Ref. :  000004538
Date :  2002-10-10
Language :  English
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The critical sharing of globalisation(s) could be achieved by appropriate intercultural education and training

"Make globalisation work for all?"

I do not know an ultimate formula for the problem expressed this way, but I am convinced that it is imperative, in order to build this perspective and not merely dream about it, to request for the educational, pedagogical and intercultural dimension and to underline the crucial importance that such a dimension should bear in the process which is mentioned.

Indeed, the proposed title for our Conference assumes once more that "the globalisation", determined as singular by the definite article, is something well-known about which there remains only the issue of how to drive it (by politics and within economy) in order to make its path evolve in favour of the greatest number.

But this standpoint does completely erase a problem which is upstream and which remains to be solved. This problem is to be sure that what is put under the generic epithet of "globalisation" also possesses a common and largely shared value (and meaning), and that one could really build on the definition thus proposed. Yet, this idea is still only wishful thinking, whereas which is at the core of the so-called "debate about globalisation" proves solely to be confusion about its concept, its origins and its contemporary features.

As such, it seems inevitable to conceive a genuine education to globalisation(s) whose minimal goal should be to create an indisputable "base of knowledge", as well as to forge the tools which permit to bring this knowledge into service of such a project as "Make globalisation work for all".

In this respect, educating and training to globalisation(s) is clearly not meant as elaboration of a new discipline reserved for "experts" (a specialised compartment of geopolitics ?) but, on the contrary, as renewing with the spirit of democratic education (popular as well as academic) which holds that nothing important may happen in politics (and science) without a citizen's critical appropriation of major issues, and that everything becomes again possible whether this preliminary condition of training and self-training of judgement is satisfied.

In order to address the challenge proposed by this Conference, I will therefore stress that an intercultural education (conceived, claimed and implemented as such) appears like a compulsory answer, even though it is of course not "sufficient". But how can one qualify such a necessity and give it the substance and means ad hoc?

From this viewpoint, I will submit to you 10 suggestions-orientations, which could set up, if they were adopted with political resolution, as many "construction sites" at a European scale (some of these sites being already in progress):

1) Introducing, during primary education, the problematics of globalisation(s) in schools, and locating the specific position and role of the European Union within such globalisation(s);

2) Contributing, during secondary education and through appropriate training (within philosophy, history, geography, economy, language classes...), to a de-privatisation of the concept of "globalisation";

3) Contributing to the recognition of another voice than the "moral" one of a debate a priori compromised, which only leaves us the choice of a position between "for or against globalisation";

4) Learning how to read and analyse in a critical way "major events" of world-wide interest and effect which are publicized by the media and how to interpret the conflicts they stress (social injustice, pauperisation, migrations, racist backlash, environmental damage effects...);

5) Procuring for citizens, schoolchildren, students, professionals of every sector: the references and critical tools for an individual and collective re-appropriation of the changing world;

6) Teaching the history of globalisation(s) and re-locating the wave of globalisation(s), which is in progress for some 20 years, within this history, particularly the dominating, exclusive and even imperial figure of the economic, financial, industrial and informational "globalisation";

7) Putting the globalisation(s) in perspective, not only in time but also in space: the space of globalisations (plural and sometimes contradictory) which occur in the same world whose new divides must be identified;

8) Training for the critical analysis and sharing of globalisations in progress within an intercultural, interdisciplinary and international framework, particularly for the opportunity of research and common projects run by students and European scientific and academic organisations;

9) Introducing in all of the higher education programmes a "preparatory training to the appraisal of globalisation(s)" which would allow students to carry out a general evaluation of globalisations affecting their elected disciplines and professions;

10) Building a "centre of pedagogical multimedia resources", which would particularly be devoted to the satisfaction of pedagogues and teachers needs (and of their audience, of course) concerning globalisations : a free, interactive and user-friendly supply of the largest number of contents (information and analyses) with a multilingual access and permanent update, without technological or social barriers to entry.

Finally, I will stress 2 types of achievements already working in the direction of these proposals:

- 1. The Website

The Website was launched in January 2001. It gives free access to some 4500 documents to help understand the different aspects of the "Globalisation(s)" phenomenon. The GERM Website aims : 1) at guaranteeing a wide, international circulation of the activities of the GERM network; 2) at providing an editorial space and innovative, relevant tools, to encourage further work on the issues at hand. This site can be accessed in five languages (English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish) and includes the following sections:

1. A critical dictionary of concepts related to globalisation(s). It already includes original articles written by GERM members and is constantly updated (a first printed edition is available in French since January 2002 - translations are to follow);

2. An international press review with about 1700 articles from over 350 different international sources (breaking news and analysis);

3. Sections devoted to current "globalisations"-related developments: European Union, Cultural diversity, WTO, FTAA, World Economic and Social Forums, Sustainable development and Poverty) with articles, documents and useful links;

4. Studies, papers, statements, reports and monographs;

5. Announcements of conferences, forums, seminars, research programmes, partnership offers, etc.;

6. Official statements and public documents (treaty drafts, multilateral decisions, international charters and conventions, etc.).

This Website, which is supported by the Leonardo da Vinci programme of the European Union, will be substantially developed in 2003, with a pedagogical and self-training perspective, designed for secondary education institutions, universities as well as professional organisations;

- 2. The Project of the European University of Culture (EUC)

Suggested by philosophers Jacques Poulain and Heinz Wismann, and supported by a large number of European intellectuals, the European University of Culture aims at intensifying the effort of the disciplines of philosophy, literature, arts and communication by forging, within the European area of higher education, an understanding of culture which will accompany the scientific, technological, industrial as well as artistic innovations, and which can be conveyed to hundreds of millions of European citizens. The goal of this European University of Culture is thus to promote the area of an intellectual development directly linked to the disciplines of creative arts, literature, critical philosophy and also the circulation of knowledge and means allowing everyone to understand the conditions of cultural invention, within the entire social area - in short : to allow every citizen to transform his modes of communication into forms of life (cf. detailed presentation).

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