Global citizenship in the neoliberal Canadian university 1
Using data drawn from their websites this chapter displays just how pervasive the use of the concept of global citizenship is across Canadian universities’ administrations, faculties, departments, programmes and courses. For ease of presentation the uses are grouped into the following categories: definitions of global citizen, vision/mission/strategy, programmes/courses/clubs/, events, international student opportunities, certifications/awards/donations, global citizenship education and research, student testimonials, and study abroad/international service learning (ISL). Particular attention is given to international service learning. Following Chapman (2016) the data are then analytically considered from a political-economic perspective to elucidate what these uses amount to, what they signify. Such consideration demonstrates the vacuousness of the concept, the privilege it carries and the ideological service it performs for neoliberal capitalism. The average Southern student will never be considered a global citizen because they will not have the resources to ‘save the world’, ‘travel the world’ or simply to participate and commit to improving the world beyond their borders. In fact, the Northern ‘Global Citizen’ can be said to embrace the concept at the expense of the communities in the global South that come to be products or commodities benefiting the North. Some contrary views are taken up and discussed.