Using Role Plays to Cultivate Humanity: Critical Teaching of International Relations
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
Dr. Roderic Pitty
Senior Lecturer, Political Science and International Relations