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All the Difference in the World: In Search of a Critical Cosmopolitan Pedagogy for Global Citizenry

Kaan Agartan and Alexander Hartwiger
From the journal New Global Studies


As the idea of citizenship has become a token for increasingly exclusionary manifestations of national identity, this article is a call for higher education institutions to honor their commitment to cultivating global citizens, yet with significant caveats. We argue that the proliferation of global learning initiatives in an increasingly neoliberalized university promotes a particular type of global citizen: a well-trained employee with intercultural skills which facilitate access to the global economy, and a global consumer of world cultures with no true commitment to global social justice. By offering a critique of pedagogical principles upon which global citizenship education is currently built, this article aims to demonstrate that the obligation to produce critical and civically engaged global citizens is not only urgent but also possible through novel pedagogical practices. Drawing on a semester-long partnership between two linked courses, we conclude that the interdisciplinary linked-course experience not only helps students delve into a conversation with what it means to be a global citizen in ways not possible through conventional pedagogical practices, but also allows instructors to explore new spaces that humanize abstract formulations of global citizenship for an ethical imperative towards the world and all its inhabitants.

Corresponding author: Kaan Agartan, Department of Sociology, Framingham State University, 100 State Street, Framingham, MA, 01701, USA, E-mail:


We would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their incisive comments. An earlier version of this article was presented at “The Scholar Activist” workshop organized by the Center for Excellence in Learning, Teaching, Scholarship and Service (CELTSS) at Framingham State University on April 3, 2017. We are grateful to the Office of Academic Affairs for funding the workshop, and to Dr. Lina Rincón for serving as discussant.


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Received: 2020-01-23
Accepted: 2020-08-27
Published Online: 2020-09-16

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