chapter  Chapter 2
21 Pages

Global citizenship education and the making of America’s neoliberal empire

WithTalya Zemach-Bersin

Though global citizenship education is often described as a contemporary and even inevitable response to the modern conditions of globalization, it has roots in the opening years of the twentieth century when American academics, politicians, businessmen, teachers, social scientists, and activists banded together to train young Americans for new global responsibilities. Early twentieth century advocates of world citizenship education found in their educational aspirations the answer to how the United States might expand its influence throughout the globe while avoiding the appearance of harboring imperial ambitions. They believed that U.S. global power would require transforming provincial American students into exceptional world citizens prepared to advance America’s political and economic interests by upholding inclusive and liberal values. This chapter offers a genealogy of global citizenship education in the first half of the twentieth century and argues that the making – not just the management – of U.S. global power relies on educational efforts to engineer a native-born citizenry with carefully honed cosmopolitan dispositions and particular sets of socio-emotional skills.