Global Citizenship Education / Learning for Sustainability: tensions, ‘flaws’, and contradictions as critical moments of possibility and radical hope in educating for alternative futures
Swanson, Dalene M.
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Swanson, D.M. and Gamal, M. (2021) ‘Global Citizenship Education / Learning for Sustainability: tensions, “flaws”, and contradictions as critical moments of possibility and radical hope in educating for alternative futures’, Globalisation, Societies and Education, 19(4), pp. 456–469. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/14767724.2021.1904211.
'Global citizenship’ entered public parlance prominently during heightened globalisation. To be a citizen of this new globalised, interconnected world was to be a subject of capital. Like Janus, a subject of this neoliberal world order was to be both an inwardly-gazing subject of the nation state, and simultaneously an outwardly-gazing subject of global capital. ‘Global citizenship’ (GC) carries the inherent contradiction of Janus, being a juridical contradiction. It looks both inwards and outwards and carries borders as shadows. Viewing contradiction at the heart of GC as a ‘productive tension’, rather than ‘flaw’, by way of entry into Global Citizenship Education (GCE), and by implication Learning for Sustainability (LfS), may offer the necessary vector in prizing open new windows to hopeful, alternative futures. The difficult task of doing so should not be sidestepped in the shift from GCE to LfS. Recognition of the various ‘distancing strategies’ deployed within these discourses is critical in overcoming their overdetermination as instruments of state social, national and economic ambitions. The implications for education and our socio-ecological futures of the embrace of contradiction at the heart of GC needs critical attention toward the imperative of mobilising Critical GCE (CGCE) to enact possibilities of radically hopeful futures.