The Evolution of Liberal Arts in the Global Age
Advanced and developing countries across the globe are embracing the liberal arts approach in higher education to foster more innovative human capital to compete in the global economy. Even as interest in the tradition expands outside the United States, can the democratic philosophy underlying the liberal arts tradition be sustained? Can developing countries operating under heavy authoritarian systems cultivate schools predicated on open discussion and debate? Can entrenched specialist systems in Europe and Asia successfully adopt the multidisciplinary liberal arts model? These are some of the questions put to leading scholars and senior higher education practitioners within this edited collection. Beginning with historical context, international contributors explore the contours of liberal arts education amid public calls for change in the United States, the growing global interest in the approach outside the United States, as well as the potential of liberal arts philosophy in a global knowledge economy.
Smart Cities as Democratic Ecologies
The concept of the “smart city” as the confluence of urban planning and technological innovation has become a predominant feature of public policy discourse. Despite its expanding influence, however, there is little consensus on the precise meaning of a smart city. One reason for this ambiguity is that the term means different things to different disciplines. For some, the concept of the smart city refers to advances in sustainability and green technologies. For others, it refers to the deployment of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as next generation infrastructure. This edited collection focuses on a third strand in this discourse, specifically technology driven changes overlapping democracy and civic engagement. In conjunction with issues related to power grids, transportation networks and urban sustainability, there is a growing need to examine the potential of smart cities as “democratic ecologies” for citizen empowerment and user-driven innovation.
Rethinking US Education Policy: Paradigms of the Knowledge Economy
It is no coincidence that a rising demand for advanced education has developed in parallel with the globalization of a “knowledge economy”. Theories on human capital formation are now seen as the key to expanding economic growth and advancing creativity and innovation. At the same time, mounting concern about rising global competition has triggered a wide-ranging debate about the kinds of skills and competencies needed for a knowledge economy. Indeed, accelerating technological innovation has called into question the value of conventional thinking on education even as rising numbers of university graduates face a weak labor market and expanding levels of student debt. Drawing on interviews with leading thinkers including Richard Florida, Cathy Davidson, Sam Pitroda, Tony Wagner and others, Rethinking U.S. Education Policy examines policy proposals for redesigning U.S. education in light of contradictory forecasts on the knowledge economy. It examines the genealogy of the discourses on postindustrial society and explores the economic “paradigms” that now shape the trajectory of U.S. education. Most importantly, it critiques U.S. educational policies authored by the Obama Administration and considers the need for a new educational policy framework that is better adapted to an era of accelerating innovation.
Higher Education in the Global Age:
Policy, Practice and Promise in Emerging Societies
Discussions on globalization now routinely focus on the impact of developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the former Soviet Union and Latin America. Only twenty years ago many developing countries were largely closed societies. Today the growing power of “emerging economies” is reordering the geopolitical landscape. Asia’s stock markets now account for 32 percent of global market capitalization (ahead of the United States at 30 percent and Europe at 25 percent). Its share of the global economy (in terms of purchasing power parity) has quickly risen from 7 percent in 1980 to 21 percent in 2008. Given its current trajectory, most economists predict that China and India will account for half of global output by the middle of this century, almost a complete return to their leading positions prior to the Industrial Revolution. With growing populations, many developing countries are now investing in “human capital” through partnerships with universities in advanced countries. As part of the Routledge Studies in Emerging Societies book series, this edited collection focuses on the rapid social and economic growth of developing countries in the context of higher education. Bringing together senior scholars and practitioners from around the world, this collection highlights relatively new developments in global education and explores changes to the higher education landscape, particularly the increased symbiosis between advanced and developing countries.