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Title: Ubuntu, Indigeneity, and an Ethic for Decolonizing Global Citizenship
Author(s): Swanson, Dalene M
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Editor(s): Abdi, AA
Shultz, L
Pillay, T
Citation: Swanson DM (2015) Ubuntu, Indigeneity, and an Ethic for Decolonizing Global Citizenship. In: Abdi A, Shultz L & Pillay T (eds.) Decolonizing Global Citizenship Education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, pp. 27-38.
Issue Date: 2015
Date Deposited: 26-Oct-2015
Abstract: First paragraph: Global citizenship and associated discourses on globalization often comport with a moral liberal response to new widespread place-based formations of race, class, gender, migratory and ethnic inequality. This often-imported liberalism resides uncomfortably and selectively alongside increasing politically and ideologically invested cultural and religious polarizations (exemplified in the rise of ISIS in the Middle East pitted against Westernism); persistent and pernicious levels of poverty, global violence and states of war (as in regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Myanmar, and the Ukraine); widespread conflict-induced population displacement and mass migration (mainly South to North); and human and ecological degradation (as a feature of resource exploitation within capitalist relations of production worldwide); and the rise of new forms of extremist ethnic nationalism (Sunni versus Shia conflict, Sharia caliphates in Syria and Iraq, and countries such as Brunei) and differentiated capitalist formations geopolitically (as in the economic rise, albeit uneven, of China and India). It is also associated with a concomitant rise in cosmopolitanism, and yet also world conservativism (witnessed in the shift towards centrist and right-leaning administrations in the EU, Australasia, Canada, and dictatorships as in China, Myanmar, Brunei, Venezuela, North Sudan and Syria) along with new fragmentations and integrations as the political terrain shifts in accordance with the economic perturbations of late modernity and global capitalism in crisis. With it comes a seeming resurgence of humanism and humanitarianism, albeit that these are partial and selective. The recent Syrian refugee crisis testifies to the possibilities and limits of humanitarianism within the EU and the rest of the world. Alongside this seeming greater global consciousness are disparate activism movements, (such as the Occupy Movement, Syriza, Polemos, and Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong), but these are often muffled by centralized neoliberal or neoconservative governmentality or totalitarian states, technologically-mediated global surveillance systems (as in the US and UK), the dominant conservative agendas of certain global media outlets that serve the political interests of powerful media moguls, (such as Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News), and the rise in fascism in the forms of anti-(im)migrant, anti-refugee, xenophobic and authoritarian factions (such as UKIP and BNP in the UK; PEGIDA in Germany; and Marine le Pen’s National Front in France). Often, the very leaders espousing global citizenship inclusions are also the very proponents of racialized and prejudicial exclusions (such as David Cameron’s promotion of “British values” to be taught in schools to children as young as kindergarten as a perceived bulwark against Islamic extremism in British society). In this sense, global citizenship is contradictory and less than innocent, and can be said to be at least partially caught up in the globalization project of neoliberal spread and capitalist imperialism (Swanson, 2011).
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