Globalizing Education in Times of Hyper-Nationalism, Rising Authoritarianism, and Shrinking Worldviews

Eve Darian-Smith 1
  • 1 University of California Irvine, 92697, Irvine, USA
Eve Darian-Smith

Abstract

With the global political tide pushing increasingly narrow state-framed worldviews there is a retrenchment of how people understand their relational place in, and connection to, the world. This essay argues that precisely because of the rise of hyper-nationalism (and accompanying anti-democratic trends) there is an urgent need to pursue the globalizing of public education and the coproduction of global knowledge more generally. I suggest that the emerging field of Global Studies, which has been gaining ground in the United States and even more so around the world in recent decades, offers a pedagogical pathway to promoting critical interdisciplinary perspectives and fostering equality and respect for others. My basic claim is that Global Studies shares with liberal education a core mission to promote peace in a world of cultural diversity. But in calling for epistemological pluralism – and highlighting the American (western) epistemological underpinnings of the liberal arts that are deeply implicated in colonial histories of racism, oppression and silencing of non-western knowledge – Global Studies also highlights the inherent limitations of liberal education that as a new field of inquiry it seeks to overcome.

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New Global Studies approaches contemporary globalization as a whole and across disciplinary lines. It draws from history, sociology, anthropology, political science and international relations to study the past and present of today's globalizing process. Topics include economic globalization, global media networks, preservation of the global environment, transnational manifestations of culture and the methodology of global studies itself.

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