Today I speak with Elizabeth Sumida Huaman and Tessie Naranjo about indigenous women and research. They have co-edited the latest issue of the International Journal of Human Rights Education, which was released last week.

Elizabeth Sumida Huaman is an associate professor of Comparative and International Development Education at the University of Minnesota. An Indigenous education researcher, her work focuses on the link between Indigenous lands and natural resources, languages, and cultural and educational practices in the North and South America. Tessie Naranjo lives in northern New Mexico and is an internationally recognized Indigenous community education, language revitalization, and arts advocate. She is a founder of the Pueblo Indian Studies Program at Northern New Mexico College where she served as faculty, and former co-Director of the Northern Pueblos Institute.

The past few shows have focused on climate change as being the biggest issue facing teacher unions globally. There are, of course, other big issues. One of them is propaganda. Misinformation campaigns have been on the rise partly due to the turn towards right-wing extremism in many parts of the world. Social media has created new ways to spread misinformation and propaganda, making education a powerful tool to combat the spread of lies and what we might call fake news.

My guest today is Maria Ressa, a Filipino-American journalist and author. Co-founder of online news site Rappler, she has been an investigative reporter in Southeast Asia for CNN and was included in the 2018 Time’s Person of the Year for her work combating fake news. She has been arrested for her reporting on Duterte, the Philippine president, and is currently on trial for cyber libel.

Today we talk about the history and recent rise of Islamophobia worldwide. My guest is Mariam Durrani, an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hamilton College.

Finding, and measuring Islamophobia hate speech on social media. John Gomez/Shutterstock

In our conversation, we discussed both the state policy infrastructure enabling Islamophobia while also the everyday discourses and actions that normalize the Othering of a particular group. Dr. Durrani also discusses her own life story of growing up in a military family and witnessing the rise of Islamophobia in the aftermath of  September 11th.

Mariam Durrani recently published the book chapter “Communicating and Contesting Islamophobia.”

Citation: Durrani, Mariam, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 152, podcast audio, April 29, 2019.

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Today we look at the power of Participatory Action Research in public science. My guest is Michelle Fine. In the 1990s, she worked on a study called Changing Minds, which looked at the impact of college in a maximum-security prison. The research team comprised of women in and outside of prison.

For Michelle, participatory action research plays an important role in the struggle for social justice. It not only can change legislation, impact critical social theory, and mobilize popular opinion for educational justice; but seemingly small issues can also have deep and lasting implications.

Michelle Fine is a Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York where she is a founding member of the Public Science Project.

Citation: Fine, Michelle, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 137, podcast audio, November 26, 2018.

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Today we explore the feminist movement in China. My guest is Leta Hong Fincher, an award-winning journalist and scholar.

Leta argues that the jailing of the Feminist Five in 2015 was a turning point for the movement.

Leta Hong Fincher recently published the book, Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China, published by Verso (2018).

Citation: Fincher, Leta Hong, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 132, podcast audio, October 29, 2018.

Transcript, translation, and resources: Read more



Today we take a critical look at human rights. My guest is Radha D’Souza. Radha has a new book entitled: What’s wrong with rights? Social movements, Law, and Liberal Imaginations

In our conversation, we discuss why there has been a proliferation of human rights since the end of World War II and how these rights have actually furthered the interests of the transnational capitalist class.

Radha also discusses education as a human right and the challenge it has for social movements and unions such as Education International.

Radha D’Souza teaches law at the University of Westminster, London.

Citation: D’Souza, Radha, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 120, Podcast audio, June 25, 2018.

Will Brehm 1:59
Radha D’Souza, welcome to FreshEd.

Radha D’Souza 2:02
Thank you, Will, for having me on this program. I’m delighted to be here today.

Will Brehm 2:07
How are human rights commonly understood today?

Radha D’Souza 2:12
Commonly, people when they speak about human rights, they have in mind a set of claims that they can make about certain basic needs for human life. For example, it could be civil and political rights: right to fair trial; right not to be tortured; and these kind of rights are called civil and political rights. Or they may be social economic rights: rights to education, rights to health, rights to housing, those kind of rights. Or they could be Cultural Rights: rights of indigenous people, and so on. But the key thing about rights in popular imaginations is that rights are universal, that every individual has them by virtue of being human. That is why they understand it as human right.

Will Brehm 3:12
How many rights are there?

Radha D’Souza 3:15
When the United Nations was established at the end of World War Two, in 1945, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enumerated about 28 rights; there was a list of 28 rights. Today, it is estimated that international law recognizes more than 300 rights, so human rights have proliferated phenomenally in the last 70 years.

Will Brehm 3:46
Why? Why has there been a proliferation of human rights?

Radha D’Souza 3:50
Well, we can see if we look at the history of rights that the prefix ‘human’ was added only after the so called New World Order was established after World War Two. Now, why does that order need this expansion of rights? Earlier, before the World Wars happened in the 19th century, 18th century and so on, rights were largely confined to nation states, they were only available to citizens against states. But after World Wars, we find that capitalism changed in its fundamental character; it became transnational, it became monopolistic, it became finance driven. And these kinds of expansion of capitalism and intensification of capitalism required a proliferation of new types of rights. And that is why we see all sorts of new rights. Most of them are international in character, and most of them are rights that actually meet the needs of transnational monopoly, finance, capitalism.

Will Brehm 5:18
Could you give an example of a right that meets the needs of transnational financial capitalism?

Radha D’Souza 5:28
Okay, let’s look at the proliferation of rights, the ways in which rights have proliferated. We have all sorts of rights now, you know, rights to surrogacy, rights to land, indigenous people, including a right to happiness. Now, if you look at the UN General Assembly, it adopted a resolution in July 2011 called ‘Happiness: A holistic approach to development.’ Now, you might wonder what happiness has got to do with transnational monopoly finance capitalism, right? And can happiness be legislated at all? I mean, can people demand from the state a right to be happy in the same way as they can demand from the state right not to be tortured, for example? But when we actually — and it may on the face of it sound a little strange that we have a right to happiness, which is now part of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 — but when we start looking behind these rights, we can see that there are a lot of important organizations like EU commissioners, European Union commissioners, who are advocating for this right; the OECD, the Organization for Economic [Cooperation and] Development, has published guidelines on measuring subjective well-being for national statistical offices for the use of bureaucrats, etc.

Who’s driving this new right to happiness? On the one hand, we see large corporations are trying to de-unionized workers, deny them collective bargaining rights, which they always had. On the other hand, these very same corporations are also introducing what they call work life balance programs. Now, these work life balance programs have led to a large coaching industry which has about 47,000 employees and estimated to be around $2 billion US dollars a year. So one of the things that the right to happiness provides for people, or underprivileged people in developed countries, is the right to tourism. So now you can straightaway see the link between tourism industry and the right to happiness. And similarly, you have in the social, the economy… the SDGs or the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Now these goals were established as successor to the Millennium Development Goals and the Millennium Development Goals set out about eight goals to achieve basic needs of people. So the goals like, for example, primary education, eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, universal gender equality, the goal to reduce child mortality and so on. Now, these goals where we know that it’s questionable whether they have been achieved at all. But regardless there was an eighth goal, which was to achieve Global Partnership. And this is the only goal in the Millennium Development Goal 2015 that was actually achieved because it was about establishing private public partnerships and induct global corporations, trust funds, private foundations, and so on into the very heart of the UN’s work.

Now, following on from that, we need to ask, if the Millennium Development Goals were not achieved, why do we need Sustainable Development Goals? And why do Sustainable Development Goals 2030 include the right to happiness? Right, and then you can see a whole lot of big players, for example, the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, the Clinton Foundation and so on taking up many of these development projects. And how do they plan to deliver on it? They deliver on — now because poverty has not been eradicated women are not equal. There’s no universal primary education yet. So instead of addressing those, now we have a new goal: let’s try to make people happy. Because people can obviously be happy even without anything, right? Because even slum children now are very happy when they kick footballs on streets, for example. There is momentary happiness, and it takes attention away from the fact that even if slum kids are happy, playing football on the streets — probably with a torn ball — and still feel happy, maybe questions of education, housing, health, you know, don’t really need to take center stage, or we don’t need to give it as much importance as we’ve been doing so far. So it kind of deflects attention from all of those things. And I think that is really one of the problems.

How does it deflect attention? Because the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 has led to this whole indicator industry, if we can call it that. How do we measure happiness? mathematical methods, you know, with a complete array of methodologies, multiple disciplines, including psychology, religious studies, sociologists, Development Studies, all getting together to list a number of factors, which, if they exist, we can say the person is happy. And that completely changes the meaning of happiness. And instead those indicators become ways of measuring, you know, development and saying, ‘Okay, these kids in the slums are happy playing football.’ So maybe, you know, they are somewhat developed. And that completely skews the whole thing. And I think it takes us away from the reality that as human beings we live in this community, whether we are rich or poor, and happiness is an attribute of being human. And regardless of our social status or conditions, we will always seek solidarity with other human beings and that will always bring us some level of happiness.

Will Brehm 12:55
So, are you saying that the the human right to happiness that’s embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals actually furthers the interests of a transnational capitalist class?

Radha D’Souza 13:10
It does. It does it at several levels, because at the level of poverty and all those basic needs, as I’ve just said, there is no need to deliver on them. So, there is no need to feel guilty because rich people are also unhappy, poor people are unhappy, rich people are happy sometimes. So, there is no need to give it the kind of primacy that we have given it all these years. It operates at the level of corporate management and so on, because of this work life balance, so that employees are driven to work more and more and the technologies have increased the intensity of work and yet, you know, there is no sense of solidarity because the trade unions are gone, communitarian life of employees are gone, entire towns have been dis-established. So, all those other social factors which give people some kind of social identity, solidarity, and so on is taken away. So the corporations need to step in and and do something about it. So instead of returning their communities in lives, they take over even their most personal lives by making, you know, work life balance a corporate goal and creating an industry coaching industry around it.

Will Brehm 14:45
Has capital been interested in rights before they were human rights? So you said human rights sort of came around post World War Two and sort of proliferated as transnational capitalism sort of grew globally. Before World War Two, the idea of rights, were they also connected to capitalism in any way?

Radha D’Souza 15:11
Absolutely. I said that the prefix ‘human’ was added to rights after World War Two. And before World War Two, say in the 17th and 18th centuries, rights did not have the prefix ‘human.’ When people talk about rights, it included property rights, as well as human rights. And rights are absolutely instrumental in establishing capitalist societies. Now, if we look at pre-capitalist societies, pre-capitalist societies were land based societies. Land was the central organizing principle for the social order and as land based societies, people and nature were united. This does not mean that there was no exploitation or whatever. I mean, serfs were exploited, etc. But their connection to nature was…their lives were embedded in nature. They were not disconnected from nature.

What capitalism, in contrast, is a commodity based system, so it’s commodity producing system. And that means that everything in capitalism needs to be commodified, bought and sold, exchanged and so on. And one of the first commodifications we see is commodification of land. So capitalism is establish by commodifying land, and when land becomes private property, and land becomes alienable, that means people can buy and sell it, which could not, was not, possible in the feudal system. Then people are displaced from land, because to get clear title, you have to buy it, sell land without the people. And when people are displaced from land, you have labor, a free labor market.

So you have two kinds of markets. One is the land market and the labor market. And these two are absolutely foundational for capitalism and commodity production, and a system based on commodity production. Now, rights are the means that actually reorganized society. They reorganize our relationships to nature, our relationships to each other, the capitalist and the worker, our relationship to land and forests and water and so on, and our relationships to each other in society, on the basis of rights. So capitalism kind of transforms, you know, property, a land, which is a social relationship between ourselves and nature into a thing, a commodity, and it transforms labor, which is an inherent property of being human, we have always worked and we can only live by working and that labor is transformed into another kind of commodity. And I think rights are the ones that established the system and rights establish in right bearing individuals. And each right bearing individual is right bearing because they have something to give and something that they need and can receive. And this is basically the basis of capitalist systems. And capitalism works on contracts. Because to produce commodities, to exchange commodities, individuals need to be able to arrive at contractual relations. And all contracts presuppose the existence of at least two right bearing parties. And that is the relationship between commodity production contracts as social relationships and rights as the concepts or the other basic idea that establishes right bearing individuals that can enter into contractual relations. So there is an absolutely inalienable, intrinsic relationship between rights and capitalism.

Will Brehm 19:48
On this show, I’ve spoken with a lot of people who do research on education privatization, the ways in which education has become commodified in so many different parts around the world. Do you think rights and human rights, since since education is a human right, as you said earlier — have rights played or furthered the commodification of education in your opinion?

Radha D’Souza 20:14
It has because, look, education has always historically, has always been central to social reproduction. Because what education does is reproduces the social order, it trains the next generation to take over the reins. This is not being or what capitalism does. This turns that into an education and education becomes an investment. And as an investment, it becomes meaningful only if it can produce returns. So education then loses its meaning as a way of, understanding the social order and how we can continue our social life. It becomes an individual personal investment. And with the right to education, we also see education itself becoming an industry in so many different ways. If you look at the internal management of educational systems, they are very much run like corporations. If you look at the disparities, they mirror the larger capitalist societies, you know: those with education and those without education, those who use it to make capitalism more profitable are the ones that go very high up, and those who use their education for social justice or to improve things in the world, you will find that they are not making much money out of their investment. But also the methods used. For example, we have these huge organizations, educational companies, you know, who produce databases who produce various kinds of technologies, they’re making money out of it. Let me give you a very simple example. Now, I work for a University. The University pays me a salary, but when I write something, I can’t give it to people free of charge to read. And because there are journals, academic journals, there are publishers and they all claim that they have a right to make money out of it, even though they have not spent anything on my work. So it’s a strange situation. We are in a position because I don’t need the money because the university’s paying me a salary. And education companies, I’m not doing anything, they’re only charging readers exorbitant sums of money $35, $40, to read an article for what, for doing nothing, because the technology is now so freely available that I can let anybody who wants to read my articles, but I’m not allowed to do that.

Will Brehm 23:25
And this comes back to the issue of having rights to commodify, in a sense, articles and books — very essential features of higher education.

Radha D’Souza 23:37
Yes, it is absolutely central to that, because education is about passing on our knowledge to others, and learning from others. So why do we need to pass on knowledge to others? And why do we need to learn from others as educators? Presumably there is something called a social good, presumably there is something called future generation, and we want the societies and the world to continue. And that is why this exchange of knowledge, both accumulated knowledge from the past and new knowledge is necessary to solve problems, just iron out difficulties, and to see how we can continue human life in the future. But this purpose is taken away. When education becomes a commodity, human life gets a backseat, social well-being gets a backseat and education becomes a product which has to be sold in the market. And increasingly, research is linked to corporations linked to government, social policy, to international organizations, and all of that, where it is designed to improve their productivity. But as social beings, we need a critique of society, constantly reviewing our practices, evaluating our practices, and, and trying to make improvements in our social life for society to continue. What education as a commodity does is exactly the opposite.

Will Brehm 25:23
Seeing education as a social good is something that organizations like Education International would most likely advocate for. Education International being the global federation of teacher unions around the world. But Education International also supports the human right to education. They sort of see that as one of the justifications for what they do. And so the question I guess I have is: to create education as a social good, can human rights help in that cause? Or is it actually just sort of undermining it because human rights have become sort of helping the political agenda of the global capitalist class?

Radha D’Souza 26:08
That’s a good question, Will, because I think one of the things I do in this book is to examine what the disjuncture between property rights and human rights does. Because that’s where we started this conversation. In the 17th and 18th centuries, rights included property rights, as well as human rights and in fact, rights, property rights and labor rights were very closely tied. And the justification for property rights was really about labor theories. You know,  John Locke, for example, he says, he asks how can we call a piece of land mine and he says, because I labor on it, and therefore add value to it. So anything that we add value to through our work becomes property, my proper, private property, and so labor and property rights or social rights and property rights were entwined in the traditional thinking, or what we call enlightenment thinking, the European enlightenment. But after World War Two, we find that the property rights are disassociated with human rights. And I think this is the problem that we have today.

And your question is really an example of this disassociation. Because when people think about human rights, they think about, oh, children need to go to school, or, you know, people need — must have the right to go to a university or whatever. But they forget why the education industry wants human rights to education. See, and when…we see the property relations and education as a property, intellectual property, as is a post World War, you know, it has really expanded as a transnational, right, we see the industry itself, we see copyrights and all these kind of rights to my thoughts, which has become a form of property, because ultimately, that’s what it is, my thinking has become somebody’s property. And we don’t make the connection between these two things when organizations like this union, that you refer to, Education International, when they demand human rights, they’re only thinking about what we want from rights. But what I say is, you should also question why they want rights, why does the education industry want rights? Why do research foundations want rights? And why do corporations want intellectual property rights and so on. And when we start to ask why they want rights, then we start to see the connection between property rights and human rights. And this is what has been severed in the last 70 years. And that is why people continue to imagine that if they demand human rights, that somehow they can achieve it. But it only becomes an aspirational statement when it is not linked to the realities and how rights actually operate in the world. And that’s that’s the crucial point.

Will Brehm 30:07
I’d like to ask a personal question about how you navigate the space of academic publishing, because you just said that your thoughts become property. And we’ve been talking a little bit today about the academic publishing industry and how it’s, it’s very, it’s commodifying an essential part of higher education: books, articles. And you just put out a book and I think it’s published by Pluto Press.

Radha D’Souza 30:38
That’s right.

Will Brehm 30:38
How do you navigate signing contracts with publishers and knowing that your thoughts and your hard work is literally going to be the property of some other entity?

Radha D’Souza 30:52
It’s a difficult to navigate, especially at an individual level, because — and this is where the reality that we are social beings, we live in a social setting, and we can only change the world collectively becomes so important — because at an individual level, what is my option, either I publish, or I don’t publish. And even there, there is a lot of gatekeeping that happens. I mean Pluto is amazing; is one of the few, you know, radical book publishers around Left really remaining. But generally, if you look at the other big publishing names, they decide what they will publish and will not publish. And that will depend on the market that will depend on their judgment of your ideas. Say, I have an amazing idea, which is a radical idea. Or I write a piece of literary work, which is completely, you know, new genre, for example. If the publishing industry does not come on board, and some publisher does not agree to publish my work, I cannot communicate with the world. And in order to communicate with the world, then I’m under pressure to tailor my thoughts, to tailor my thinking, and my style and, you know, genre, to whatever is marketable. And that makes the gatekeeping a hugely problematic thing for our rights to intellectual freedom, you know, rights to knowledge, to conscience, all of those things. And I think the journals, it’s even worse because with journals, there are gatekeeping, gatekeepers who will decide, you know, you have not cited x or y or z and therefore, your article is unpublishable, or you’re right your ideas are too radical, therefore, they will not be publishable and it is through this kind of gatekeeping, that we are unable to produce knowledge that addresses the real problems of the real world and the people who are really in need of solutions.

Will Brehm 33:16
So, in your book, you argue that the 21st century needs a new counter social philosophy. What does that look like in your opinion?

Radha D’Souza 33:27
You see, all problems of the modern world are, in one way or another, related to three types of questions that we have: questions about human relations to nature, questions about human relations to each other, and questions about our inner lives, you can call it emotional life, psychological life, spiritual life, whatever you want to call it. Now, in ancient times, philosophy helped us to understand these relationships, helped us to understand our place in the world, our purpose in life, the meaning of life and our actions. What are the long term effects of what we do or don’t do.

Capitalism dismissed these questions as irrelevant, it undermined philosophy. The European Enlightenment thinkers for example, separated philosophy from science and philosophy was a useless part of knowledge and science became the useful part of knowledge. And then a series of separations followed: the separation of Natural Sciences from Social Sciences, separation of law from ethics, separation of society or sociology from law, and so on and so forth. And I could expand. Some European Enlightenment thinkers, like Liebnitz for example, fantasized about transforming all knowledge into an ideal kind of mathematical formula. Now, today, with computing, we see this fantasy being realized, because all computing is ultimately about mathematics. It’s about combinations of zeros and ones. I may be oversimplifying it here, but that’s what it is. Everything can be reduced to numbers, happiness can be measured, intergenerational equity is reduced to the technical definition of 30 years, and so on. But as a result of this, we no longer have any way of knowing our place in the world: Why are we here? What do we want to do? And we have no way of understanding the world around us. Therefore, I say we need to return to these big questions about human life. These are not useless kinds of knowledge, because they don’t produce marketable value, or they don’t produce returns on investments. We still need to understand how to make sense of our actions. And therefore I say, we need to find ways of restoring the three relationships that I talked about: relationships between nature and society, between people, and between ethics and aesthetics. And only a counter philosophy that puts these questions at the center of our knowledge production can help us get out of this terrible mess that we’re in.

Will Brehm 36:43
Well, Radha D’Souza, thank you so much for joining FreshEd it really was a pleasure to talk and a lot of thoughts and more questions are coming in my mind right now. And and I hope audience members will just have so much to think about going forward.

Radha D’Souza 36:58
Thank you so much, Will, it was a pleasure talking to you.

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Today we dive into the nightmare that is the growing tide of fascism worldwide and the prospects and perils this nightmare holds for public education.

My guest today is the renowned scholar, Henry Giroux.  He has a new book entitled American Nightmare: Facing the challenge of Fascism, which will be published in May.

Henry Giroux is the McMaster University Professor for Scholarship in the Public Interest and the Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy.  He has written over 60 books and is considered one of the top educational thinkers today.

Citation: Giroux, Henry, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 106, podcast audio, March 5, 2018.

Will Brehm 1:38
Henry Giroux, welcome to FreshEd.

Henry Giroux 1:41
Nice, Will. Wonderful to be on.

Will Brehm 1:43
You’ve written a new book called American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism. Before getting into that book and America and what’s going on currently in America vis-a-vis public education, I just want to ask you, what went through your mind in November 2016 when you realized that Donald Trump won the presidency?

Henry Giroux 2:08
Well, I think what went through my mind was that there’s been a long series of assaults on American democracy and the United States, back especially to the 1970s, when the social contract was under siege and was appearing to collapse. And a discourse of demonization, racism, Islamophobia and objectification and commodification and privatization seemed to take over the country. I thought that Trump was the endpoint of this; he’s sort of the Frankenstein monster that was let out of the room. And I thought it was an incredible tragedy for democracy. And I thought that, unlike some other leftists, I thought that the consequences would be drastic once he assumed office. And I think in many ways, that’s proven to be right.

Will Brehm 2:57
In what ways has it proven to be right over the last year?

Henry Giroux 3:00
Well, I think all you have to do is look at the policies that he’s attempted to implement and the language that he’s used to define his mode of governance. I mean, this is a guy who basically has embraced neo-Nazis, ultra-nationalism. He’s a serial liar. He’s obviously done everything he can to promote an anti-immigration logic. He’s threatened to expel the whole range of young people – 800,000 young people – called dreamers from the United States. He’s lowered taxes for the ultra-rich to the point where that will take an enormous toll on public services and public goods. He’s putting into place a series of people who are basically either inept, or utterly anti-democratic, to run institutions such as the EPA – the Environmental Protection Agency – or a whole range of other institutions, in which they are diametrically opposed to the interest that those institutions represent. Because they’re institutions that suggest that government has a responsibility to basically work for the people. They don’t believe that; they believe that government should only basically serve the financial elite and the financial and economic interest, and that freedom is basically about deregulating business and allowing the corporate elite to run wild. So that’s just a series, among other things, of things that he’s done. But I think that he’s put into place a notion of governance that suggests that the United States is no longer a democracy; that we’re on the road to a kind of neofascism dressed up in the American flag, and it’s very frightening.

Will Brehm 4:43
And so, this is this fascism that you talk about in your new book?

Henry Giroux 4:47
This is the fascism that I talk about, whether we’re talking about the ultra-nationalism that he promotes. Whether we’re talking about the racism, the xenophobia. Whether we’re talking about the logic of disposability, the racial cleansing that is behind many of his policies. The embrace of a corporate elite that replaces the political state with a corporate state. All of these things have echoes of this glorification of national greatness. The claim that he’s the only one who can save America. And we’ve heard this language before. And we heard it in the 1930s. And we heard it in the 1940s. And we heard it later in the 1970s in Latin America. This is a language that suggests that the enemy of politics is democracy. And I think that Trump embodies that language and is basically at work again, in promoting it.

Will Brehm 5:39
And do you see some of what Trump embodies being found in other parts of the world? Just recently, Xi Jinping has … it looks like he’s going to be in power indefinitely in China. And Duterte in the Philippines. And I just read an article about a new ultraright party in Italy that is glorifying Mussolini. So, is this fascist tendency, this ultraright, pronational tendency being found worldwide? And if so, what’s causing it? Why do we see this resurgence of right wing, ultranationalist parties emerging worldwide?

Henry Giroux 6:21
I think there are a couple of things at work. I think that, first of all, what we’re seeing is the emergence of what is called illiberal democracy, the term coined, of course, in Hungary. And I think in many ways, Trump is enabling this, because he’s aligned himself, and actually has celebrated many of these fascists, in ways to suggest that this kind of politics in the 21st century is totally acceptable. So I think in some ways, the most powerful country in the world, in sort of, in many ways, reached out and began to legitimate an anti-immigration and Islamophobic, a racist kind of discourse that is linked to questions of racial purity, and racial cleansing, that has opened up the possibility for many of these countries to basically embrace this logic. And I think there are other issues. Each country has its own issue, but I think the inability of these countries to deal with questions of compassion and justice, these are countries that in many ways have been governed by a neoliberal logic that really has no respect whatsoever for notions of community. No respect whatsoever for notions of compassion. No respect whatsoever for what it means to embrace in a kind of loving way, the possibility of the other. This is a logic that elevates self-interest, nationalism, violence, and the spectacle of consumption to the highest level of acceptance. And I think that what flows out of this in the face of particular kinds of crises that serve as a thread running through all of these countries, is a basic fear of what we might call “the other”, “the stranger”. Couple that with the fact that you have a global capitalism at work that in many ways has taken power away from these countries, so that the only thing that they have left is an appeal to cultural sovereignty. Is that appeal to cultural nationalism. Because basically, you have a ruling elite now that is global. It’s not rooted in nation states. It flows. Politics is based in nation states, and power is global. So, you have an enormous paradigm change in the redefinition of politics itself. And I think that one of the things that happens when you see this is that the states, as the social state collapses, as social goods and social provisions dry up, you have the rise of the punishing state. Because the only thing left for the states to really be able to do this is basically to criminalize social problems and do what they can basically become repressive states. Generally, they can exercise power. That way they can survive. So, I think all of these threads are really common for many of these states, many of these countries.

Will Brehm 9:09
So, you call Trump the endpoint, in a way, in this nightmare that is American fascism. And of course, it has these roots in racism and neoliberalism. It would make sense that the roots here also go through the Democratic Party, that this is not simply a Republican issue in the American context. Would you agree with that?

Henry Giroux 9:33
Yes, I do. I think there are two issues to really understand here. I think that both parties are basically wedded to the financial elite, as we well know. I mean, both parties are funded by the financial elite. On one level, you’ve got a Democratic Party that takes on a sort of liberal discourse, but never challenges in any fundamental way, the massive inequality, or the financialization of the economy, or the rule by bankers and hedge fund managers. They don’t challenge that; they’re in bed with that stuff. On the other hand, you have a Republican Party that now is filled with people who also are wedded to the financial elite. But this is a party that’s been taken over by extremists. They’re not just wedded to the financial elite; they’re wedded to something more than that. They’re wedded to an ultra-nationalism, a sort of notion that white Christianity is the official religion of the United States. They’re wedded to the notion of racial cleansing. They basically have accelerated all of the great tragedies and crimes of the past in ways in which they’re no longer coated. They’ve given them a new visibility. So, they’re not apologetic about their racism. They’re not apologetic about Islamophobia. They’re not apologetic about attacking young people. They’re not apologetic about making short term investments rather than long term investments. And they’re not apologetic about it anyway, about destroying the welfare state and the social contract. But what both parties share is they really believe that capitalism and democracy are the same thing, and that capitalism and democracy is basically something run by the financial elite, by the ruling elite, the 1%. Neither party has any trouble with that argument. There are factions within the Democratic Party that will challenge that – Bernie Sanders and so forth and so on – but they’re marginal and they don’t belong in the Democratic Party. The biggest mistake Sanders ever made was not starting a third party.

Will Brehm 11:29
So, in your opinion, how are capitalism and democracy separate?

Henry Giroux 11:33
They’re separate in the sense that you can’t have democracy when you have a system that promotes massive inequalities in wealth and power; it just doesn’t work. It seems to me to have that degree of inequality, and to support it in every way, to allow all the commanding institutions of a country to be controlled by a handful of elites and corporations, is the antithesis of democracy. Democracy means people have power. They have power to shape the conditions under which they live their lives. They have some power over the economy. They have access, they have social provisions, they have political rights, personal rights, social rights. That doesn’t happen under capitalism. Capitalism is a ruinous system that basically is organized around the production of profit at the expense of human need. That’s not a formula for democracy.

Will Brehm 12:25
And so, what would a social contract look like in your opinion, within this?

Henry Giroux 12:29
At the very least, a social contract would guarantee political rights. But it would guarantee political rights and individual rights along with social rights, meaning that you would have economic rights, you would have a social wage. You would massively limit massive degrees of inequality. It would mean that people would have access to higher education, to health care. All the things that become central to how we live out our sense of agency and make it possible would be part of the social contract and the public good. When you don’t have that, you don’t have a democracy. And it seems to be the degree to which you want to call it socialism as a form of social democracy, or you want to call it socialism in ways that simply allow the most important structures, infrastructures, resources, of a society to be a government-controlled phenomena, that’s a mix that we have to figure out. But I think the bottom line is, you have to realize that in a democracy, the first question you have to raise is, “What does it mean to provide the conditions for people to have a sense of agency, and not merely to be able to survive?” So that their capacities can be developed in a way in which they have access to do other things simply than struggle to eat, simply to struggle in the midst of poverty, simply to struggle for meaningful work, simply to struggle to find a way to pay massive loans in order to get a decent education, simply not to struggle to have decent health care. These are central questions that are not just simply about power, they’re about the capacity to live. To live with dignity.

Will Brehm 14:10
And so, let’s shift to education here. In your last book, called ‘The Public in Peril’, you use the term … you said, you wanted to see “the political more pedagogical”. What did you mean by this?

Henry Giroux 14:23
What I mean by that is that one of the things that has disturbed me, and one of the things I’ve written about for many years, and I’m not the first, although I think probably I’ve developed it more repeatedly than most people, is that education is central to politics. I mean, you can’t talk about politics if you can’t talk about consciousness. If you can’t talk about changing the way people think, if you can’t talk about engaging them in a dialogue with a vocabulary in which they can invest themselves, identify with, and be able to recognize the conditions under which they find themselves so that they can either learn how to change those conditions, or to understand what those conditions mean in terms of their own sense of oppression. And I think that all too often, we equate domination with simply institutions, and we say that the only way you can talk about power is to talk about economic structures. But I’m sorry, as important as economics is and economic structures are, you also have to talk about what it means to create the conditions for people to be able to think, to be self-reflective, to be able to identify with certain kinds of narratives, to have information available in which they can become self-reflective individually and collectively. And I think the tool is what I would call pedagogy. The ability to intervene in people’s lives with vocabularies, and social relationships, and values, the moral and political scripts in which people can all of a sudden be moved by the power of persuasion and logic and reason and truth has to be central to any politics.

Will Brehm 15:59
And so, what’s the role of schools, like the institutions run by the government, the public schools, in this pedagogical effort to make politics more pedagogical?

Henry Giroux 16:10
I think that schools are probably one of the few places left we’re not controlled by corporations entirely. Where actually, this kind of teaching can take place, where people can have debates, where people can be exposed to positions that are historical, scientific, that offer up the possibility for engaging in modes, and creating modes of civic literacy and social responsibility. Schools, basically, at their best, should be democratic, public spheres. They should be actively involved in not only teaching young people about the great traditions, whatever they might be, that offer the best in human learning, and what it means to be civilized, from a whole range of traditions, but also what it means to take on a sense of social and political and ethical responsibility. So that one recognizes that one lives in a society with others. And that one has to struggle over democracy, struggle over justice, to learn that no society is ever just enough, and that that’s as central to learning as learning whatever it is that’s of value in terms of the kinds of human resources that are out there and available to be appropriated, engaged and discussed.

Will Brehm 17:26
Is it possible to accomplish some of those things inside, say, charter schools, in America?

Henry Giroux 17:33
Charter schools basically have a long tradition, particularly in the United States, of simply segregating students. And at the same time, sort of displacing with the possibility of unions, ruining unions, undermining unions, and operating off the assumption that schools are basically a private venture rather than a public good. So, I don’t have a lot of faith in charter schools. Is it possible that some charter schools, when they’re pumped up with enormous amounts of money on the part of hedge fund managers simply so they can become a model for destroying public schools can work? Yes, maybe. But all the research seems to suggest that, at best, they’re no better, if not worse, than public schools. I don’t believe that public schools should be privatized. I think that they’re a public good, they’re not a private right. And I think as soon as we start talking about schooling as a private right and we started talking about schools as for-profit institutions, we destroy their possibilities as democratic public spheres.

Will Brehm 18:38
I’m not so hopeful then Betsy DeVos would agree with you there.

Henry Giroux 18:41
Betsy DeVos is probably one of the most hated people in America, because people realize what she’s about. She’s a billionaire who hates public schools and has claimed that her mission in life is to bring God’s kingdom to students. She’s a religious fanatic. She’s an ideological fundamentalist and a religious fanatic. And now she’s the Secretary of Education of the United States. What does that say about education? What does that say about this administration? I mean, Donald Trump has made it clear: he loves the uneducated. He’s said that many times. He’s a guy who doesn’t read books. He basically eats McDonald’s hamburgers and watches Fox News. This is not exactly a guy that’s going to embrace any institution that offers the possibility of educating students or adults to think critically. He finds those institutions enormously dreadful and challenging. And actually, more than that, he’s used them as a pathology. That’s why he invented the notion of fake news. And that’s why he’s a serial liar and continues to believe that he can say anything because he believes that he doesn’t have to be held accountable. In a democracy, people are held accountable. But he’s not a guy who believes you should be held accountable. That’s the mark of any fascist dictator.

Will Brehm 19:55
So, what is to be done here? So, for people who agree with you, like myself, what can we do to protect public education as a democratic social contract or a democratic social good?

Henry Giroux 20:13
I think some questions have to be raised that all of a sudden bring to the forefront what education really is about and why it’s so vitally important. And I think that one of the questions has to be is “What role does education play in a democracy?” And the second question has to be, “How does democracy function, and continue to function, in ways that make certain demands upon education?” I think that what we have to recognize is that education is probably one of the most powerful educational forces in the world, certainly in terms of formal schooling, that offers the possibility for creating a formative culture that allows people to think critically and be informed. I mean, Dewey, Arendt, a whole range of philosophers, Castoriadis, have been telling us for years – and they’re right – you can’t have a democracy without informed citizens. And I think that when we realize how crucial higher education, public education is to the creating the formative culture that makes a democracy possible, then we’ll stop talking about it in terms of simply training workers. Education is not training; they’re different things. And we’ve lost sight of that in the United States. The script has been flipped. And all of a sudden education now is simply an adjunct of corporate life, of corporate demands, of corporate needs. And I think that in many ways, what we see in Parkland, and what we see among young people all over the country, whether we’re talking about, you know, a whole range of movement, of BlackLivesMatter movement, a whole range of movements, people are saying, “Hey, look. There’s a certain violence that’s going on in this country that in part is linked to education, both within and outside of the schools, that makes people vulnerable to systemic terror, to systemic violence, and it’s got to stop.” And it’s got to stop because we have to restructure and rethink the relationship between democracy and capitalism, and probably begin to say capitalism and democracy are not the same thing. The second thing is we’ve got to invert and fight some of the most pernicious and poisonous elements of neoliberalism. And the most poisonous in my mind, is the one that suggests that the only responsibility that matters is individual responsibility. That’s it. That you’re responsible for everything that goes on in the world, and you have no right to believe that there are social problems out there over which you individually have no control. And that you do not have to assume that burden. And by assuming that burden, you completely dismantle the link or the ability to translate private issues into larger social considerations. That’s depoliticizing. That means you become depoliticized. That means you become cynical. That means you blame yourself for all the problems in which you find yourself. And it means that basically, you’re out of the loop politically. That there’s nothing that can be done except to basically become part of the opioid crisis, collapse into cynicism, or just retreat into the worst kinds of despair.

Will Brehm 23:17
So, would it be correct to say that you think the sort of civic courage that is needed is to repoliticize a lot of the spaces that have been depoliticized?

Henry Giroux 23:29
Absolutely. Absolutely. I think that what we need to do is we need to talk about public spheres that engage and raise the possibility of civic literacy and civic courage and social responsibility to the point where we can reclaim the language of democracy. We can once again talk about compassion. We can once again talk about social relationships that are not simply based on exchange relations, commodified relations. We can talk about the notion of community and what it means. We can assume that dependency is not a pathology, that community is not something that you hate, and that shared responsibilities are a lot more important than shared fears.

Will Brehm 24:11
Are there any examples of such systems or even just schools where this happens, where this politicization happens?

Henry Giroux 24:22
There are schools all over the country in the United States that basically err on the side of these kinds of progressive ideas. And there are countries that are on the side of these progress. The social democratic countries, whether you’re talking about Finland, or Sweden, or Germany. I mean, some places where higher education is free. Public education is free. Even in Canada, not the most pronounced social democracy in the world. But look, I get sick, I don’t pay anything. I just walk into a hospital, I make appointments with doctors, I get free medical care. In the United States, half the debts that people have, bankruptcies, are due to health care expenses. So, I mean, there are there examples all over the world of countries that have basically put into place social provisions and social safety nets that allow people to live with a certain degree of dignity. And I think we need to learn from them. And I think we need to look very carefully at what that means, in terms of what it means to invest in the future of young people rather than disinvest in young people and operate off the assumption that making money is far more important than, for instance, the lives of young people. For instance, the gun manufacturers, many of the gun rights people, they truly believe that we live in a country where killing children is less important, actually, than basically making money off the selling of guns.

Will Brehm 25:54
Are you hopeful that America will get out of this nightmare, will return to a social democratic society where the public good of education exists?

Henry Giroux 26:06
Intellectually, I’m pessimistic. In terms of the future, I’m hopeful. I think that these are very dark times. All over the world, I think the rise of fascism is emerging once again. I think there are signs that people are mobilizing. I think that the contradictions are becoming so great that people all of a sudden who wouldn’t be political are becoming more political and getting actively involved. I think that young people represent a paradigm shift for the most part, from what we’ve seen in the past, in that they’re more tolerant, they’re more savvy technologically, they’re more politically astute. And I want to hope that young people all of a sudden will recognize that being written out of the future, and being written out of the script of democracy is enough of a challenge to be faced that they will not only create moments and demonstrations, but actually create movements that will be broad-based enough to be able to really challenge the power structures that are in place in many of these countries today, including the United States.

Will Brehm 27:09
Well, Henry Giroux, thank you so much for joining FreshEd, and thank you so much for all the writing you’ve done over the years. I’m a huge fan.

Henry Giroux 27:17
Well, I’m delighted to be on, and thank you so much for having me.

Will Brehm 1:38
Henry Giroux, bienvenue à FreshEd.

Henry Giroux 1:41
C’est bien, Will. Merveilleux d’être sur.

Will Brehm 1:43
Vous avez écrit un nouveau livre nommé American Nightmare : Faire face au défi du fascisme. Avant d’aborder ce livre et l’Amérique et ce qui se passe actuellement en Amérique en matière d’éducation publique, je voudrais vous demander ce qui vous est passé par la tête en novembre 2016 quand vous avez réalisé que Donald Trump avait gagné la présidence ?

Henry Giroux 2:08
Eh bien, je crois que ce qui m’a traversé l’esprit, c’est qu’il y a eu une longue série d’attaques contre la démocratie américaine et les États-Unis, surtout dans les années 1970, quand le contrat social était assiégé et qu’il semblait s’effondrer. Et un discours de diabolisation, de racisme, d’islamophobie et d’objectivation, de marchandisation et de privatisation semblait prendre le dessus sur le pays. Je croyais que Trump était le point final de tout cela ; il est en quelque sorte le monstre Frankenstein qu’on a laissé sortir de la pièce. Et j’ai cru que c’était une incroyable tragédie pour la démocratie. Et j’ai pensé que, contrairement à certains autres gauchistes, je pensais que les conséquences seraient dramatiques une fois qu’il aurait pris ses fonctions. Et je crois qu’à bien des égards, cela s’est avéré être vrai.

Will Brehm 2:57
De quelle façon a-t-il prouvé qu’il avait raison au cours de l’année dernière ?

Henry Giroux 3:00
Eh bien, je crois qu’il suffit de regarder les politiques qu’il a tenté de mettre en œuvre et le langage qu’il a employé pour définir son mode de gouvernance. Je veux dire, c’est un type qui a essentiellement embrassé les néo-nazis, l’ultra-nationalisme. C’est un menteur en série. Il a manifestement fait tout ce qu’il pouvait pour promouvoir une logique anti-immigration. Il a menacé d’expulser des États-Unis toute une série de jeunes – 800 000 jeunes – appelés “rêveurs”. Il a baissé les impôts pour les ultra-riches au point que cela aura un effet énorme sur les services publics et les biens publics. Il met en place une série de personnes qui sont soit inaptes, soit totalement antidémocratiques, pour diriger des institutions telles que l’EPA – l’Agence de protection de l’environnement – ou toute une série d’autres institutions, dans lesquelles elles sont diamétralement opposées à l’intérêt que ces institutions représentent. Parce que ce sont des institutions qui suggèrent que le gouvernement a la responsabilité de travailler essentiellement pour le peuple. Elles ne croient pas cela ; elles croient que le gouvernement ne doit servir que l’élite financière et les intérêts financiers et économiques, et que la liberté consiste essentiellement à déréglementer les affaires et à permettre à l’élite des entreprises de faire des folies. Ce n’est donc qu’une série, entre autres, de choses qu’il a faites. Mais je pense qu’il a mis en place une notion de gouvernance qui suggère que les États-Unis ne sont plus une démocratie ; que nous sommes sur la voie d’une sorte de néofascisme déguisé en drapeau américain, et c’est très effrayant.

Will Brehm 4:43
Et donc, c’est de ce fascisme dont vous parlez dans votre nouveau livre ?

Henry Giroux 4:47
C’est de ce fascisme que je parle, qu’il s’agisse de l’ultra-nationalisme qu’il prône. Qu’on parle du racisme, de la xénophobie. Qu’il s’agisse de la logique de la disposition, du nettoyage racial qui est derrière beaucoup de ses politiques. L’adhésion d’une élite d’entreprises qui substitue à l’État politique un État d’entreprises. Toutes ces choses ont des échos de cette glorification de la grandeur nationale. L’affirmation qu’il est le seul à pouvoir délivrer l’Amérique. Et nous avons déjà entendu ce langage. Et nous l’avons entendu dans les années 1930. Et nous l’avons entendue dans les années 40. Et nous l’avons entendue plus tard dans les années 1970 en Amérique latine. C’est une langue qui suggère que l’ennemi de la politique est la démocratie. Et je crois que Trump représente cette langue et qu’il est à nouveau à l’œuvre pour la promouvoir.

Will Brehm 5:39
Et voyez-vous ce que Trump incarne dans d’autres parties du monde ? Tout récemment, Xi Jinping a … il paraît qu’il va être au pouvoir indéfiniment en Chine. Et Duterte aux Philippines. Et je viens de lire un article sur un nouveau parti d’extrême-droite en Italie qui glorifie Mussolini. Alors, cette tendance fasciste, cette tendance ultralégislative et pronationnelle se retrouve-t-elle dans le monde entier ? Et si oui, quelle en est la cause ? Pourquoi voyons-nous cette résurgence des partis de droite, ultranationalistes, émerger dans le monde entier ?

Henry Giroux 6:21
Je crois qu’il y a plusieurs choses à l’œuvre. Je pense que, tout d’abord, ce que nous voyons est la naissance de ce que l’on appelle la démocratie illibérale, le terme inventé, bien sûr, en Hongrie. Et je pense qu’à bien des égards, Trump permet cela, parce qu’il s’est aligné, et qu’il a en fait célébré nombre de ces fascistes, de manière à suggérer que ce genre de politique au 21e siècle est tout à fait acceptable. Je pense donc qu’à certains égards, le pays le plus puissant du monde a, en quelque sorte, à bien des égards, tendu la main et commencé à légitimer un discours anti-immigration et islamophobe, un discours de type raciste lié aux questions de pureté raciale et de nettoyage racial, qui a ouvert la possibilité pour beaucoup de ces pays d’embrasser fondamentalement cette logique. Et je crois qu’il y a d’autres problèmes. Chaque pays a son propre problème, mais je crois que l’incapacité de ces pays à traiter des questions de compassion et de justice, ce sont des pays qui, à bien des égards, ont été régis par une logique néolibérale qui n’a vraiment aucun respect pour les notions de communauté. Aucun respect pour les notions de compassion. Aucun respect pour ce que cela signifie d’embrasser avec amour la possibilité de l’autre. C’est une logique qui élève l’intérêt personnel, le nationalisme, la violence et le spectacle de la consommation au plus haut niveau d’acceptation. Et je crois que ce qui en résulte, face à des types particuliers de crises qui servent de fil conducteur à tous ces pays, c’est une peur élémentaire de ce que nous pourrions appeler “l’autre”, “l’étranger”. Ajoutez à cela le fait que vous avez un capitalisme mondial à l’œuvre qui, à bien des égards, a enlevé le pouvoir à ces pays, de sorte que la seule chose qui leur reste est un appel à la souveraineté culturelle. C’est un appel au nationalisme culturel. Parce qu’au fond, vous avez maintenant une élite dirigeante qui est mondiale. Elle n’est pas enracinée dans les États-nations. Elle coule. La politique est fondée sur les États-nations, et le pouvoir est mondial. Il y a donc un énorme changement de paradigme dans la redéfinition de la politique elle-même. Et je crois que l’une des choses qui se passe quand vous voyez cela, c’est que les États, à mesure que l’État social s’effondre, que les biens sociaux et les dispositions sociales se tarissent, vous avez la montée de l’État qui punit. Parce que la seule chose qui reste aux États pour pouvoir vraiment faire cela, c’est essentiellement de pénaliser les problèmes sociaux et de faire ce qu’ils peuvent faire pour devenir des États répressifs. En général, ils peuvent exercer le pouvoir. De cette façon, ils peuvent survivre. Donc, je pense que tous ces fils sont vraiment communs à beaucoup de ces États, beaucoup de ces pays.

Will Brehm 9:09
Donc, vous appelez Trump le point final, d’une certaine façon, dans ce cauchemar qu’est le fascisme américain. Et bien sûr, il a ces racines dans le racisme et le néolibéralisme. Il serait sensé que les racines ici passent aussi par le parti démocrate, que ce n’est pas simplement une question républicaine dans le contexte américain. Êtes-vous d’accord avec cela ?

Henry Giroux 9:33
Oui, je suis d’accord. Je crois qu’il y a deux questions à comprendre ici. Je pense que les deux partis sont fondamentalement mariés à l’élite financière, comme nous le savons bien. Je veux dire que les deux parties sont financées par l’élite financière. D’un côté, vous avez un parti démocrate qui tient une sorte de discours libéral, mais qui ne remet jamais en cause de manière fondamentale l’inégalité massive, ou la financiarisation de l’économie, ou la domination des banquiers et des gestionnaires de fonds spéculatifs. Ils ne remettent pas cela en question ; ils sont au lit avec ces choses. D’un autre côté, vous avez un parti républicain qui est maintenant composé de personnes qui sont également mariées à l’élite financière. Mais c’est un parti qui a été repris par les extrémistes. Ils ne sont pas seulement mariés à l’élite financière, ils sont mariés à quelque chose de plus que cela. Ils sont mariés à un ultra-nationalisme, une sorte de notion selon laquelle le christianisme blanc est la religion officielle des États-Unis. Ils sont mariés à la notion de nettoyage racial. Ils ont en fait accéléré toutes les grandes tragédies et tous les crimes du passé de telle sorte qu’ils n’en sont plus recouverts. Ils leur ont donné une nouvelle visibilité. Donc, ils ne s’excusent pas de leur racisme. Ils ne s’excusent pas de leur islamophobie. Ils ne s’excusent pas d’avoir attaqué des jeunes. Ils ne s’excusent pas d’avoir fait des investissements à court terme plutôt qu’à long terme. Et ils ne s’excusent pas non plus d’avoir détruit l’État-providence et le contrat social. Mais ce que les deux parties partagent, c’est qu’elles croient vraiment que le capitalisme et la démocratie sont la même chose, et que le capitalisme et la démocratie sont fondamentalement quelque chose de dirigé par l’élite financière, par l’élite au pouvoir, le 1%. Aucun des deux partis n’a de problème avec cet argument. Il y a des factions au sein du Parti démocrate qui contesteront cela – Bernie Sanders et ainsi de suite – mais elles sont marginales et n’ont pas leur place au sein du Parti démocrate. La plus grosse erreur que Sanders n’ait jamais faite a été de ne pas créer un troisième parti.

Will Brehm 11:29
Alors, à votre avis, comment le capitalisme et la démocratie sont-ils séparés?

Henry Giroux 11:33
Ils sont distincts dans le sens où vous ne pouvez pas avoir de démocratie quand vous avez un système qui promeut des inégalités massives de richesse et de pouvoir ; cela ne marche tout simplement pas. Il me paraît qu’avoir ce degré d’inégalité, et le soutenir de toutes les manières, permettre que toutes les institutions dirigeantes d’un pays soient contrôlées par une poignée d’élites et de sociétés, est l’antithèse de la démocratie. La démocratie implique que les gens ont le pouvoir. Ils ont le pouvoir de façonner les conditions dans lesquelles ils vivent leur vie. Ils ont un certain pouvoir sur l’économie. Ils y ont accès, ils ont des dispositions sociales, ils ont des droits politiques, des droits personnels, des droits sociaux. Cela n’arrive pas sous le capitalisme. Le capitalisme est un système ruineux qui s’organise essentiellement autour de la production de profits au détriment des besoins humains. Ce n’est pas une formule pour la démocratie.

Will Brehm 12:25
Et donc, à quoi ressemblerait un contrat social à votre avis, dans ce cadre ?

Henry Giroux 12:29
Au minimum, un contrat social garantirait les droits politiques. Mais il garantirait les droits politiques et les droits personnels en même temps que les droits sociaux, c’est-à-dire que vous auriez des droits économiques, vous auriez un salaire social. Vous restreindriez massivement les degrés d’inégalité. Cela impliquerait que les gens auraient accès à l’enseignement supérieur, aux soins de santé. Toutes les choses qui deviennent centrales dans la façon dont nous vivons notre sens de l’action et la rendent possible feraient partie du contrat social et du bien public. Sans cela, il n’y a pas de démocratie. Et il me semble que c’est la mesure dans laquelle vous voulez l’appeler socialisme en tant que forme de social-démocratie, ou vous voulez l’appeler socialisme d’une manière qui permet simplement aux structures, infrastructures, ressources les plus importantes d’une société d’être un phénomène contrôlé par le gouvernement, c’est un mélange qu’il nous faut trouver. Mais je pense qu’en fin de compte, vous devez réaliser que dans une démocratie, la première question que vous devez vous poser est la suivante : “Qu’est-ce que cela signifie de fournir les conditions permettant aux gens d’avoir un sens de l’action, et pas seulement de pouvoir survivre ? Pour que leurs capacités puissent être développées de manière à ce qu’ils aient accès à d’autres choses que de lutter pour manger, de lutter au milieu de la pauvreté, de lutter pour un travail digne de ce nom, de lutter pour trouver un moyen de payer des emprunts massifs afin d’obtenir une éducation décente, de ne pas lutter pour avoir des soins de santé décents. Ce sont des questions centrales qui ne concernent pas seulement le pouvoir, mais aussi la capacité à vivre. De vivre dans la dignité.

Will Brehm 14:10
Et donc, passons à l’éducation ici. Dans votre dernier livre, intitulé “Le public en péril”, vous employez le terme … vous avez dit que vous vouliez voir “le politique plus pédagogique”. Que vouliez-vous dire par là?

Henry Giroux 14:23
Ce que je veux dire par là, c’est que l’une des choses qui me perturbe, et l’une des choses sur lesquelles j’ai écrit pendant de nombreuses années, et je ne suis pas le premier, bien que je pense l’avoir probablement élaborée plus souvent que la plupart des gens, c’est que l’éducation est au cœur de la politique. On ne peut pas parler de politique si on ne peut pas parler de conscience. Si vous ne pouvez pas parler de changer la façon dont les gens croient, si vous ne pouvez pas parler de les engager dans un dialogue avec un vocabulaire dans lequel ils peuvent s’investir, s’identifier et être capables de reconnaître les conditions dans lesquelles ils se trouvent, de sorte qu’ils puissent soit apprendre à modifier ces conditions, soit comprendre ce que ces conditions signifient en termes de leur propre sentiment d’oppression. Et je crois que trop souvent, nous assimilons la domination à de simples institutions, et nous disons que la seule façon de parler de pouvoir est de parler de structures économiques. Mais je suis navré, aussi importantes que soient l’économie et les structures économiques, vous devez aussi parler de ce que signifie créer les conditions pour que les gens puissent penser, réfléchir sur eux-mêmes, s’identifier à certains types de récits, disposer d’informations leur permettant de réfléchir sur eux-mêmes individuellement et collectivement. Et je pense que l’outil est ce que j’appellerais de la pédagogie. La capacité d’intervenir dans la vie des gens avec des vocabulaires, des relations sociales, des valeurs, des scénarios moraux et politiques dans lesquels les gens peuvent tout à coup être mus par le pouvoir de la persuasion et de la logique, de la raison et de la vérité, doit être au centre de toute politique.

Will Brehm 15:59
Et donc, quel est le rôle des écoles, comme les institutions gérées par le gouvernement, les écoles publiques, dans cet effort pédagogique pour rendre la politique plus pédagogique ?

Henry Giroux 16:10
Je crois que les écoles sont probablement l’un des rares endroits où nous ne sommes pas entièrement contrôlés par les entreprises. Où, en fait, ce genre d’enseignement peut avoir lieu, où les gens peuvent avoir des débats, où les gens peuvent être confrontés à des positions qui sont historiques, scientifiques, qui offrent la possibilité de s’engager dans des modes, et de créer des modes d’alphabétisation civique et de responsabilité sociale. Les écoles, au fond, dans le meilleur des cas, devraient être des sphères démocratiques et publiques. Elles devraient participer activement non seulement à l’enseignement aux jeunes des grandes traditions, quelles qu’elles soient, qui proposent le meilleur de l’apprentissage humain, et de ce que signifie être civilisé, à partir de toute une série de traditions, mais aussi de ce que signifie assumer un sens de la responsabilité sociale, politique et éthique. Pour que l’on reconnaisse que l’on vit dans une société avec d’autres. Et que l’on doit se battre pour la démocratie, se battre pour la justice, pour apprendre qu’aucune société n’est jamais juste assez, et que c’est aussi essentiel pour apprendre que d’apprendre tout ce qui a de la valeur en termes de types de ressources humaines qui sont disponibles et qui peuvent être appropriées, engagées et discutées.

Will Brehm 17:26
Est-il envisageable d’accomplir certaines de ces choses dans des écoles à charte, par exemple, en Amérique ?

Henry Giroux 17:33
Les Charter Schools ont une longue tradition, surtout aux États-Unis, de ségrégation des élèves. Et en même temps, elles se déplacent avec la possibilité de constituer des syndicats, de les ruiner, de les saper et de fonctionner en partant du principe que les écoles sont essentiellement une entreprise privée plutôt qu’un bien public. Je n’ai donc pas beaucoup de foi dans les écoles à charte. Est-il possible que certaines écoles à charte, quand elles sont gonflées par d’énormes sommes d’argent de la part des gestionnaires de fonds spéculatifs simplement pour qu’elles deviennent un modèle de destruction des écoles publiques, puissent marcher ? Oui, c’est possible. Mais toutes les recherches semblent indiquer que, au mieux, elles ne sont pas meilleures, sinon pires, que les écoles publiques. Je ne crois pas que les écoles publiques devraient être privatisées. Je pense qu’elles sont un bien public, elles ne sont pas un droit privé. Et je pense que dès que nous commençons à parler de l’école comme d’un droit privé et que nous commençons à parler des écoles comme d’institutions à but lucratif, nous détruisons leurs possibilités en tant que sphères publiques démocratiques.

Will Brehm 18:38
J’ai moins d’espoir que Betsy DeVos soit d’accord avec vous sur ce point.

Henry Giroux 18:41
Betsy DeVos est probablement l’une des personnes les plus haïes en Amérique, parce que les gens se rendent compte de ce qu’elle est. C’est une milliardaire qui déteste les écoles publiques et qui prétend que sa mission dans la vie est d’apporter le royaume de Dieu aux étudiants. C’est une fanatique religieuse. C’est une fondamentaliste idéologique et une fanatique religieuse. Et à présent, elle est la secrétaire à l’éducation des États-Unis. Qu’est-ce que cela signifie pour l’éducation ? Qu’est-ce que cela dit de cette administration ? Je veux dire que Donald Trump a été clair : il aime les personnes sans éducation. Il l’a dit à plusieurs reprises. C’est un type qui ne lit pas de livres. Il mange essentiellement des hamburgers McDonald’s et regarde Fox News. Ce n’est pas exactement un type qui va embrasser n’importe quelle institution qui offre la possibilité d’éduquer les étudiants ou les adultes à la réflexion critique. Il trouve ces institutions énormément horribles et difficiles. Et en fait, plus que cela, il les utilise comme une pathologie. C’est pourquoi il a inventé la notion de fausses nouvelles. Et c’est pourquoi il est un menteur en série et continue à croire qu’il peut dire n’importe quoi parce qu’il croit qu’il n’a pas à être tenu responsable. Dans une démocratie, les gens sont tenus responsables. Mais ce n’est pas un type qui croit qu’on doit être tenu responsable. C’est la marque de tout dictateur fasciste.

Will Brehm 19:55
Alors, qu’est-ce qu’il faut faire ici ? Alors, pour les gens qui sont d’accord avec vous, comme moi, que pouvons-nous faire pour préserver l’éducation publique comme un contrat social démocratique ou un bien social démocratique?

Henry Giroux 20:13
Je crois qu’il faut se poser certaines questions qui placent soudain au premier plan ce qu’est vraiment l’éducation et pourquoi elle est si essentielle. Et je crois que l’une de ces questions doit être : “Quel rôle l’éducation joue-t-elle dans une démocratie ? Et la deuxième question doit être : “Comment la démocratie fonctionne-t-elle, et continue-t-elle de fonctionner, d’une manière qui impose certaines exigences à l’éducation ? Je pense que nous devons reconnaître que l’éducation est probablement l’une des forces éducatives les plus influentes au monde, certainement en termes de scolarisation formelle, qui offre la possibilité de générer une culture formatrice qui permet aux gens de penser de manière critique et d’être informés. Je veux dire, Dewey, Arendt, toute une série de philosophes, Castoriadis, nous disent depuis des années – et ils ont raison – qu’on ne peut pas avoir de démocratie sans citoyens informés. Et je crois que quand nous réaliserons à quel point l’enseignement supérieur, l’éducation publique est cruciale pour la création de la culture formatrice qui rend une démocratie possible, alors nous cesserons d’en parler en termes de simple formation des travailleurs. L’éducation n’est pas une formation, ce sont des choses différentes. Et nous avons perdu cela de vue aux États-Unis. Le scénario a été inversé. Et tout d’un coup, l’éducation n’est plus qu’un complément de la vie des entreprises, de leurs exigences, de leurs besoins. Et je pense qu’à bien des égards, ce que nous voyons dans Parkland, et ce que nous voyons chez les jeunes de tout le pays, que nous parlions, vous savez, de toute une série de mouvements, du mouvement BlackLivesMatter, de toute une série de mouvements, les gens disent : “Hé, regardez. Il y a une certaine violence dans ce pays qui est en partie liée à l’éducation, tant à l’intérieur qu’à l’extérieur des écoles, qui rend les gens vulnérables à la terreur systémique, à la violence systémique, et il faut que cela cesse”. Et cela doit arrêter parce que nous devons restructurer et repenser la relation entre la démocratie et le capitalisme, et probablement commencer à dire que le capitalisme et la démocratie ne sont pas la même chose. La deuxième chose est que nous devons renverser et combattre certains des éléments les plus pernicieux et les plus toxiques du néolibéralisme. Et le plus toxique à mon avis, est celui qui suggère que la seule responsabilité qui compte est la responsabilité individuelle. C’est cela. Que vous êtes responsable de tout ce qui se passe dans le monde, et que vous n’avez pas le droit de croire qu’il existe des problèmes sociaux sur lesquels vous n’avez aucun contrôle individuel. Et que vous n’avez pas à supporter ce fardeau. Et qu’en assumant ce fardeau, vous démantelez complètement le lien ou la capacité de traduire des problèmes privés en considérations sociales plus larges. C’est dépolitiser. Cela signifie que vous devenez dépolitisé. Cela signifie que vous devenez cynique. Cela signifie que vous vous blâmez pour tous les problèmes dans lesquels vous vous trouvez. Et cela implique qu’au fond, vous êtes politiquement hors du coup. Qu’il n’y a rien à faire, si ce n’est participer à la crise des opiacés, sombrer dans le cynisme, ou simplement se replier sur les pires formes de désespoir.

Will Brehm 23:17
Donc, serait-il correct de dire que vous croyez que le type de courage civique requis est de repolitiser beaucoup d’espaces qui ont été dépolitisés ?

Henry Giroux 23:29
Absolument. Absolument. Je pense que ce que nous devons faire, c’est parler de sphères publiques qui engagent et soulèvent la possibilité d’une alphabétisation civique, d’un courage civique et d’une responsabilité sociale au point de pouvoir reconquérir le langage de la démocratie. Nous pouvons à nouveau parler de compassion. Nous pouvons à nouveau parler de relations sociales qui ne sont pas simplement basées sur des relations d’échange, des relations marchandes. Nous pouvons discuter de la notion de communauté et de ce qu’elle signifie. Nous pouvons supposer que la dépendance n’est pas une pathologie, que la communauté n’est pas quelque chose que l’on déteste et que les responsabilités partagées sont beaucoup plus essentielles que les craintes partagées.

Will Brehm 24:11
Y a-t-il des exemples de tels systèmes ou même seulement des écoles où cela se produit, où cette politisation se produit ?

Henry Giroux 24:22
Il y a des écoles dans tout le pays aux États-Unis qui se trompent fondamentalement du côté de ce genre d’idées progressistes. Et il y a des pays qui sont du côté de ces progrès. Les pays sociaux-démocrates, qu’il s’agisse de la Finlande, de la Suède ou de l’Allemagne. Je veux dire, certains endroits où l’enseignement supérieur est gratuit. L’enseignement public est gratuit. Même au Canada, ce n’est pas la social-démocratie la plus prononcée au monde. Mais écoutez, je tombe malade, je ne paie rien. J’entre à l’hôpital, je prends des rendez-vous avec des médecins, je reçois des soins médicaux gratuits. Aux États-Unis, la moitié des dettes des gens, les faillites, sont dues aux dépenses de santé. Il existe donc dans le monde entier des exemples de pays qui ont essentiellement mis en place des dispositions sociales et des filets de sûreté sociale qui permettent aux gens de vivre avec un certain degré de dignité. Et je pense que nous devons en tirer les leçons. Et je crois que nous devons examiner très attentivement ce que cela signifie, en termes de ce que cela signifie d’investir dans l’avenir des jeunes plutôt que de désinvestir dans les jeunes et de partir du principe que gagner de l’argent est bien plus essentiel que, par exemple, la vie des jeunes. Par exemple, les fabricants d’armes, de nombreux défenseurs des droits des armes, pensent vraiment que nous vivons dans un pays où tuer des enfants est moins essentiel, en fait, que de gagner de l’argent en vendant des armes.

Will Brehm 25:54
Avez-vous l’espoir que l’Amérique sortira de ce cauchemar, qu’elle reviendra à une société sociale-démocrate où le bien public de l’éducation existe?

Henry Giroux 26:06
Intellectuellement, je suis sceptique. En ce qui concerne l’avenir, je suis plein d’espoir. Je crois que nous vivons des temps très sombres. Partout dans le monde, je pense que la montée du fascisme émerge à nouveau. Je pense qu’il y a des signes que les gens se mobilisent. Je pense que les contradictions deviennent si grandes que des gens qui ne seraient pas politiques deviennent soudainement plus politiques et s’impliquent activement. Je pense que les jeunes représentent un changement de paradigme pour la plupart, par rapport à ce que nous avons vu dans le passé, en ce sens qu’ils sont plus tangibles, ils sont plus avertis sur le plan technologique, ils sont plus astucieux sur le plan politique. Et je veux souhaiter que les jeunes reconnaissent tout d’un coup que le fait d’être écrit du futur, et d’être écrit du scénario de la démocratie est un défi suffisant à relever pour qu’ils ne se contentent pas de créer des moments et des manifestations, mais qu’ils créent en fait des mouvements qui seront suffisamment larges pour pouvoir réellement contester les structures de pouvoir qui sont en place dans beaucoup de ces pays aujourd’hui, y inclus les États-Unis.

Will Brehm 27:09
Eh bien, Henry Giroux, merci beaucoup d’avoir rejoint FreshEd, et merci beaucoup pour tous les écrits que vous avez faits au fil des ans. Je suis un grand fan.

Henry Giroux 27:17
Je suis ravi d’être à l’antenne, et merci beaucoup de m’avoir.

Translation sponsored by NORRAG.

Coming soon!

Today we look at the globalization of curriculum markets with Professor Catherine Doherty. Catherine uses the example of the International Baccalaureate Diploma in Australia to think about the movement of global curriculum inside local markets.

Why do schools choose to include global curricula like the IB? And what impact do these new curricular offerings have on educational choice both locally and globally?

By looking at various schools across Australia, Catherine unpacks the social ecology of the IB, highlighting ideas about educational strategy and imagined motilities. She empirically demonstrates how the global-local binary is a historical artifact.

Catherine Doherty is a Professor of Pedagogy and Social Justice in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow.

Citation: Doherty, Catherine, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 73, podcast audio, May 15, 2017.

Transcript, Translation, and Resources:

Read more


Today we discuss human rights education with Monisha Bajaj. Monisha, has recently edited a book entitled Human Rights Education: Theory, Research Praxis, which was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

In our conversation, we discuss the origins of human rights education, its diverse range of practices, and the ways it has changed overtime.

We also discuss the challenges to human rights education today.

Monisha Bajaj is a Professor of International and Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco.

Citation: Bajaj, Monisha, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 72, podcast audio, May 8, 2017.


Will Brehm  1:45
Monisha Bajaj, welcome to FreshEd.

Monisha Bajaj  1:57
Thanks so much for having me, Will.

Will Brehm 2:00
So, what is Human Rights Education?

Monisha Bajaj 2:04
Sure. Well, a very basic definition of Human Rights Education is any teaching and learning that happens to impart values, notions, knowledge about human rights among learners. And human rights, most basically, are legal and ethical frameworks for human dignity. And they’ve existed for many, many, many years, in many traditions, in many cultural backgrounds but they were most kind of concretized after the Second World War, as nations came together in the wake of two world wars, looking at the horrors of the Holocaust, and the ravages of what happened there -trying to create a shared moral, ethical, legal framework for individuals, communities, nations living in peace and in dignity.

Will Brehm  2:52
And that framework -that moral, and ethical, legal framework- was through the United Nations?

Monisha Bajaj  2:57
Yeah, so the United Nations came about -the ideas for it had existed through the League of Nations and other proposals that had existed before World War Two. But after World War Two, as nations recovered from many different things on many different continents that were happening, the proposals really moved forward in terms of creating the architecture and the structure for the United Nations. And through that there was a proposal for a Universal Declaration of Human Rights that would codify some basic human standards for living together. The basic principles for which every human would be entitled to.

Will Brehm  3:35
And so human rights as a framework through the United Nations, that was in the 1940s, 1950s, but when did the Human Rights “Education” first emerge?

Monisha Bajaj  3:46
Sure, so actually, Human Rights Education as I mentioned, you know, you have these traditions and cultures where notions of human rights emerged for many years and education about rights and basic values of human dignity have existed in many cultures historically and through the years. But again, at this codification in 1948, through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -through these 30 articles of this kind of milestone document that’s been translated thousands of times, all around the world- there is Article 26 that fundamentally in Part 1 says that everyone has a right to education. And notably, in Part 2 of that says that education should be directed to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. So, there was this awareness and the individuals who debated this document, there were three years of debates and, you know, arguing over language and getting the right terms and the right notions and the phrasing and the types of principles that would be in this document. There was a lot of debates about individuals who were educated that participated in the Holocaust. So, people who were medical doctors who were experimenting in awful ways on individuals: torture, murder, atrocities, and the Nazi indoctrination of youth through education during that time -during the Nazi regime. So, there was this perspective that it’s not just access to education, which is Part 1 of Article 26, but education for what? Education towards peace, tolerance, friendship among nations, the strengthening of fundamental freedoms, respect for human rights. So HRE has actually existed -since in that kind of formal form- since the creation of the document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Will Brehm  5:28
And who are some of the main proponents of Human Rights Education?

Monisha Bajaj  5:51
Sure. So, in that kind of debating, there were people from different nations. There was a lot of strong support from women from India and from the Dominican Republic, who are delegates in drafting this document for inclusive language around gender. In terms of education, a lot of the Latin American countries pushed the economic, social and cultural rights into the document. Obviously, some of the drafters that we know about were Rene Cassin of France. Different individuals who were leading philosophers and theorists of that time, Charles Malik of Lebanon -other individuals. And so, these debates were happening among this group of individuals. Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the council that drafted the declaration, but she didn’t actually participate in a lot of the drafting of it, which is a bit of a misconception that a lot of individuals have -that she was the main drafter of the declaration. So, these were all kind of leading scholars, philosophers, intellectuals of the time that had come together through this platform of the drafting committee to put in what they saw were the most important rights that each individual should have across societies. What’s interesting about that drafting committee, a lot of individuals bring up the cultural relativist critique. And actually, the strong support for the kind of universalism was from nations of the global South. The few that were involved at that time who had already become free -if we think about the period of 1948 a lot of the countries of Asia, South Asia, at least in Sub-Saharan Africa, were still under colonial rule. And a lot of the colonial powers didn’t want the universal language to be in there. Because that would mean that then the colonies that were under their rule would have to be entitled to these rights that they weren’t at that time giving them. So, there’s this misnomer, I think, right? Or this misconception these days that cultural relativism is something that global South nations are arguing for. But at this time in the 1940s it was actually the reverse: That European powers were arguing for cultural relativist language so that they could maintain you know, their power over the colonies that they had that were very lucrative for them. But a lot of that history is very hidden.

Will Brehm  7:40
So, when did it change to the critique being that cultural relativism was what the global North was doing?

Monisha Bajaj  7:47
Yeah, so that -there’s a really interesting book, it’s a long answer to that question but I would point any listeners towards this book by -I think the first name of the, I can’t remember the first name of the author, but the last name is Burke, and again, the name of the book also escapes me- but it’s a I think it’s something on Decolonizing human rights or something like that. And it talks very extensively -it’s about a 200-page book- about every debate through the process of drafting the declaration. And then how different nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, different representatives from there, switched the debate on cultural relativism to then be a debate about the western imposition of values in order to be able to resist some of the universal framing around the 60s and 70s that was coming out about bringing attention to nations that were not abiding by some of these standards and advancing human rights for all people in those countries.

Will Brehm  8:44
Yeah, I know in the 90s a lot of Asian nations, when they came together during the Vienna Conference, they explicitly stated that human rights should not be used to pressure nations into a universal direction. They kind of made this very interesting balance between, on the one hand, they recognized human rights as universal but at the same time, they didn’t want nations -particularly a Western nations- to pressure Asian nations into following a certain direction of human rights. And it makes me realize that this difference between cultural relativism and the universal notion of human rights I mean, its intention and obviously, as you’re saying changes over time, depending on which nations are advocating for the different sides.

Monisha Bajaj  9:36
Yeah, I mean, I think the history of that debate is a really productive area to look into because it’s so complex and it’s so interesting to look kind of from the 1940s to the present who is on each side of that debate and how that’s shifted over time and even within nations to look at who argues for each of that. I know in my own work my I know we’re talking right now about this new book, but in my previous book on Human Rights Education in India, I looked at kind of the different definitions of Human Rights Education that people have. And it definitely was a lot of individuals who had a bit more privileged status that were arguing for cultural relativism and that these notions can’t be imposed on us. We have Asian values, or we are not like those nations that want us to be like them. Whereas the communities kind of at the very bottom, particularly Dalit rights activists and organizations that I work with -Dalit is considered formerly called “untouchable” groups. A lot of the organizations that were advancing Human Rights Education were Dalit rights organizations. And what they were saying is that, “we do want these universal notions because then what it can allow us to do is advocate for rights that we’ve been denied for thousands and thousands of years”. And the individuals who were arguing for cultural relativism were individuals who would then be upset or disrupted by a change in social relations that had privileged them for a very long time. So, I think it’s also very fruitful to look within nations to see how different structures are arranged and when groups who are some of the most marginalized begin to use human rights framing and language, how then the cultural relativist critique comes from local elites that don’t want any disruption of the privileges and benefits that they’ve had for a very long time.

Will Brehm  11:15
Right. So, it can be particular interests domestically, can latch on to some of these international ideas to push their agenda forward.

Monisha Bajaj  11:23
Yeah. And who is attending the UN meetings where they’re arguing for cultural relativism? For example, in the declaration that you mentioned, in the Vienna conference, the individuals who represent nations are often from elites, right? So, when there’s not the parallel tracks for NGOs or civil society or social movements to be part of those conversations, only one side of the story often gets put forward. So, it would be interesting to see -I think the World Conference against Racism in Durban in 2001 was a very interesting conference where many NGOs, social movements, civil society groups were present alongside the government representatives, and particularly around Dalit rights and the human rights framing, as well as other issues globally. You had a very sort of tense conference where even government actors walked out of the conference because of the strong presence of civil society that were basically telling them when the government of certain countries would say, No, the situation is like this. The civil society actors would say, “No, it’s not. We are living this, we are working this”. And so, you had both voices and it was very difficult for governmental actors to be able to spin a story that wasn’t countered by anyone else because you had a strong presence of civil society there.

Will Brehm  12:39
Yeah. So, let’s switch or let’s change gears to this: How Human Rights Education is actually practiced. Is this something that we see civil society and NGO organizations practicing? Or are governments actually practicing it as well?

Monisha Bajaj  12:56
Yeah. What I think is really interesting about Human Rights Education is you have a sort of “from above” approach and a “from below”. And then a lot of kind of grassroots, transformative education, social justice education, you only have the “from below”, which is kind of empowerment education, trying to reach marginalized groups, bring some sort of Freirean-inspired consciousness raising education in order to empower them. With Human Rights Education, you have that. You have a lot of grassroots movements. This was particularly true in Latin America, during the time of authoritarian rule. A lot of organizations were working with communities to bring in Human Rights Education to build a political base for movements to overthrow authoritarianism. You see that in many different contexts. At the same time, from the 1990s forward, you have a very strong intergovernmental legitimization of human rights discourses and Human Rights Education, particularly through the Vienna Conference on Human Rights in 1993. That was the first big World Conference on human rights after the fall of the Soviet Union where in the declaration that come out of the plan of action that came out of this conference, there were many paragraphs devoted to Human Rights Education being a priority. That awareness about human rights. Through that declaration, there was also the creation of the UN Decade for Human Rights Education, which was 1995 to 2004. So, you have this very strong intergovernmental movement at the same time that you have this very vibrant sort of grassroots movement and it looks different in both those places. So, the way governments talk about Human Rights Education may be putting a paragraph in a textbook, or kind of doing it so that they look good in the international community. Whereas grassroots movements are really trying to bring about individual and social change through working with marginalized groups to advocate for their own rights and demand sort of more dignity and basic freedoms. So, you have this interesting dual movement happening, and maybe there are other levels as well, but it also allows grassroots movements to draw on that global framework to bring legitimacy to what they’re doing. And you see a lot of groups -I see this in my work in India, as well as in other places where I’ve done research- where groups that we’re framing their work on education or consciousness raising around a particular right like the right to land or the right to be free from caste discrimination or gender, that they start using human rights more broadly to frame the issues that they’re working on because it does link to this global framework and this global discourse that then all of a sudden they can make claims on the nation-state because the nation-state has said that they agree to these kinds of global values and norms. So, you see a lot of reframing in the 1990s of individual social movements and NGOs that are working in different areas to a broader human rights lens because funding, legitimacy, networks and different ways of accessing these global goods can also be available by reframing into a human rights lens. And it’s not that what they were working on isn’t human rights. It’s just that all of a sudden there’s this kind of more pan-human rights perspective that individuals can link their own demands and struggles into.

Will Brehm  16:11
So why are nation-states -at this at these intergovernmental agencies and conferences- why are they adopting the language of human rights? Even if it’s only, like you said, a paragraph in a textbook. What is the reason for this global convergence in a sense at that intergovernmental level?

Monisha Bajaj  16:33
There are many scholars who’ve written on this, and I think -it’s not an area that I focus on squarely in my work. But we do have some chapters in the book that do talk about this kind of shift towards the kind of more individual rights in the global kind of economy. You see, this rise of neoliberalism to some extent has opened up the space for this discussion of individual rights. I would say it has a lot to do with kind of how the movement, particularly this kind of Cold War period, where it was very much the First World, the Second World, the Third World. Different groups were focused on different rights. So, the West and the global north was definitely kind of more on political and civil rights. Whereas you see the kind of Soviet nations more focused on economic-social rights, not necessarily cultural rights in that regard. But you see this kind of emergence of political and civil rights as sort of this framework that then becomes to frame a lot of the post-Soviet period. So, it is this way that human rights originally kind of gets in these documents and gets to this kind of international community through the political and civil rights. But as more people enter this space and start using the whole expanse of the human rights documents and frameworks that you see more attention to economic, social, cultural rights coming in as well

Will Brehm  17:53
Since the end of the Cold War -and maybe since the Vienna conference in the early 1990s- has the practice of Human Rights Education changed to today in 2017?

Monisha Bajaj  18:06
Yeah, definitely. So, I would say that -so you have this document in 1948 where Human Rights Education is clearly stated as a fundamental right, you know, a kind of social good that’s in this universal declaration, but not much action on it, or very disparate, different movements towards Human Rights Education. Until really there is this kind of global convening, this focus on Human Rights Education that comes out of the Vienna Conference, and then through the decade -that was like an interagency decade for Human Rights Education across UN agencies- there was then coordination and movement for individuals who are doing different things and may not even know about each other. If you think about the early 1990s, there wasn’t even the internet as easily available that really comes about in the late 90s, early 2000s. So, this decade really allowed people to coordinate and say, “hey, I’m doing this over here. Hey, I’m doing this over here, hey, let’s connect, let’s get together”. And through that coordination of action plans, nation-states then had an incentive because they were being required to submit action plans of what was happening, they had to take stock nationally and say, “Hey, what’s going on in our nation? What can we report that will make us look good about what’s going on in Human Rights Education”? So, it was also a chance for this kind of connection horizontally across the globe, at the civil society level. And I know in the case of India as well, which is where a lot of my research has taken place, government actors got interested in what civil society was doing, because they could use it as a way to show the UN agencies what was happening. Whether or not they were actually involved in it or not, but they could kind of take some credit for actions and show up at events that NGOs were putting on -there was a creation of a National Human Rights Commission at that time in India, for example. So, it was a chance to kind of take stock, connect and also move different initiatives forward because of this kind of international -I wouldn’t say comparison but this kind of focus that then everybody wanted to rally around and show what they were doing.

Will Brehm  20:06
Is Human Rights Education fundamentally different today than it was in the 90s? Or do we see similar trends happening?

Monisha Bajaj  20:14
Yeah, so I would say it is different. So, you see this kind of exponential growth in the term Human Rights Education being used. Initiatives that are specifically on Human Rights Education. So, whereas before the 90s, you probably had very disparate, very kind of Amnesty International was working in that space. Some individuals and organizations were but after the 1990s, you see a lot of individuals who had been doing education -maybe citizenship education or agenda rights education- using Human Rights Education as a frame. Sort of repackaging, maybe expanding the focus of what they were doing to include other rights and then just a monumental shift in pedagogies, practices, publications, textbook reforms, pedagogical reforms. So, the proliferation of initiatives and activities and NGOs that were working in this space after the 1990s till the present day. And what we see now, I think, which is really interesting is just different approaches. So, some of my previous work has also kind of looked at different ideological bents to Human Rights Education. So, I’ve kind of conceptualized some different areas of Human Rights Education for global citizenship, Human Rights Education for coexistence, where different groups whether those ethnic groups, religious groups have been in conflict, bringing initiatives for Human Rights Education that addresses that. And then Human Rights Education that is rooted much more in sort of analysis of asymmetrical power relations that really seeks to bring about transformative learning and action that will address some of these inequities locally and in some instances globally. So, you have a proliferation of initiatives with very different ends. So you might have someone calling what they do Human Rights Education that is very different even in the same nation-state as another group that is using the term Human Rights Education and working with a very marginalized group, and doing something that looks totally different than something that’s happening 50 miles away in a privileged, urban, private school that is sort of doing Skype chats with individuals in other countries and trying to bring about global citizenship. So, you definitely have sort of this proliferation of the term and the perspectives of Human Rights Education, but with very different definitions of what that means as you get down into what they’re doing, what rights they’re focusing on, and what approaches they’re taking to impart learning around human rights.

Will Brehm  22:35
So, I mean, this makes me wonder, what is the value of using the term Human Rights Education if it can mean so many different things?

Monisha Bajaj  22:44
Yeah, I mean, I think the value of using it is very similar to the value of kind of any social justice efforts, right? It allows for people to congregate around this banner of Human Rights Education and address different issues of basic dignity, social justice, critical analysis, but the way that people take up that movement will always be very different. And I think that’s where scholars and practitioners can be in dialogue. I think what’s interesting about Human Rights Education is because it’s a fairly new field, and it’s very grounded in both practice and scholarship. There’s one listserv that is extremely vibrant, that’s coordinated by the US based NGO, Human Rights Education Associates, that started kind of in the late 90s, early 2000s with a few dozen people. When I wrote my book on Human Rights Education in India a few years ago, it was about 8,000 people on the listserv. I’m on this listserv now. I think the latest I looked up its 16,000 people on this listserv from 170 different countries. And it’s an extremely active space for people to share what’s going on, what they’re doing, perspectives, insights, government efforts, feedback on the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training that came out a few years ago. There were several conversations about what should go into that. It’s very rare in other intergovernmental spaces, that you would have such an active civil society participation in the drafting of a declaration or in the discussions about the everyday kind of practice. So, I think being a field that’s relatively new and relatively small, more or less, it allows for this very vibrant and dynamic space where people can contest the definitions or bring in new ideas to it. But it also means that we can’t think it’s all the same. It’s not a monolithic whole. The way individual’s kind of think about Human Rights Education is shaped by where they’re positioned, their social location, what their goals are through the project. And that’s why I think this book is really, you know, it’s meant to be a very introductory textbook on you know, what is Human Rights Education, who’s in the space, what are the different perspectives that exists there and kind of teasing out some of these different conceptual and theoretical perspectives that infuse the way that we think about the field

Will Brehm  25:00
Are there any examples of the outcomes of Human Rights Education? Like, “this is a great outcome of this particular initiative or practice of Human Rights Education”.

Monisha Bajaj  25:14
Yeah, so the area of sort of, I mean, I think research contributes to that. But definitely the area of evaluation is very contested. Because, as with any sort of educational program, it’s difficult to say this is the concrete outcome of this. But there have been studies that look at kind of prejudice reduction, there are three kind of large buckets that Human Rights Education focuses on: So, one is the cognitive. So greater awareness, knowledge about human rights history, standards, norms, maybe they’re domestic rights that everyone has access to. The second bucket would be kind of the affective, attitudinal. So, how does Human Rights Education affect the way that individuals interact with each other? This kind of emotional or attitudinal behavioral area. Is there actually less bullying because Human Rights Education is happening in a school? Is there greater inclusion among different social groups in a school or educative community? And then the third bucket is action-oriented. And that’s one of the trickiest areas to assess because a lot of school children don’t have a lot of time for social action. But Human Rights Education also takes place in a lot of non-formal education learning spaces where there are adult learners, it can happen in community-based spaces, it can happen in after school spaces. So, these are areas that different scholars have looked at. So, what is kind of the content, what are the sort of affective, and what are the action-oriented components that learners -whatever age they are- develop and incorporate into -and even educators- as they learn about Human Rights Education, what are they taking up and doing with this information? I look at that some in my book on Human Rights Education in India. Schooling for Social Change, is the name of that book. Other scholars have also done that, and we have, you know, chapters by about 20 different authors in this new book Human Rights Education: Theory, Research and Praxis, that gives short chapter snippets of what they’re looking at. One of the really interesting chapters that we were excited to include in this book is by Oren Pizmony-Levy and Megan Jensen, where they look at a professional development Human Rights Education program for individuals who work with people who work with refugees who are claiming asylum based on persecution of their gender identity or sexual orientation. So, this was a really important chapter to include because a lot of human rights frameworks, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, doesn’t identify sexual orientation as an area that you have to be free from discrimination of. And as we move from the 1940s forward, more declarations and conventions and international frameworks have incorporated some around sexual orientation, but it is a very sort of contested area when you think about the different nation-states and different laws that criminalize activity. So, this was an important chapter to include and they present some evidence of a training program done by an organization that really does show how individuals who participated, in a quantitative measure, reduce prejudice towards individuals of different sexual orientations through participation in this professional development. So, there are these ways of sort of evaluating. It could be that long term, there are kind of reversals to old ways of thinking, but there are different methodological approaches in the field and some attention towards addressing, “Okay, what are the outcomes and how do we assess these outcomes so that we are moving towards greater respect for human rights through Human Rights Education?”

Will Brehm  28:52
I want to bring the conversation all the way to today when where Marine Le Pen did not win the French presidency, but she came in second and earned more votes than her father did. And in a way she exemplifies this rise of nationalism and ethnocentric thinking -at least in Europe and maybe in the US where Donald Trump won the presidency- and we see this new anti-global talk and discourse and much more nationalistic and I wanted to in your sense: Do you think that this sort of discourse that we see in Europe and in America is going to affect Human Rights Education?

Monisha Bajaj  29:41
So, I see it as not only Europe and America. I mean if we look at the Philippines what’s going on with the leader there. India you know there’s been a tremendous cracking down on descent, revoking of human rights organizations sort of national permission to operate by the Prime Minister there right now. I think it’s a global trend. So, I just want to say that it’s not just the United States and Europe, even though that’s what we get most of the news about. It is really a global trend towards this kind of authoritarianism. In my opinion, it definitely makes Human Rights Education more necessary than ever. So, if you see Human Rights Education as a political and pedagogical project, we need more consciousness raising, critical thinking, critical media literacy, we need it more than ever. And the way I kind of give a quick definition of Human Rights Education sometimes is that space where cosmopolitanism meets Paulo Freire’s ideas. So, I think there’s this beautiful merging of this cosmopolitan thinking, that we are kind of global citizens, that we do have these shared moral, legal, and ethical frameworks which we see in human rights. But that individual consciousness raising has to happen at very local levels with very kind of tailored approaches to the communities that you’re involved in. So how individual communities link to that global, ethical framework and what’s needed to get them to think in perspective, or in relation to that is very different. So that consciousness raising that political, pedagogical, participatory education that happens has to take into account how people are situated in relation to this global. And right now, I think this move towards authoritarianism and this very kind of “rise of nationalism”, is related to a very sophisticated explanation that these kind of charismatic leaders who tend towards authoritarianism are able to give, which is that your economic woes and your hardships are because of “the other”. So particularly with Brexit, there was a very strong propaganda, whatever effort, towards blaming immigrants for the economic hardships when in reality if you take a structural lens on what’s happening is that manufacturing -a lot of the industrial jobs that individuals were in- moved overseas long ago. But the way that the kind of right-wing efforts were able to pin that answer, when people were asking, “Why is my life so hard?”, they were able to pin that answer on individuals who looked different and this kind of rise of multiculturalism through the European Union and migration that had been facilitated to that. When that actually, structurally, was not the reason why people’s lives were harder. It was the collapsing global economy and the rise of neoliberalism and factories moving to where wage labor is the cheapest in places like Bangladesh or Cambodia or Haiti. So, there’s this very sophisticated, I would say political education by the Right to give answers to these kinds of questions that we human rights educators really have to counter with correct and clear analysis that includes critical thinking, critical media literacy, historicizing the situations that individuals find themselves in but I think some of the ways that Human Rights Education operates is so grassroots. It’s very difficult to counter such sophisticated and well-funded campaigns on the other side.

Will Brehm  33:10
Well, Monisha Bajaj, thank you so much for joining FreshEd, it was really great to talk today.

Monisha Bajaj  33:15
Thank you so much for having me.

ويل بريهم: مونيشا باجاج، أهلًا بيكي في برنامج فريش إيد
مونيشا باجاج: شكرًا جدًا لاستضافتكم لي يا ويل
ويل بريهم: إيه هو تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟
مونيشا باجاج: تمام، التعريف الأوّلي لتعليم حقوق الإنسان أن هو أي تعليم وتعلم بيحصل عشان ينقل القيم والمفاهيم والمعرفة الخاصة بحقوق الإنسان بين المتعلمين. وحقوق الإنسان، بشكل أساسي، هي الإطار القانوني والأخلاقي لكرامة الإنسان. وهي موجودة من سنين بعيدة جدًا وفي ثقافات كتيرة، لكنها لم تصبح بالأهمية دي غير بعد الحرب العالمية التانية، لما اجتمعت الدول بعد حربين عالميتين وشافت أهوال الحرب النووية وويلات ما حصل فيها، وحاولوا يعملوا إطار أخلاقي وقانوني مشترك للأفراد والمجتمعات والدول عشان يعيشوا في سلام وكرامة.
ويل بريهم: وهل كان هذا الإطار القانوني والأخلاقي من خلال الأمم المتحدة؟
مونيشا باجاج: نعم، ما حدث هو إن الأمم المتحدة جابت الأفكار إللي كانت موجودة قبل كده من خلال عصبة الأمم، وكمان بعض المقترحات إللي كانت موجودة قبل الحرب العالمية الثانية. لكن بعد الحرب العالمية التانية، ومع تعافي الدول من أمور كثيرة كانت بتحدث في قارات مختلفة، أخذت المقترحات دي خطوة حقيقية للأمام ساهمت في وضع المبادئ التأسيسية والهيكل التنظيمي للأمم المتحدة. ومن خلال هذا تم اقتراح إعلان عالمي لحقوق الإنسان وإللي فيه وضعت معايير إنسانية أساسية للتعايش المشترك. المبادئ الأساسية إللي يحق لكل إنسان إنه يحصل عليها.
ويل بريهم: هذا معناه إن حقوق الإنسان كإطار تم وضعه من خلال الأمم المتحدة في الأربعينات والخمسينات من القرن الماضي، لكن متى ظهر “تعليم” حقوق الإنسان لأول مرة؟
مونيشا باجاج: تمام، في الواقع كما قلت، ظهرت مفاهيم حقوق الإنسان في تقاليد وثقافات مختلفة من سنين، كذلك التعليم عن حقوق الإنسان والقيم الأساسية للكرامة الإنسانية كانت موجودة تاريخيًا في ثقافات كثيرة عبر السنين. لكن مرة تاني، في تشريع سنة 1948، من خلال الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان- ومن خلال بنوده الثلاثين إللي بيحتويها كوثائق مهمة، وهذا الإعلان تمت ترجمته آلاف المرات في كل أنحاء العالم. ينص الإعلان بشكل أساسي في المادة 26 والجزء الأول منها على أن لكل شخص الحق في التعليم. وخصوصًا في الجزء الثاني من المادة وبينص على أنه ينبغي أن يتم توجيه التعليم إلى تعزيز الاحترام لحقوق الإنسان والحريات الأساسية. لذلك فإن هذا الوعي كان موجودًا، والأفراد إللي ناقشوا هذه الوثيقة على مر 3 سنين كانوا بيتناقشوا بخصوص اللغة المستخدمة، وبيحاولوا الوصول للمصطلحات والمفاهيم والصياغات والمباديء الصحيحة إللي كانت ستحتويها هذه الوثيقة. وكان هناك جدل كبير بخصوص الأفراد المتعلمين وإللي شاركوا في الهولوكوست، أو محرقة اليهود، مثل بعض الأطباء إللي عملوا تجارب طبية مروعة على الأفراد من تعذيب وقتل وأمور فظيعة. وكمان بخصوص التلقين النازي العنصري للشباب من خلال التعليم أثناء حكم النظام النازي. علشان كدا كان هناك هذا المنظور وهو: إن الموضوع مش مجرد الحصول على التعليم، كما هو موجود في الجزء الأول من المادة 26، لكن التعليم بأي غرض؟ التعليم المتجه إلى السلام والتسامح والتآخي بين الدول وتعزيز الحريات الأساسية واحترام حقوق الإنسان. كان تعليم حقوق الإنسان موجود بالفعل من وقت وضع هذه الوثيقة، الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان.
ويل بريهم: ومن هم أهم المؤيدين لتعليم حقوق الإنسان؟
مونيشا باجاج: تمام، في هذا النوع من النقاش بيشارك ناس من دول مختلفة. فكان هناك مثلًا دعم كبير من النساء من الهند ومن جمهورية الدومنيكان، وإللي كانوا ممثلين في صياغة هذه الوثيقة بهدف الحصول على لغة شاملة تتناسب مع كل جنس. وفيما يتعلق بالتعليم، فكثير من دول أمريكا اللاتينية اهتمت بالحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والثقافية في الوثيقة. من الواضح أن بعض المشاركين في الصياغة وإللي نعرف عنهم كان منهم رينيه كاسان من فرنسا. كذلك كان هناك فلاسفة وأصحاب نظريات في ذلك الوقت مثل تشارلز مالك من لبنان وغيره. كانت المناقشات بتحصل بين هذه المجموعة من الأفراد. وترأست إليانور روزفلت المجلس إللي صاغ الإعلان، لكنها لم تشارك فعليًا في صياغة كتير منه، وهذا مفهوم خاطئ بعض الشيء موجود عند ناس كثير، لكنها كانت العامل الرئيسي في صياغة الإعلان. كان كل هؤلاء من كبار العلماء والفلاسفة والمفكرين في ذلك الوقت وإللي اجتمعوا مع بعض من خلال منصة لجنة الصياغة لوضع ما رأوا أنه يكون أهم الحقوق إللي لابد يتمتع بها كل فرد في المجتمعات. من الأمور المثيرة للاهتمام بخصوص لجنة الصياغة، أن أفرادًا كثيرين أثاروا فكرة النقد الثقافي النسبي. وفي الواقع، فإن الدعم القوي لهذا النوع من الشمولية كان من دول الجنوب وهي الأقلية إللي كانت مشاركة في ذلك الوقت وإللي بالفعل تحررت من الاستعمار. لو فكرنا في فترة 1948 فإن كثير من دول آسيا، وجنوب آسيا أو على الأقل في أفريقيا جنوب الصحراء الكبرى، كانت لاتزال تحت الحكم الاستعماري. وكثير من القوى الاستعمارية ماكنتش عايزة وجود اللغة العالمية هناك. لأن هذا يعني ان المستعمرات إللي كانت بتخضع لحكمها لابد أن تحصل على هذه الحقوق، لكنها ماكنتش بتاخدها في ذلك الوقت. علشان كدا، اعتقد ان فيه خطأ في التسمية. كمان هناك الاعتقاد الخاطئ في تلك الفترة بأن النسبية الثقافية هي أمر تنادي به دول الجنوب. لكن في الأربعينات كان العكس هو الواقع. كانت القوى الأوروبية نفسها بتدافع عن لغة النسبية الثقافية عشان يستمروا في الاحتفاظ بسلطتهم على المستعمرات إللي كانت مربحة جدًا ليهم. لكن كتير من هذا التاريخ مخفي.
ويل بريهم: متى تغير هذا لنقد فكرة أن النسبية الثقافية هي ما كانت تمارسه دول الشمال؟
مونيشا باجاج: فيه كتاب غاية في الروعة يجاوب على هذا السؤال باستفاضة وأنا أحب أوجه المستمعين إليه. هذا الكتاب كتبه واحد اسمه……..، الحقيقة مش قادر افتكر اسمه الأول لكن اسمه التاني بروك، وللأسف نسيت كمان اسم الكتاب لكني اعتقد إن اسمه “انهاء استعمار حقوق الإنسان” أو شيء شبه هذا. وهذا الكتاب يتكلم بتركيز شديد في حوالي200 صفحة عن كل الجدال إللي حصل أثناء عملية صياغة الإعلان. وبعدين بيتكلم عن كيف حوّلت الدول المختلفة،وخصوصًا السعودية والمندوبين المختلفين النقاش بخصوص النسبية الثقافية ليكون النقاش بعد ذلك عن تطويع الغرب للقيم علشان يقدروا يقاوموا بعض الأطر العالمية في فترة الستينيات والسبعينيات إللي تم وضعها لمحاسبة الدول إللي لم تكن تلتزم بمعايير حقوق الإنسان وتتيحها لكل الناس في تلك الدول.
ويل بريهم: فعلًا أنا عارف أن في التسعينيات كثير من الدول الآسيوية، لما اجتمعوا مع بعض خلال مؤتمر فيينا، أعلنوا صراحةً أنه لا ينبغي استغلال حقوق الإنسان للضغط على الدول لتسير في تيار عالمي معين. وبكده يكونوا عملوا توازن رائع بين اعترافهم بحقوق الإنسان كأمر عالمي من جهة، لكن في نفس الوقت ماكانوش عايزين الدول، وخصوصًا الغربية، تضغط على الدول الآسيوية لاتباع اتجاه معين لحقوق الإنسان. ودا دفعني إن أنا أدرك إن هذا الاختلاف بين النسبية الثقافية والمفهوم العالمي لحقوق الإنسان بيتغير من وقت للتاني بحسب الدول إللي بتدافع عن واحد من الجانبين.
مونيشا باجاج:نعم، أنا أعتقد إن تاريخ هذا الجدال هو مجال مثمر للبحث فيه لأنه معقد للغاية ومن الشيق البحث في الفترة من الأربعينيات حتى الوقت الحالي عن مين من الدول كان بيدعم أي جانب من جوانب الجدال، وكيف تغير هذا مع الوقت حتى داخل نفس هذه الدول لتحديد مين إللي كان بيدعم كل جانب من النقاش. أنا عارف إننا بنتكلم دلوقت عن كتابي الجديد، لكن في كتابي السابق عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان في الهند، أنا بحثت في نوع من المفاهيم المختلفة عند الناس عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان. وكان بالتأكيد معظم الأفراد إللي بيتمتعوا بمكانة مميزة بيدافعوا عن النسبية الثقافية وأنه لا يمكن فرض هذه الأفكار علينا. عندنا قيمنا الأسيوية يعني إحنا مختلفين عن الدول إللي عايزانا نبقى زيها. في حين إن نوعية المجتمعات إللي في القاع وخصوصًا نشطاء منظمة داليت الحقوقية والمنظمات إللي بتتعاون معاها، منظمة داليت تعتبر رسميًا مجموعة “محظورة”. كتير من المنظمات إللي كانت بتقدم تعليم حقوق الإنسان كانت من منظمات بتتعاون مع داليت الحقوقية. وكانوا بيقولوا احنا عايزين القيم العالمية دي لأنها هتخلينا قادرين على الدفاع عن الحقوق إللي اتحرمنا منها لآلاف السنين. والأفراد إللي كانوا بيدافعوا عن النسبية الثقافية شعروا فيما بعد بالإحباط والانزعاج بسبب التغير إللي حصل في العلاقات الاجتماعية إللي ميزتهم لمدة طويلة. علشان كدا أنا بعتقد انه كمان من المفيد النظر داخل الدول لفهم كيفية ترتيب الهياكل التنظيمية المختلفة ومتى بدأت بعض أكثر المجموعات المهمشة في استخدام لغة ومبادئ حقوق الإنسان، وكيف بعد ذلك جاء النقد النسبي الثقافي من النخب المحلية إللي لا تريد أي تعطيل للامتيازات والفوائد إللي تمتعوا بيها لفترة طويلة جدًا.
ويل بريهم: صحيح، فممكن تكون هناك مصالح خاصة على الصعيد المحلي وبتلتصق ببعض الأفكار الدولية علشان تدفع أجندتها لقدام.
مونيشا باجاج: طبعًا، ومين إللي بيحضر اجتماعات الأمم المتحدة إللي بيدافعوا فيها عن النسبية الثقافية؟ على سبيل المثال، في الإعلان إللي ذكرته، في مؤتمر فيينا، غالبًا بيكون الأفراد إللي بيمثلوا الدول من النخبة، صح؟ علشان كدا لما مش بيكون فيه مسارات موازية من المنظمات غير الحكومية، أو المجتمع المدني أو الحركات الاجتماعية علشان تكون جزء من هذه المحادثات، غالبًا بيتم طرح جانب واحد بس من القصة. علشان كدا هيكون من الشيق إننا نشوف هذا. أعتقد أن المؤتمر العالمي لمناهضة العنصرية في ديربان في عام 2001 كان مؤتمر مثير للاهتمام لأن العديد من المنظمات غير الحكومية حضرت فيه، كذلك الحركات الاجتماعية، ومجموعات المجتمع المدني إلى جانب ممثلي الحكومة، حضروا خصوصًا لمناقشة قضية حقوق داليت وتأطير حقوق الإنسان، وغيرها من القضايا الأخرى على الصعيد العالمي. كانت هناك نوعية من المؤتمرات المتوترة، وإللي انسحب منها حتى الممثلين الحكوميين بسبب الوجود القوي للمجتمع المدني، لما كانت حكومات بعض الدول بتقول “لا، الوضع عندنا كذا”، فكان ممثلو المجتمع المدني يردوا ويقولوا “لا، الوضع مش كدا، احنا عايشين بهذه الطريقة، وبنشتغل بالطريقة الفلانية. وهكذا، كان عندنا كلا الصوتين وكان من الصعب جدًا بالنسبة للممثلين الحكوميين انهم يختلقوا قصة لا يتم التصدي ليها لأن كان هناك حضور قوي للمجتمع المدني.
ويل بريهم: تمام، خلينا ننقل أو نغير الحديث لنقطة تانية: كيف تتم ممارسة تعليم حقوق الإنسان فعليًا؟ هل نرى إن المجتمع المدني والمنظمات غير الحكومية بتمارسه؟ أو هل الحكومات كمان بتمارسه فعليًا؟
مونيشا باجاج: تمام، الأمر إللي أنا بعتقد أنه شيق جدًا بخصوص تعليم حقوق الإنسان أن عندنا مدخلين “من أعلى” و “من أسفل”. في مدخل “من أعلى” هناك أنواع كتيرة من التعليم الشعبي، والتعليم التحولي، والتعليم عن العدالة الاجتماعية. أما مدخل “من أسفل”، فيوجد فيه فقط التعليم التمكيني، ودا بيحاول يوصل للفئات المهمشة، وبيستحضر نوع من التعليم المستوحى من الأفكار المنسوبة لفرير وهو فيلسوف وتربوي برازيلي ركز على رفع مستوى التعليم والوعي للناس بهدف تمكينهم من حقوقهم. مع تعليم حقوق الإنسان تجد الآتي. هناك حركات شعبية كثيرة، ودا صحيح على وجه الخصوص في أمريكا اللاتينية خلال فترة الحكم الاستبدادي. كتير من المنظمات كانت بتشتغل مع المجتمعات لنشر تعليم حقوق الإنسان علشان تبني قاعدة سياسية للحركات بهدف الإطاحة بالاستبداد. وتقدر تشوف دا في سياقات مختلفة عديدة. في نفس الوقت، من التسعينيات وما بعدها، هناك شرعية حكومية دولية قوية جدًا لخطابات حقوق الإنسان ولتعليم حقوق الإنسان، وخصوصًا من خلال اعلان مؤتمر فيينا عن حقوق الإنسان في سنة 1993. ودا كان أول مؤتمر عالمي ضخم عن حقوق الإنسان بعد سقوط الإتحاد السوفيتي وفيه تم الإعلان عن خطة الأعمال إللي نتجت عن المؤتمر، وكانت هناك فقرات كثيرة مخصصة لتعليم حقوق الإنسان كأولوية تساهم في زيادة الوعي عن حقوق الإنسان. من خلال هذا الإعلان، قامت الأمم المتحدة بتخصيص فترة عشر سنين لتعليم حقوق الإنسان، من 1995 لـ 2004. عشان كدا عندنا الحركة الحكومية الدولية القوية جدًا، في نفس الوقت إللي فيه الحركة الشعبية النابضة بالحياة دي؛ ويبدو الأمر مختلف بين هذين الاتجاهين. فالطريقة إللي بتتكلم بيها الحكومات عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان ربما تكون بوضع فقرة في كتاب مدرسي، أو أي حاجة زي كدا علشان يظهروا بصورة جيدة قدام المجتمع الدولي. في حين إن الحركات الشعبية هي فعلًا بتحاول تعمل تغيير على مستوى الفرد والمجتمع من خلال العمل مع الفئات المهمشة للدفاع عن حقوقها والمطالبة بنوع من الكرامة والحريات الأساسية. علشان كدا عندنا الحركة المزدوجة والمثيرة للاهتمام دي، وربما هناك كمان مستويات تانيةـ لكن دا برضه بيسمح للحركات الشعبية انها تستفيد من الإطار العالمي علشان تضفي شرعية على إللي بتعمله. واحنا بنشوف فئات كتيرة- أنا مثلًا بشوف دا في شغلي في الهند وكمان في أماكن تانية عملت فيها أبحاث. هناك مجموعات بتقوم بوضع إطار لشغلها على التعليم ورفع الوعي حول حق معين زي حق الأرض، أو حق الحرية من التمييز الطبقي أو الجنسي، وإنهم يبدأوا يستخدموا حقوق الإنسان على نطاق أوسع لوضع إطار للقضايا إللي بيشتغلوا عليها لأنها بترتبط بالإطار العالمي دا، والخطاب العالمي دا، وبكدا يقدروا يقدموا مطالبات للدولة القومية لأنها قالت إنها موافقة على هذه الأنواع من القيم والقواعد العالمية. علشان كدا انت بتشوف إعادة صياغة كتير في التسعينات لحركات اجتماعية فردية ومنظمات غير حكومية بتشتغل في مجالات مختلفة لتوسيع نطاق حقوق الإنسان لأن الدعم المالي، والقواعد، والشبكات والطرق المختلفة للوصول للسلع العالمية بتكون متاحة من خلال إعادة صياغة نطاق حقوق الإنسان. وفجأة أصبح عندنا هذا النوع من منظور حقوق الإنسان إللي يقدر الأفراد يربطوا مطالبهم وصراعاتهم بيه.
ويل بريهم: طيب ليه، الوكالات والمؤتمرات غير الحكومية دي، ليه بيتبنوا لغة حقوق الإنسان؟ حتى لو، زي ما حضرتك قلت، انها مجرد فقرة في كتاب مدرسي. إيه سبب هذا التقارب العالمي على المستوى الحكومي الدولي؟
مونيشا باجاج: فيه علماء كتير كتبوا عن هذا، وأنا أعتقد، إنه مش المجال إللي أنا بركز عليه بشكل مباشر. لكن عندنا بعض الفصول في الكتاب بتتكلم عن هذا النوع من التحول تجاه شكل من الحقوق الفردية في الاقتصاد العالمي. فتح صعود الليبرالية الحديثة إلى حد ما المجال لهذا النوع من المناقشات عن الحقوق الفردية. عايز أقول إن فيه حاجات كتير عايزة تتعمل بخصوص الكيفية إللي لابد تتعامل بيها هذه الحركة مع الفئات المختلفة، وخصوصًا في فترة الحرب الباردة، إللي بينقسم العالم فيها للعالم الأول والعالم الثاني والعالم الثالث. فئات مختلفة ارتكزت على حقوق مختلفة. فالغرب ودول الشمال بالتأكيد أكثر تركيزًا على الحقوق السياسية والمدنية. في حين ركزت الدول السوفيتية على الحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية، ومش ضروري الحقوق الثقافية. لكنك بتشوف هذا النوع من ظهور الحقوق السياسية والمدنية كنوع من الإطار إللي أصبح بعد كدا إطار لمعظم فترة ما بعد الإتحاد السوفيتي. هذه الطريقة إللي بتدخل بيها حقوق الإنسان في الأساس لهذه الوثائق وبتصل للمجتمع الدولي من خلال الحقوق السياسية والمدنية. لكن كل ما دخل ناس كتير لهذه المنطقة وابتدوا يستخدموا وثائق وأطر حقوق الإنسان بشكل كامل، كل ما هتشوف اهتمام أكبر بالحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والثقافية.
ويل بريهم: من نهاية الحرب الباردة وربما من وقت مؤتمر فيينا في أوائل التسعينات حتى الآن، هل حصل تغير في ممارسات تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟
مونيشا باجاج: طبعًا بالتأكيد، عشان كدا أحب أقول أن عندنا هذه الوثيقة من سنة 1948 وفيها تم الإعلان بوضوح على إن تعليم حقوق الإنسان هو حق أساسي، وكون إن هذا ورد في الإعلان العالمي هو أمر جيد اجتماعيًا، لكن لم يتم اتخاذ إجراءات أو خطوات كثيرة تجاه تعليم حقوق الإنسان. لما حصل الاجتماع العالمي تم التركيز على تعليم حقوق الإنسان إللي نتجت عن مؤتمر فيينا، وبعدها خلال العشر سنين إللي كانت عبارة عن عشر سنين مشتركة بين وكالات الأمم المتحدة بخصوص تعليم حقوق الإنسان، كان فيه تناسق وحركة لأفراد بيعملوا حاجات مختلفة وربما كانوا حتى لا يعرفون بعضهم البعض.  لو فكرت في بداية التسعينيات، ماكانش فيه حتى إنترنت متاح بسهولة زي أواخر التسعينات وأوائل الألفية التانية. عشان كدا العشر سنين دول بالفعل سمحت للناس بالتنسيق مع بعض وأنهم يقولوا لبعض “انتبه، أنا بعمل دا هنا، وأنا بعمل دا هناك، خلينا نكون على اتصال، خلينا نشتغل مع بعض.” ومن خلال التنسيق لخطط العمل، كان للأمم المتحدة بعد ذلك الحافز لأنهم مطالبون بوضع خطط عمل للي كان بيحصل. وكان عليهم إجراء تقييم على المستوى الوطني ويسألوا، “انتبه، إيه إللي بيحصل في بلدنا؟ وإيه إللي نقدر نعلنه يساعد في إننا نظهر بصورة كويسة بخصوص إللي حاصل في موضوع تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟” دي كانت كمان فرصة لهذا النوع من التواصل الأفقي العالمي على المستوى الاجتماعي المدني. وأنا عارف أن في حالة الهند كذلك، تم فيها اجراء أبحاث كتيرة، اهتمت جهات حكومية بما يعمله المجتمع المدني، لأنهم يقدروا يستخدموه كوسيلة عشان يظهروا لوكالات الأمم المتحدة إللي بيحصل. سواء كانوا فعلًا مهتمين ومنخرطين في الموضوع أو لا، إلا إنه يُحسب ليهم إنهم أخدوا إجراءات وأظهروا في الأحداث إن المنظمات غير الحكومية كانت بتدّعي حاجات مبالغ فيها. كان فيه ظهور للجنة قومية لحقوق الإنسان في ذلك الوقت في الهند على سبيل المثال. فدي كانت فرصة لإجراء تقييم وللتواصل وكمان نقل مبادرات مختلفة لقدام بفضل هذا النوع من التركيز الدولي، مش هقول المقارنة، لكن الكل أراد إنهم يجتمعوا ويظهروا إللي كانوا بيعملوه.
ويل بريهيم: هل تعليم حقوق الإنسان مختلف اليوم اختلافًا جوهريًا عما كان عليه في التسعينيات؟ واللا احنا بنشوف اتجاهات مماثلة بتحصل؟
مونيشا بجاج: أنا عايز أقول إنه مختلف. فاحنا بنشوف هذا النوع من التطور الهائل في مصطلح تعليم حقوق الإنسان وهو مُستخدَم. هناك مبادرات بشكل خاص في تعليم حقوق الإنسان. ربما قبل فترة التسعينيات كان فيه تباين شديد، وده نوع من الأشياء اللي جعلت منظمة العفو الدولية تشتغل في هذا المجال. كان فيه بعض الأفراد والمنظمات، لكن بعد فترة التسعينيات، بنشوف أفراد كتير من إللي بيقدموا ربما تعليم عن المواطنة أو عندهم أجندة عن التعليم عن الحقوق بيستخدموا تعليم حقوق الإنسان كإطار ليهم. نوع من إعادة التقديم ربما يتوسع في نطاق التركيز على إللي بيعملوه علشان يشمل حقوق تانية وبعدها يحصل تحول كبير في علم أصول التربية، والممارسات، والمنشورات، وإصلاح الكتب المدرسية، والإصلاحات التربوية. هذا موجود في كثير من المبادرات والأنشطة والمنظمات غير الحكومية إللي كانت تعمل في هذا المجال بعد التسعينيات وحتى اليوم. وده إللي احنا بنشوفه هذه الأيام، وإللي أعتقد إنه فعلًا شيق، وأعتقد إنه يقدم مداخل مختلفة. بعض أعمالي السابقة تبدو مختلفة بعض الشيء في التوجهات الأيديولوجية المختلفة لتعليم حقوق الإنسان. علشان كدا أنا عملت صياغة لبعض المجالات المختلفة مثل: تعليم حقوق الإنسان من أجل مواطنة عالمية، وتعليم حقوق الإنسان من أجل التعايش المشترك، في الأماكن إللي فيها فئات مختلفة سواء كانت فئات دينية أو عرقية بتعيش في صراع، وعملت مبادرات لتعليم حقوق الإنسان إللي بتخاطب هذا الأمر. كذلك تعليم حقوق الإنسان إللي بيتأصل أكتر في تحليل علاقات القوة غير المتكافئة وإللي بيحاول تحقيق تعلم تحولي بيعالج بعض أوجه عدم المساواة، محليًا وفي بعض الحالات عالميًا. إذًا هناك تزايد للمبادرات بأهداف مختلفة تمامًا. فربما نجد شخص يسمي ما يعمله تعليم حقوق الإنسان لكنه هيكون مختلف جدًا حتى في داخل الدولة الواحدة عن شخص آخر يستخدم مصطلح تعليم حقوق الإنسان ويشتغل مع فئة مهمشة جدًا تعمل أشياء مختلفة تمامًا عن أشياء بتحصل على بعد 50 ميل في مدرسة خاصة في مدينة قريبة تتمتع بامتيازات وبتعمل محادثات عبر الإسكايب مع أفراد من دول تانية وبيحاولوا يحصلوا على مواطنة عالمية. علشان كدا انت بالتأكيد عندك نوع من الانتشار لمصطلح تعليم حقوق الإنسان ووجهات النظر عنه، لكن مع تعريفات مختلفة لمعناه بحسب إللي بيعملوه والحقوق إللي بيركزوا عليها والأساليب إللي بيتخذوها لتوصيل المعرفة عن حقوق الإنسان.
ويل بريهيم: دا بيخليني أتساءل، إيه قيمة استخدام مصطلح تعليم حقوق الإنسان لو كان ممكن يعني أمور مختلفة كتيرة؟
مونيشا باجاج: أنا أعتقد أن القيمة من استخدامه متشابهة جدًا لقيمة أي نوع من جهود العدالة الاجتماعية، صحيح؟ لأنها بتسمح للناس انهم يتجمعوا حول شعار تعليم حقوق الإنسان ومعالجة القضايا الأساسية المختلفة مثل الكرامة، والعدالة الاجتماعية، والتحليل النقدي. لكن الطريقة إللي بيستخدمها الناس لعمل هذا دائمًا هتكون مختلفة جدًا. وأنا أعتقد إن هذه هي المساحة إللي فيها يقدر العلماء والممارسون أنهم يكونوا في حوار. أنا أعتقد أن الأمر الشيق بخصوص تعليم حقوق الإنسان هو أنه مجال جديد إلى حد ما ويرتكز إلى حد كبير على كل من النظرية والتطبيق. هناك مثلًا قائمة للتواصل الالكتروني حيوية للغاية، بيتم تنسيقها بواسطة منظمة غير حكومية مقرها الولايات المتحدة، وهي منظمة لتعليم حقوق الإنسان، وإللي بدأت تقريبًا في أواخر التسعينيات، وأوائل العقد الأول من القرن العشرين بعشرات قليلة من الناس. لما كتبت كتابي عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان في الهند من سنوات قليلة، كان فيه حوالي 8000 شخص في القائمة. أنا واحد من ضمن الموجودين على هذه القائمة الآن. أعتقد أن آخر عدد على القائمة وصل لـ 16000 شخص من 170 دولة مختلفة. وهذه مساحة نشطة جدًا للناس علشان يشاركوا بإللي بيحصل وبإللي بيعملوه وبوجهات نظرهم وبرؤاهم وبمجهودات الحكومة وردود الأفعال على إعلان الأمم المتحدة بخصوص تعليم وتدريب حقوق الإنسان إللي صدر من سنين قليلة. كان فيه أيضًا محادثات متنوعة بخصوص إيه إللي لابد للبدء في العمل بيه. من النادر جدًا في المجالات الحكومية الدولية الأخرى أن تكون عندك مشاركة نشطة مماثلة من المجتمع المدني في صياغة إعلان أو في المناقشات حول نوع الممارسة اليومية. علشان كدا أنا أعتقد أن كونه مجال جديد نسبيًا وصغير نسبيًا، أكثر أو أقل، فهو يتيح هذه المساحة الحيوية والديناميكية جدًا وإللي فيها الناس يقدروا يعارضوا المفاهيم أو يقدموا أفكار جديدة. ولكن هذا معناه أننا ما نقدرش نعتقد أن كل تعليم لحقوق الإنسان هيكون نفس الشيء. فهو مش مجرد وحدات جامدة متراصة. فطريقة تفكير الفرد في تعليم حقوق الإنسان بتتشكل من خلال مكانته، وموقعه الاجتماعي، وما هي أهدافه من خلال المشروع. لهذا السبب أعتقد أن هذا الكتاب فعلًا من المفترض أنه يكون كتاب تمهيدي وإللي فيه بتعرف، إيه هو تعليم حقوق الإنسان، ومين رواده، وإيه هي وجهات النظر المختلفة الموجودة بخصوصه، وكيفية استخراج بعض وجهات النظر الخاصة بالمفاهيم والنظريات المختلفة إللي بتغرس الطريقة إللي بنفكر بيها في هذا المجال.
ويل بريهيم: هل هناك أي أمثلة لنتائج تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟ مثلًا لو هتقول “إن هذا الأمر هو نتيجة عظيمة للمبادرة، أو تلك الممارسة لتعليم حقوق الإنسان.”
مونيشا باجاج: نعم، أنا أعتقد إن البحث العلمي بيساهم في هذا. لكن بالتأكيد مجال التقييم أمر فيه صراع. لأن، كما هو الحال في أي برنامح تعليمي، من الصعب أنك تقول كذا هو الناتج الملموس لكذا. لكن كان فيه دراسات بتبحث في تقليل التمييز. فيه 3 أنواع من الجوانب بيركز عليهم تعليم حقوق الإنسان: الأول هو الجانب المعرفي، إللي فيه بيحصل مزيد من الوعي والمعرفة بتاريخ حقوق الإنسان والمعايير والقواعد. ربما تكون هذه الحقوق حقوق محلية يمكن لكل فرد أن يصل إليها. الجانب الثاني هو الجانب السلوكي الوجداني. إللي بيبحث في، كيف يؤثر تعليم حقوق الإنسان على الطريقة إللي بيتفاعل بها الأفراد مع بعضهم البعض؟ هذا النوع من الجوانب السلوكية العاطفية. فهل فيه فعلًا انخفاض في نسبة البلطجة بفضل وجود تعليم حقوق الإنسان في مدرسة ما؟ هل فيه اندماج أكبر بين الفئات الاجتماعية المختلفة في المدرسة أو المجتمع التعليمي؟ الجانب الثالث هو الموجه نحو العمل. وهذا واحد من أصعب المجالات إللي يجب تقييمها لأن الكتير من أطفال المدارس معندهمش وقت كبير للعمل الاجتماعي. لكن تعليم حقوق الإنسان بيتم كذلك في كتير من أماكن التعليم غير النظامي إللي فيه متعلمين بالغين، فممكن يحصل في الأماكن الأهلية، أو يحصل في أماكن تفتح أبوابها بعد انتهاء وقت المدرسة. هذه المجالات بحث فيها علماء مختلفون. علشان كدا، ما هو المحتوى، وما هو الجانب السلوكي الوجداني، وإيه هي عناصر الجانب الموجه نحو العمل إللي المتعلمين، أيًا كان عمرهم، وحتى المعلمين بيتعلموها ويدمجوها أثناء تعلمهم عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان، إيه إللي بيعملوه أو بينفذوه بهذه المعلومات؟ أنا بناقش دا في كتابي عن تعليم حقوق الإنسان في الهند. التعليم من أجل التغيير الاجتماعي هو اسم هذا الكتاب. فيه علماء تانيين عملوا نفس الشيء، وأحنا عندنا فصول لحوالي 20 مؤلف مختلفين في هذا الكتاب الجديد “تعليم حقوق الإنسان: النظرية والبحث والتطبيق العملي” وإللي فيه فصول قصيره مقتطفة من المساهمين في الكتاب. واحد من الفصول الشيقة فعلًا وإللي كنا متحمسين أنه يكون في الكتاب كتبه أورين بيزموني ليفي، وميجن جنسن وإللي فيه بيبحثوا في برنامج تعليمي عن التطوير في مجال حقوق الإنسان للأفراد إللي بيشتغلوا مع أشخاص بيعملوا مع اللاجئين إللي بيطلبوا اللجوء بناء على اضطهاد هويتهم الجنسية أو ميولهم الجنسية. علشان كدا، كان هذا الفصل مهم بالفعل ويجب تضمينه في الكتاب لأن كتير من أطر حقوق الإنسان، وخاصة الإعلان العالمي لحقوق الإنسان، لا تحدد الميول الجنسية كمجال لابد أن يكون خالي من التمييز. واحنا بنتحرك من فترة التسعينات وما بعدها، تم إدماج اعلانات واتفاقيات وأطر دولية بعضها بخصوص الميول الجنسية، لكنها من الجوانب المتنازع عليها لما تفكر في الدول والقوانين المختلفة إللي بتجرم هذا الأمر. هذا الفصل هو فصل مهم موجود في الكتاب وهما بيقدموا فيه بعض الدلائل على برنامج تدريبي مهني قامت به منظمة بتوضح كيف أن الأفراد إللي شاركوا، في مقياس كمي، بيقللوا من تحيزهم ضد الأفراد إللي عندهم ميول جنسية مختلفة من خلال المشاركة في هذا التطور المهني. هناك وسائل للتقييم ممكن تتم على المدى البعيد. فيه نوع من الإنقلاب على طرق التفكير القديمة، لكن فيه مداخل منهجية مختلفة في المجال وبعض الاهتمام بالمعالجة، “طيب، ما هي النتائج وكيف نقيمها علشان نقدر نتحرك ناحية احترام أكبر لحقوق الإنسان من خلال تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟”
ويل بريهيم: ممكن ننقل الحوار لفكرة ثانية ونتكلم عن هذه الأيام لما ماري لوبان ما فازتش بمنصب الرئاسة الفرنسية، لكنها احتلت المرتبة التانية وحصلت على نسبة أصوات أعلى من والدها. وهي بتجسد بكيفية ما صعود القومية والتفكير العرقي، على الأقل في أوروبا وربما في الولايات المتحدة أيضًا، لما فاز دونالد ترامب بمنصب الرئاسة، واحنا بنشوف الحوار أو الخطاب الجديد المناهض للعالمية لكنه أكثر قومية، فأنا عايز أسألك عن إحساسك: هل تعتقدين أن هذا النوع من الخطاب إللي احنا شايفينه في أوروبا وفي أمريكا هيأثر في تعليم حقوق الإنسان؟
مونيشا باجاج: أعتقد أن مش بس أوروبا وأمريكا. يعني لو ألقينا الضوء على الفلبين وإللي بيحصل مع القائد هناك. وفي الهند إنت عارف أنه كان فيه اجراءات صارمة ضد التوريث، لكنهم ألغوا منظمات حقوق الإنسان ولابد وجود تصريح قومي من رئيس الوزراء هناك. فأنا أعتقد إنه إتجاه عالمي. علشان كدا أنا عايز أقول إن مش بس الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا، على الرغم من أن هذا هو ما تعلنه الصحف لينا. هو فعلًا إتجاه عالمي تجاه هذا النوع من الاستبداد. في رأيي، إن هذا بالتأكيد يجعل تعليم حقوق الإنسان أكثر ضرورة من قبل. فإذا رأيت تعليم حقوق الإنسان كمشروع سياسي أو تربوي، فنحن في حاجة لزيادة الوعي والتفكير النقدي ومحو الأمية الإعلامية، محتاجين لهذا أكتر من أي وقت مضى. تعريفي المختصر أو السريع لتعليم حقوق الإنسان هو “تلك المساحة حيث تلتقي العالمية بأفكار باولو فرير”. فأنا أعتقد إن فيه دمج رائع لهذا التفكير العالمي، وإننا مواطنون عالميون بنتشارك في أطر أخلاقية وقانونية ندركها في حقوق الإنسان. لكن لابد يحصل رفع لهذا الوعي الفردي على المستوى المحلي مع وجود نوع من الأساليب المصممة لتناسب المجتمعات إللي إنت بتشارك فيها. فكيف تتواصل المجتمعات الفردية بهذا الإطار الإخلاقي العالمي وما هو المطلوب لجعلهم يفكروا بمنظور صحيح أو له علاقة بهذا؛ هو أمر مختلف جدًا. علشان كدا رفع الوعي السياسي أو التربوي والتشاركي إللي بيحصل لابد أنه يأخد في الاعتبار موقع الناس بالنسبة للعالمية. في هذا الوقت، أنا أعتقد إن التحرك ناحية الاستبداد، وكذلك “صعود القومية” له علاقة بتفسير معقد جدًا بأن هذا النوع من القادة الكارزماتيين وإللي بيميلوا للاستبداد قادرين على إظهار أن مشاكلك الاقتصادية والصعوبات التي تواجهك هي بسبب “الأخرين”. علشان كدا، خصوصًا مع خروج بريطانيا من الإتحاد الأوروبي، كان فيه بروباجاندا قوية جدًا تجاه إلقاء اللوم على المهاجرين كسبب للصعوبات الاقتصادية، بينما في الواقع، إذا نظرنا بعمق على إللي حصل، سنجد أن السبب هو الصناعة. فكثير من الوظائف الصناعية إللي كانوا بيعلموا فيها الأفراد- انتقلت للخارج من فترة طويلة. لكن الطريقة إللي كان يتم الإجابة بيها على تساؤل الناس “ليه حياتي صعبة جدًا؟” كانوا قادرين على تعليق السبب على الأفراد إللي يبدو إنهم مختلفون، وعلى التعددية الثقافية من خلال الإتحاد الأوروبي والهجرة إللي سهلت لهذا. إلا أن هذا فعليًا لم يكن السبب الحقيقي لمشكلة لماذا أصبحت حياة الناس أصعب. عندك مثلًا انهيار الاقتصاد العالمي وصعود الليبرالية الجديدة وانتقال المصانع للأماكن ذات الأجور المنخفضة زيبنجلاديش أو كمبوديا أو هايتي. علشان كدا فهذا التفسير معقد جدًا، وأنا عايز أقول إن التعليم السياسي إللي بتقدمه أحزاب اليمين كإجابات على هذه النوعية من الأسئلة لابد علينا كمعلمين لحقوق الإنسان أننا نواجهه ونقدم له تحليل واضح وصحيح يشمل التفكير النقدي، ومحو الأمية الإعلامية، وتأريخ للمواقف إللي الأفراد يجدوا أنفسهم فيها، لكن أعتقد أن بعض الطرق إللي بيعمل من خلالها تعليم حقوق الإنسان هي القواعد الشعبية. من ناحية تانية من الصعب جدًا مواجهة  حملات معقدة وممولة زي دي.
ويل بريهيم: أوك مونيشا باجاج، أنا بشكر حضرتك جدًا لوجودك معنا في برنامج فريش إيد. أنا استمتعت بالحوار معاكي النهارده.
مونيشا باجاج:شكرًا لاستضافتكم ليَّ.

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Can education be used to create peace? Can it help mend long standing issues in conflict afflicted regions? These questions don’t have easy answers, but we’ll jump into the debates surrounding them feet first.

My guests today, Mieke Lopes Cardozo and Ritesh Shah, have been studying education, social transformations, and peacebuilding for the past decade and have worked and written together since 2011. They find that education has the capacity for both positive and negative outcomes. Education can certainly help resolve conflict by creating community and giving voice to under-represented groups in society. However, education can also be used as tool by ruling elites as a way to maintain their grip on power, which may sow further divisions in society.

Think of it this way: imagine if a ruling party in a country decides to censor content from history textbooks that may question its power. Would that really create the conditions under which peace is possible? Or imagine if minority groups are purposefully excluded from school-based decisions. How can peace be sustainable if the structures of education systematically exclude certain people? These issues are not strange or reserved for “poor” or “developing” countries. In fact, the politics of education happens in every country.

With me to talk about peacebuilding and education are Mieke Lopes Cardozo and Ritesh Shah. Mieke is assistant professor in International Development Studies at the Institute of Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam, and Ritesh is a Senior Lecturer of Comparative and International Education at the University of Auckland.