring social realities of domination, humiliation, cruelty and violence. This chapter reflects on diversity and super-diversity, our human tendency to cluster into tribes of “us” and “them”, the relative importance for politics and public life of our personal identities, social identities and human identity, and how we might create public value from our differences—provided we adopt an agonistic politics, moderate our anger and refrain from turning opponents into enemies. The proposed resolution for public leadership is to be civil. This implies understanding and accepting that people have different, competing and conflicting interests and values, and staying present and engaged to resolve conflict where possible, without necessarily driving for consensus.


Diversity Tribalism Identity politics Agonism Public leadership Civility 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Bromell
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Governance and Policy StudiesVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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