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Cosmopolitanism as the New Policy Impacting Language Education

The definition of cosmopolitanism does not escape a form of discursive abuse related to the paradox of organized autonomy. Various authors such as McLaren (2001) or Phillipson (2009) have emphasized that globalization can be a Trojan horse for a new form of colonization, which implies economic take-over by the bank cartels, pharmaceutical industry, and military complex. Uncovering the background and the new rituals of present society as it tries to cope with accelerating change and increasing diversity clarifies the locus of control of socially constructed selves.  


Simultaneously, something new is happening globally that cannot be ignored: new forms of communication transform the world towards a rebalancing of our societies in ways that can be respectful of the variety of viewpoints, world languages and cultures, rather than representing economic pushes for capital in favor of the self-serving and the power-hungry. If globalization were to be re-conceptualized as a postcolonial move, it would be important that change be considered a space of dialogue and mutual influence between languages and cultures, not the unilateral imposing of views and ways of organizing society, as if there were ‘ones and best ways’. 



  • Appiah, Kwame Anthony (2005). Rooted cosmopolitanism. In Kwame Anthony Appiah (Ed.), The ethics of identity (pp. 213-272). Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press.
  • Beck, Ulrich (2002). Macht und Gegenmacht im globalen Zeitalter : Neue weltpolitische Okonomie. Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp.
  • Beck, Ulrich (2006). Power in the global age. New York: Polity Press.
  • Beck, Ulrich (2006). Cosmopolitan vision. New York: Polity Press
  • McLaren, Peter (2001).  El sentido de la pedagogía crítica en la era de la globalización después del 11 de septiembre de 2001 (The Role of Critical Pedagogy in the Globalization Era and the Aftermath of September 11). Interview by L. C. Aguirre Muñoz. Revista Electrónica de Investigación Educativa, 3(2), 1-19.
  • Phillipson, Robert (2009). Linguistic Imperialism continued. New York: Routledge.
  • Popkewitz, Thomas (2007). Cosmopolitanism and the Age of School Reform: Science, Education, and Making Society by Making the Child. New York: Routledge.


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This information was originally published on the website of the International Network for Language Education Policy Studies ( as

Tochon, F. V. (2013). Cosmopolitanism as the New Policy Impacting Language Education. In F. V. Tochon (Ed.), Language Education Policy Studies (online). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin—Madison. Retrieved from: (access date). 

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