Using Role Plays to Cultivate Humanity: Critical Teaching of International Relations

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Based on the experience of using role play tutorials in large undergraduate classes in political science studying global governance and the international politics of contemporary Europe, this presentation examines what is necessary to make such teaching work effectively at two different but complementary levels. The first level is enhancing students' capacity for critical self-reflection and understanding of their own position in the contemporary world. The second and deeper level is enhancing students' capacity for empathetic imagination of the situation of others facing different but related choices. The crucial link joining these capacities is an affinity for the commitments of global citizenship. Understanding these capacities is based on Martha Nussbaum's CULTIVATING HUMANITY, supplemented by other accounts of global citizenship. Particular situations that are used for role play teaching include reform of the UN Security Council, the UN response to the crisis in Darfur and the role of the International Criminal Court, and action to mitigate global warming.

Keywords: Global Citizenship, Empathetic Imagination, Role Plays for Critical Learning, UN and EU in International Relations
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Roderic Pitty

Senior Lecturer, Political Science and International Relations
School of Social and Cultural Studies, University of Western Australia

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Dr Roderic Pitty teaches international relations with a focus on issues of global governance and contemporary Europe including Russia, and a particular interest in institutions of international justice such as the International Criminal Court. He has published articles on the political constraints facing that institution, and on obstacles to recognising rights of Indigenous peoples especially in Australia and New Zealand. He has recently co-authored a book titled Global Citizens: Australian Activists for Change, Cambridge University Press, 2008, which analyses the ideas and activity of a diverse political tradition in Australia comprising people who have challenged their own society to meet the highest ideals of enhancing our common humanity.

Ref: L09P1169