The Who and the What of Educational Cosmopolitanism

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In the educational strand of cosmopolitanism, much attention has been placed on theorizing and describing who is cosmopolitan. It has been argued that cosmopolitan sensibilities negotiate and/or embody such paradoxes as rootedness and rootlessness, local and global concerns, private and public identities. Concurrently, cosmopolitanism has also been formulated as a globally-minded project for and ethico-political responsibility to human rights and global justice. Such articulations underscore cosmopolitanism in anthropocentric terms. People can be cosmopolitan and cosmopolitan projects aim to cultivate cosmopolitan subjectivities. What is striking about scholarship in educational cosmopolitanism is its lack of serious attention placed on the greatest global threat facing not only but largely created by human beings: environmental degradation. In this paper, I provide an overview of key texts written on the who in educational cosmopolitanism which helps lay the groundwork for an analysis of what is cosmopolitan. Regarding the what, I examine a range of boundary-defying emergencies described in cosmopolitan terms including climate change, radioactive poisoning of the planet, and bioinvasion. In the last analysis, I consider what it would take and what the possibilities are for our species to be truly committed to caring not only for the human world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-440
Number of pages18
JournalStudies in Philosophy and Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 13 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Philosophy


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