Education abroad has a particularly complex and ambiguous sense of globalization - it has become a shorthand for positive values. As such, it litters the rhetoric used to indicate approval. Global perspective, a global education, the global mission of the university, global reach, even the contested notion of “global citizenship”: these terms imply aspirations and qualities that transcend the parochial. However, when the process of globalization is brought into focus, it is located within the ambiguities and disturbances that challenge human existence within environmental, social and political contexts. If global is good, why is globalization so troubling?
Political events, such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, suggest that discussions of globalization have become even more critical: an ideological separation has emerged between those who perceive themselves as “victims” of trans-national dynamics and those (international educators/cosmopolitans) who have benefitted from the mobility of people, ideas, trade and so on. The processes of globalization have not enhanced equality but have arguably increased the difference between the privileged and the dispossessed.
Our discussions will consider the problem of mobility: something that enriches the lives of an educated elite and those who are involuntarily mobile. The question of migration raises core paradoxes and reflects profound schisms in the fabric of our lives. The global ideological struggle between state intervention and neo-liberalism may belong to history. The new dichotomy may be between open and closed ideologies.
Note: All participants will be invited to contribute to Occasional Paper No.7 on this theme and will receive a copy of Occasional Paper No.6 on the topic of Civil Rights and Inequalities. There is no cost for this event.