chapter  Chapter 7
24 Pages

Global citizenship and neo-republicanism?

Problematising the ‘neoliberal subjectivities’ critique
WithApril Biccum

Global Citizenship Education (GCE) has been taken up by the UN on its educational platform under SDG 4, coupled with the Preventing Violent Extremism through Education (PVE-E) initiative, and intersecting with the Youth Engagement agenda. GCE is often criticised as the neo-imperialist attempt to produce ‘neo-liberal subjectivities’ to further entrench the market and move young people away from genuine anti-systemic critique. This chapter problematises the ‘neoliberal subjectivities’ critique by arguing that as a part of the Post-Washington Consensus, GCE is part of a dramatic shift in the global understanding of development and education and therefore is better understood as part of a Polanyian style ‘double movement’. Using documentary process tracing and discourse analysis, the chapter argues that the UN/UNESCO formulation of GCE/PVE-E makes two gestures. On the one hand it is a further iteration of the development–security nexus, and, second, the proposed subjectivity of the ‘global citizen’ is a republican citizen (in the absence of a global republic), that is a citizen whose capacity for participation in the market consists also of the same skills required for the construction of a global democracy. This chapter critically examines what’s at stake in the UN’s marshalling of classical republican cosmopolitanism in the context of the erosion of the legitimacy of ‘the global’.