All (cautiously) hail—and scale—community!

Professor Prerna Singh recently published an essay in Dædalus Journal on the potential of community to promote human flourishing.

Mahatma Gandhi Associate Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs Prerna Singh authored an essay published in the latest issue of Dædalus Journal titled, "All (Cautiously) Hail—and Scale—Community!"

In the abstract for this essay, Singh states: "In her essay, Jenna Bednar makes a powerful case and sets out a persuasive framework for refocusing public policy away from the market toward “human flourishing.” In this response, I build on one of the pillars of her framework—community—to showcase its potential to promote human flourishing at scale. I show how communities can promote human flourishing not just locally, but also at the national level. And yet, a focus on the progressive power of nationalism at once also cautions against the dangers inherent in the concept of community itself: that is, that all communities are necessarily bounded and unequal. In laying bare the exclusion and violence that communities can inflict on those beyond their boundaries, and/or down the ladder of “prototypicality,” nationalism is a dark, stark reminder for all communities, including at the local level, to be consistently vigilant to both their boundaries and gradations of belonging. The task that Bednar emphasizes of building mutuality and trust within communities must proceed apace with a commitment to both expanding and building healthy relations with those beyond their boundaries, and ensuring the web of solidarity encompasses all equally within the community."