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An ideology critique of global citizenship education

Pais, A and Costa, M (2017) An ideology critique of global citizenship education. Critical Studies in Education. ISSN 1750-8487

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Abstract

In the last two decades, global citizenship education (GCE) has become a catchphrase used by international and national educational agencies, as well as researchers, to delineate the increasing internationalisation of education, framed as an answer to the growing globalisation and the high values of citizenship. These developments, however, have created issues, due to the presence of two conflicting discourses. While the discourse of critical democracy highlights the importance of ethical values, social responsibility and active citizenry, a neoliberal discourse privileges instead a market-rationale, focused on self-investment and enhanced profits. These two discourses are not separated; they rather appear side by side, causing a confusing effect. This article aims to analyse GCE as an ideology, unveiling not only its hidden (discursive) content but also the role played by non-discursive elements in guaranteeing the coexistence of antagonistic discourses. It will be argued that not only the critical democratic discourse does not offer any resistance or threat to the neoliberal structuring of higher education, but also this discourse can function as an apologetic narrative that exculpates all of us who still want to work in universities, notwithstanding our dissatisfaction with their current commodification.

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