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Cosmopolitan Dissolution of Boundaries and its Limits. Educational Perspectives from Germany and Japan
Dienstag, 15.03.2022:
9:00 - 11:30

Virtueller Veranstaltungsort: Zoom Seminarraum 08

965 1526 3653, 429439
1. Historische Bildungsforschung, 2. Allgemeine Erziehungswissenschaft, 3. Interkulturelle und International Vergleichende Erziehungswissenschaft, Sektion 2, Kommission Bildungs- und Erziehungsphilosophie, Sektion 3, Kommission Interkulturelle Bildung, qualitativ, theoretisch, historisch, Englisch


Cosmopolitan Dissolution of Boundaries and its Limits. Educational Perspectives from Germany and Japan

Chair(s): Prof. Dr. Ruprecht Mattig (TU Dortmund, Deutschland), Prof. Dr. Lothar Wigger (TU Dortmund)

Cosmopolitanism and cosmopolitan education, by definition, aim to dissolve borders. Cosmopolitan educational approaches are directed at imparting knowledge, values, and competencies necessary for responsible thinking and acting in an increasingly globalized world. Yet, approaches to cosmopolitanism have been criticized. This symposium is primarily concerned with the criticism that cosmopolitanism, although oriented toward universal humanity, is rooted in "Western" tradition and is therefore inherently limited. The symposium will engage in a "dialogue of difference" (Jeffrey Dill) about cosmopolitan education by incorporating a "non-Western" perspective in two ways: First, researchers from Germany and Japan will present their papers with reference to their respective traditions of thought. Second, case studies in Germany and Japan will be addressed. The symposium thus crosses borders to encourage reflection on how cosmopolitan dissolution of boundaries can actually be made possible.


Beiträge des Panels


Forms of Cosmopolitanism and their inherent conflicting claims: Systematic reflections from an educational point of view

Prof. Dr. Ruprecht Mattig
TU Dortmund

This paper provides an introduction to the symposium’s topic. Notions of cosmopolitanism and cosmopolitan education are discussed and systematized, on the one hand, in terms of their aspirations to dissolve boundaries and, on the other hand, in terms of their inherent limitations. In a first step, the paper refers to Kleingeld’s (1999) distinction of different forms of cosmopolitanism, particularly pointing out conflicting claims. In a second step, this discussion will be related to approaches to cosmopolitan education and their critiques. The paper points out that approaches to cosmopolitan education tend to focus only on certain notions of cosmopolitanism and have little awareness of the different notions and their conflicting claims. The paper will mainly focus on the often-voiced criticism that approaches to cosmopolitan education tend to develop a universal perspective without recognizing their particular origin in Western traditions of thought (Pashby et al 2020). In a third step, the paper will discuss possibilities of overcoming this inherent limitation of cosmopolitan thought. Here, Dill’s concept of a “dialogue of difference” (Dill 2013, 127) will be taken up and reflected systematically with regard to the German-Japanese dialogue presented in this symposium. In sum, the paper argues that an appropriate conceptualization of cosmopolitan education should take into account the various forms of cosmopolitanism and different perspectives from around the globe.


Beyond the dichotomy between universalism and particularism: cosmopolitan geography education

Dr. Yuzo Hirose
Kyoto University

Since the 1990s, cosmopolitan education has triggered curiosity in alternative social and political systems. There have been divergent views as to what constitutes cosmopolitan education, such as the cultivation of universal empathy and intellectual world spirit (Nussbaum 1996, 2019), and the fostering of a sense of human rights (Osler & Starkey 2005). These suppositions presuppose a cosmopolitanism in which all human beings, regardless of nationality, race, gender and other different attributes, still live in one world. While cosmopolitanism transcends borders, it also encourages the paradigm of the local community as the local place inherent in cosmopolitan education, to avoid exclusive universalism (Appiah 2006; Vinokur 2018). However, these localised cosmopolitanisms tend to fall easily into extreme patriotism. How is it then possible to transcend the border between universalism and particularism and propose a meaningful discussion in the discourse of cosmopolitan education? Based on Kant’s geography and discussion about space and place in the philosophy of the Kyoto School, I suggest geography plays a crucial role in resolving this conundrum because geography offers us an open distinctive space to consider everything in this world organically, which can be the basis for bearing regulative cosmopolitan ideas. Through this investigation, I will reinforce ‘rooted cosmopolitanism’ so that cosmopolitan education is reflected further.


›Hiroshima is Everywhere‹: Nuclear War, Cosmopolitanism and the Transformation of ›Empty‹ Into ›Filled‹ Signifiers

Klaus-Christian Zehbe
TU Dortmund

The meaning of ›cosmopolitanism‹ or ›citizenship of the world‹ is contested in political philosophy (Mouffe 2005) and global citizenship education (Byers 2005, Oxley and Morris 2013, Pashby et al. 2020). The paper suggests that the term ›global citizen‹ is an ›empty‹ or »floating signifier« (Lévi-Strauss 2012). Its signification is underdetermined and may thus take on various meanings. As such, an empty signifier can be articulated to fit diverse historical and social discourses (Laclau and Mouffe 2014). According to Laclau and Mouffe (2014, 100), practices of discursive articulation establish »nodal points«, where intertextual signification overflows or unbounds the nodal point and at the same time partially fixes or bounds its meanings.

The paper posits that such a discursive nodal point for ›global citizenship‹ is manifest in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. The site seems particularly suited to examine how empty signifiers unbound social and cultural meanings while at the same time partially bounding them in a discourse of ›global citizenship‹ focused on the global prevention of nuclear war (Anders 1995). The overflowing materiality and intertextuality of the site allows it to be mimetically appropriated and subjectively re-articulated. In the process, the paper argues, the empty signifier is subjectively ›filled‹. The paper concludes with some considerations on educational transformation.


Between Realism and Utopism: Cosmopolitan Historical Education

Prof. Dr. Lothar Wigger
TU Dortmund

Historical and political education is located in a field of conflicts between individual and family memory, collective and national memory as well as cultural memory (Assmann 2013). The battle over remembering and interpreting the past, to what extent it was glorious and/or criminal, is being fought both domestically and abroad in Germany as well as in Japan (Assmann 2018; Rieger-Ladich et al. 2021; Saaler 2021; Zulaica 2021). Cosmopolitical education is an ideal that transcends the boundaries of national historical policy and educational policy, but it seems rather unrealistic in times of an increasing blockade of transnational institutions and increasing national orientation of states. The paper will first critically discuss the arguments of a delegitimation of cosmopolitanism (Nussbaum 2019), then highlight the universal importance of remembering crimes against humanity (Stockholm Declaration 2000), exemplified by the crimes of Germany and Japan during World War II, and finally emphasize the relevance of world historical knowledge, that is not focused on Europe or the Western world, excluding other countries, peoples and histories, as a fundamental condition for peaceful coexistence in a globalized world.