22 SES 10 A, Critical Internationalisation and Global Citizenship in Times of Nationalist Popul(ar)ism
Popularism has emerged around discourses on the nation state even as globalisation has claimed to transcend such national categories. Skeptics and transformationists argue that globalisation’s paradoxical effect has been to venerate the nation state as a hyper-real imaginary and entrench border(ing)s (Held and McGrew, 2000; Hirst, Thompson & Bromley, 2009). The emergence of nationalist popularism correlates with failed promises of new freedoms and equalities (Inglehart & Norris, 2016), and consequential to deepening neoliberal governance where centralised control and wealth amongst elites work with precariatising the newly subjugated (Curtice, 2015). These discourses have given rise to new rightist and leftist movements, often deepening polarisation and entrenching religious, political and national divisions, while diminishing the possibility of consensually-driven dialogue. Situated popularism is witnessed in the Rhodes Must Fall, Fees Must fall, and Science Must Fall student movements across South African universities (Davids & Waghid, 2016), reflecting calls for an Africanisation of governance structures, and decolonisation of perceived irrelevant and Eurocentric knowledge taught in these spaces; knowledge structures contributable to unequal social relations. These calls align with a rejection of neoliberal governance of national institutions such as SA universities that were quickly restructured according to neoliberal logic after democracy in 1994. The transformation agenda in South Africa has failed to secure meaningful change toward greater social equality, and its underlying neoliberal inheritances have paradoxically yet seamlessly aligned with earlier forms of authoritarian nationalism (Swanson, 2013). These recent student protests reflect disillusionment with unequal(ising) global capitalism and corrupt neoliberal logic invested in national interests and structures in SA. In Scotland, by contrast, nationalist popularism has arisen around calls for independence from the UK, appearing leftist at face value, but aligning unproblematically with neoliberal governance logic emanating from the Scottish govt., thus conflating contradictory ideological discourses. This is witnessed in global citizenship’ discourses touted through Curriculum for Excellence (see Swanson & Pashby, 2016) and Scotland’s international development strategy. Nationalist popularism is thus contradictory, complex and often ideologically-hybrid. A robustly critical and participatory Education system becomes necessary in seeking epistemic and ontological alternatives to global capitalism, while making sense of a confused political ‘common sense’ - one installed by globalising neoliberal capitalism; the other by over-simplified plebiscitarian (Barr, 2009) national popularisms - is difficult, but crucial in making sustainable political alternatives possible. Critical postcolonial/decolonial perspectives offer ways of fostering such analyses, but need to work concomitantly with ethical actions towards global justice, democracy and equality.
Barr, R.R. (2009). Populists, Outsiders and Anti-Establishment Politics, Party Politics, 15(1): 29 - 48. Curtice, J. (2015). A Question of Culture or Economics? Public Attitudes to the European Union in Britain, Political Quarterly 87(2): 209-218. Davis, N. & Waghid, Y. (2016) #FeesMustFall: History of South African student protests reflects inequality’s grip. Mail & Guardian, 10 October 2016. Held, D. and McGrew, A., Goldblatt, D. and Perraton, J. (2000), Global Transformations: Politics,Economics and Culture, Cambridge: Polity Press. Hirst, P., Thompson, G., & Bromley, S. (2009). Globalization in Question, (3rd Edition), Cambridge: Polity. Inglehart, R.F. & Norris, P. (2016).Trump, Brexit, and the Rise of Popularism: economic Have-nots and Cultural Backlash, Faculty Research Working Papers, Harvard Kennedy School. Swanson, D.M. (2013). Neoliberalism, education and citizenship rights of unemployed youth in post-apartheid South Africa, Sisyphus - Journal of Education, 1 (2), pp. 194-212. Swanson, D.M. & Pashby, K. (2016). Towards a critical global citizenship?: a comparative analysis of GC education discourses in Scotland and Alberta, Journal of Research in Curriculum and Instruction, 20 (3), pp. 184-195.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
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Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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