4th Conference Keynote

Professor Carlos Torres ESCAPE='HTML'

Global Citizenship and Global Peace: What Comparative Educators can do?

A claim of this keynote is that global citizenship education contributes to global peace. But how can we define global peace? The Global Peace Index ranks 162 countries covering 99.6% of the world’s population. The Index gauges global peace using three themes: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic or international conflict, and the degree of militarization. It ranks countries according to 22 indicators of peace. Some of the key findings of the Global Peace Index are:

i) Peace is correlated to indicators such as income, schooling and the level of regional integration;
ii) Peaceful countries often shared high levels of transparency of government and low corruption;
iii) Small, stable countries that are part of regional blocks are most likely to get a higher ranking.

What are the main problems affecting global peace? Domination, aggression, exploitation, discrimination and oppression of people, families, communities, nations, and the planet are crucial elements to undermine progress, peace and happiness on Earth.

Paulo Freire, recognizing that relations of domination are central to public and private life, argued that domination, aggression and violence are an intrinsic part of human and social life. Any political education nourishing the construction of a public sphere should recognize that overcoming oppression, domination and exploitation is a central goal of any project of global democratic citizenship building.

There are multiple manifestations of structural violence which add to individual, collective, and government actions undermining peace. I would like to emphasize briefly some of the cardinal sins in the global system undermining peace and prosperity. These cluster of problems include but cannot be restricted to: 1) Unabated poverty; 2) Growing Inequality; 3) Neoliberal globalization that has weakened the systems of organized solidarity of the democratic nation-state; 4) Banking education with authoritarian and inadequate curriculum in elementary, secondary and higher education; and 5) Destruction of the Planet Eco-System. Each and all of these taken together undermine global peace and global citizenship education.

In the conclusion of this keynote I will seek to provide some answers from the field of comparative education in international perspective.