Culp, Julian (2017). 'The Transnational Model of Democratic Education.' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Cape Town 2017.


Nussbaum’s philosophical work has contributed tremendously to a more subtle understanding of moral cosmopolitanism and its practical implications in a wide array of policy areas. In this article I describe how her cosmopolitanism informs her capability-based theory of justice, and how she uses this theory in order to develop a distinctive model of cosmopolitan democratic education. I characterize Nussbaum’s educational model as a “statist model.” It regards cosmopolitan democratic education as necessary for realizing domestically democratic arrangements. The socio-cultural diversity of virtually every nation, Nussbaum argues, renders it mandatory to educate citizens in a multicultural and cosmopolitan fashion. Citizens must develop empathy and sympathy towards all co-citizens of their domestic polities and cope effectively with socio-cultural diversity. I criticize Nussbaum’s statist model, however, because it neglects that due to the ways in which international institutions already constrain national decision-making, citizens will not fully enjoy the human freedom of co-determining the political choices that affect their lives unless international affairs are further democratized. Therefore I suggest extending Nussbaum’s statist model and outline an “internationalist model” of cosmopolitan democratic education. Different from Nussbaum’s statist model, my internationalist model also demands the formation of an international democratic ethos that enables citizens to partake in international democratic decision-making. I point out three special features of my internationalist model of cosmopolitan democratic education: it requires (1) instilling a considerable amount of sympathy among foreigners, (2) apprehending certain hermeneutic, linguistic and critical-technological skills, and (3) gaining specific and wide-ranging legal and political knowledge about international affairs.

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