In this chapter, Ratna Ghosh notes how one of the most pressing problems of our time is the security threat of violent extremism and the destruction caused to innocent civilians all over the world. The global proliferation of violent events such as terrorism, she writes, permeate all sovereign borders and threatens both national and personal security irrespective of location or faith. Although recent attention has focused on religious extremism, Ghosh notes, there have been also more incidences of right-wing extremism globally. Government counterterrorism policies tend to focus largely on reactive measures such as military action and surveillance – hard power – that are punitive, responding to individuals who are already radicalized. With that being the case, Ghosh argues that critical education should be incorporated into such policies as a proactive measure that develops resilience in students to thwart the psychological, emotional and intellectual appeal of narratives – soft power – that terrorists inculcate. Since young people spend several years in school during their psycho-social and cognitive development, she continues, the potential of education to both counter and promote extremism reinforces the salient value and role of education overall. Hence, the actual need, Ghosh proposes, to underscore the importance of teacher training to develop ethical and analytical skills in education for critical democratic citizenship towards global peace and stability.
As societal and community institutions, schools operate within certain worldviews. These worldviews impact the aims and objectives of schooling and therefore influence the culture of the school and classroom, not to mention the content of the curriculum and teacher practices. In this paper I consider the “traditional” African worldview of Ubuntu as a framework or a foundation for schooling and education to combat the alienation and discrimination faced by many students in the schools in Western countries which are pushing neo-liberal objectives but that lead them to violence and increasingly, to radicalization. I look at the recent phenomenon of radicalization that makes societies and nations unsafe, and some of the push and pull factors that are increasingly attracting some students in the contemporary world to extremist actions. While the threat of Islamic terrorism seems to have subsided, the threats from extreme right-wing nationalist and alt-right groups is increasing at a fast pace (; ; ; ). I contrast the concept of Ubuntu with Western values of humanism and analyze the core values of the Ubuntu worldview in pedagogical practices. I conclude that present punitive measures are ineffective in preventing radicalization which poses a security threat to all nations, but that schooling has an important role to play in combating this phenomenon through a worldview that is not only humanistic but different in its very understanding of what a human being is and therefore, in preventing schools from alienating individuals and groups.
Although the phenomenon of student mobility can be traced back to over a thousand years, a remarkable increase began from 1995 when the World Trade Organization released the General Agreement on Trade in Services, making higher education a tradable commodity. International mobility programs have the potential to provide the environment for global citizenship by empowering students to be resilient and become citizens of the world. Higher education institutions are clamoring to prepare students for living in highly diverse societies, and countries use the soft power of international exchanges to develop goodwill. However, the striking increase in student mobility has suddenly come to a dramatic halt in recent months globally due to the covid-19 pandemic, and the impact on international students has been most severe. In this context, this paper briefly discusses the evolution of student mobility and how it fosters global citizenship.