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Educating for Democratic Consciousness

Counter-Hegemonic Possibilities


Edited By Ali A. Abdi and Paul R. Carr

This book has received the AESA (American Educational Studies Association) Critics Choice Award 2013.
There is a widespread, but mainly untenable, assumption that education in Western societies (and elsewhere) intuitively and horizontally aids the democratic development of people. An argument could be made that in contemporary liberal democracies, education was never designed for the well-being of societies. Instead of the full inclusion of everyone in educational development, it becomes dominated by those with a vested interest in the role of the liberal state as a mediating agent that, ultimately, assures the supremacy of the capitalism and neoliberalism. This book extends beyond a theoretical analysis of democratic education, seeking to tap into the substantial experiences, perspectives and research of a wide range of leading scholars from diverse vantage points, who bring themselves and their work into the debate connecting democracy and education, which elucidates the reference to counter-hegemonic possibilities in the title.
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Chapter 10. What We Are Willing to Know: Deconstructing UNESCO | Peter Pericles Trifonas


This essay engages the ethical ground of difference. It addresses the question of the future horizons of alterity and subjectivity after the closure of Western metaphysics and the subsequent destabilization of the fixed grounding of truth. It asks, after Jacques Derrida, whether or not it is possible to expose or create a location that still occupies the colonized space of the archive of Western knowledge and is at the same time alterior to it (Derrida, 1996). If so, how and where?

It is Derrida’s contention that the inside and outside borders of such a space in the Occidental psychography open up the material locations within which theory and praxis are renewed through the syncretic nature of a mondialized subjectivity as the product of a cosmopolitical point of view. Alterity, yes, but with a debt and duty to the historicity of what has gone before. Here, there is a necessity to mark the interior and exterior limits of metaphysics without the self-conscious nostalgia of a postmodern pose mourning the loss of the archive. My reading of the ethics of deconstruction and its incursion into the logic of the cosmopolitical will broach the question of human rights and education to rethink the certainty of “where ought it [to] take place” (Derrida, 1996, p. 1) as a philosophical project of genealogical excavation after the postcolonialization of difference. The ethical problem of who can, should be, or is capable of determining the propriety of the formal location of inquiry—the space and...

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