Our Political State in an Age of Globalization

  • John Willinsky


For as long as there have been public schools in the West, with their flagpoles and colored maps on the wall, the nation has functioned as an educational apparatus for positioning people, for teaching the young and old not only who’s who, but who-belongs-where. If we have indeed entered into a new, postimperial age of globalism, then it may be a good time to contemplate not only possible futures for the nation, but for considering our educational responsibilities in directing that future toward what has always been promised in the name of the nation, namely the right to join together in the making of a better world. I want to consider the schools are to do with this idea of the nation. What is to be made of this critical juncture of multinational, transnational, and post-national globalism? Among recent signs of a the shift are the debates of the United Nations that weigh human rights against national rights, which challenge the UN’s traditional protection of national interests. Canada’s Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy has commissioned an international study on how to begin thinking beyond the nation in protecting human rights: “Our take has been that since the end of the cold war we have to focus on the individuals, on the people. That is as much in the charter as sovereignty.”1


National Identity Initial Public Offering Democratic Process Public Reason Public Deliberation 
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© Peter Pericles Trifonas 2005

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  • John Willinsky

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