Manuscript_Lexington_2.doc - Lexington Books Draft Manuscript by Vincenzo Pavone PhD Proposed Title Science humanism and universal education UNESCO’s

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Unformatted text preview: Lexington Books Draft Manuscript by Vincenzo Pavone, PhD Proposed Title Science, humanism and universal education: UNESCO’s approach to globalisation ABSTRACT Whilst there is an ever growing literature on the economic, cultural, and political aspects of 'globalisation', there are no critical up-to-date studies on its philosophical and ideological underpinnings. I aim to fill this gap by analysing one of the most interesting actors operating on a global scale: UNESCO. I discuss the relation between a specific set of ideas, namely scientific humanism, and the emergence and development of UNESCO. Scientific humanism is a philosophical utopia, which believes in the universal appeal of science and in the possibility of its steering the progress of mankind. It couples the advance of scientific knowledge with the diffusion of a common philosophical framework via a universal system of education in order to establish a global community. My work studies the relationship between this programme and the changes which have occurred in the self-perception and identity of UNESCO and in its vision of globalisation. The first part of the book discusses the emergence of scientific humanism among thinkers such as Bacon, Comenius and the Puritan Reformers and its subsequent connexion with the religious reformation proposed by positivists such as Saint-Simon, Comte and Renan. It also assesses the influence of both seventeenth and nineteenth century scientific humanism on the ideas of Julian Huxley, the founding father of modern scientific humanism and the first Director of UNESCO. In its second part, the book outlines and evaluates the role played by scientific humanism in the history of UNESCO – by inspiring a conception of it as a truly global organisation – a conception applicable to the first decade of its existence and revived after the end of the Cold War. The third part discusses the relationship between scientific humanism and UNESCO with respect to four specific UNESCO programmes: the Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST), the International Bioethics Committee (IBC), the Dakar Framework for Action and the Culture of Peace Programme (CPP). The ascertainable influence of scientific humanism on UNESCO's ideas, structure and actions indicates that, at any rate in some relevant respects, globalisation is not merely the result of largely unpredictable economic forces but has been ideologically envisioned and politically engineered by several conscious actors, though these held different and often opposing ideological positions. Based on a universal reform of education, on the creation of a system of global governance and on the philosophical appeal of a culture of peace based on science, humanism and human rights, UNESCO's vision of globalisation represents an intriguing example of how our global future has been conceived and to some extent realized. The book also contains much valuable, previously not available information on UNESCO itself, an international organisation that since the 1980s has unfortunately attracted little scholarly attention. Finally, it makes a 1 significant, original contribution to such fields of scholarship as the history of political ideas, global governance, international organizations as well as international relations. Table of Contents Introduction Science, spirituality in western history Aims and methodology The history of ideas Vs the sociology of knowledge Descent and emergence: a combined methodology approach The state of the art and current literature: the philosophical foundations of UNESCO Some definitions Research design Chapter One – The UNESCO Idea and Its Predecessors The emergence of scientific humanism The Merton thesis Scepticism and the ideological conflict Bacon and the transition from magic to science Puritanism and the rise of science The mythopoiesis of scientific humanism Comenius, Pansophia and Via Lucis The Collegium Lucis: Universal education and the Minds of Men Conclusion Chapter Two – The road to a global politics of knowledge Parrhesia, prophecy and scientific totalitarianism Prophecy as the interaction between Charisma and Parrhesia Priests, magicians and scientists: religion as the pursuit of knowledge 2 The Enlightenment and the end of Parrhesia Comte’s Religion of Humanity and the rise of scientific totalitarianism Julian Huxley and scientific humanism in the twentieth century The scientific humanism debate in the 1940s The international humanist ethical union The Humanist Manifestos and the Amsterdam Declaration IHEU and UNESCO Education, spirituality and global politics Conclusion Chapter Three – Intergovernmental Vs Global: UNESCO and its double identity The creation of UNESCO The London Conference UNESCO and its first years – The philosophical controversy behind its foundation UNESCO and its first years – structural organisation, projects and activities UNESCO, Philosophy and Utopia in the first decade (1942-1952) The emergence of the humanist/functionalist debate Conclusion – UNESCO and its two souls Chapter Four – The humanism of development Introduction Organisation and structure under the influence of functionalism UNESCO and its constituencies: the Member States UNESCO and its constituencies: the intellectual communities From Veronese to Maheu : humanism and development Renè Maheu: humanism of development and a universal civilisation Renè Maheu: serving the mind as a force in history Humanism in action Conclusion Chapter Five – UNESCO, Scientific Humanism and global governance Introduction 3 UNESCO in troubled waters Crisis, politicisation and withdrawals From withdrawals to renewal The culture of peace revolution: Seville and Yamoussoukro The Revival of scientific humanism: Comenius and Julian Huxley The new priorities Structural changes for a global action A global UNESCO for the new millennium Conclusion Chapter Six – Globalisation, Science and the Minds of men: Humanism in Action Introduction Scientific humanism and Education: lifelong education in a learning society Scientific humanism and Culture: The Culture of Peace Programme Scientific humanism and global governance: MOST Scientific humanism, life sciences and global ethics: the IBC Conclusion – From the labyrinth of the world to the paradise of the earth Chapter Seven – Cultural diversity and religious violence Scientific humanism and the discourses on science, education and peace Introduction Peace, education and scientific humanism Cultural diversity, rational thinking and transculturation The quest for global ethics: from rational thinking to scientific humanism Peace, scientific education and spirituality Conclusion Conclusion Concluding considerations: On the role of dialectics and parrhesia in the future of UNESCO 4 Introduction After the end of the Second World War, the western countries organised a series of conferences in order to address the failure of the League of Nations, build a safer international context and establish a new world order. It was 1945 and the United Nations had just been established to provide a new international framework, to deal effectively with the problems of the world and to prevent it from entering again into a world conflict (T. V. Sathyamurthy 1964: 18). During the conferences, it was soon realised that diplomacy alone was inadequate to deal with international conflicts. In order to secure peace for a new world order, the UN Members believed, it was essential to develop a new conception of ethics and human rights that would appeal universally not only to governments and political elites but also and especially to the society as a whole. As a result in 1946, the UN founded UNESCO, United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation. Founded in 1946, UNESCO is one of the intergovernmental agencies of the UN Constellation. It is linked to the UN indirectly through the ECOSOC, the Economic and Social Council of the UN system. The ECOSOC coordinates the activities of all the specialized agencies, through consultation with the latter and recommendations to the UN General Assembly (P. Hajnal, 1983: 16). From a budgetary point of view, UNESCO’s resources come directly from the Member States. However, since the Seventies the organization has also been entrusted extraordinary budget funds, mainly coming from Funds-in-Trust (FIT), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), The World Bank and regional development banks, UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and WFP (World Food Programme). According to the special agreement that regulates the relationship between the UN and UNESCO, all the members of the UN are automatically invited to join UNESCO but it is possible for UNESCO to accept countries that do not take part in the UN as well. UNESCO has currently has 191 Member States and 6 Associates Members (as of 2007). The main objective of UNESCO is to contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations. 5 To fulfil its mandate, UNESCO performs five principal functions. 1) Prospective Studies : what forms of education, science, culture and communication for tomorrow's world? 2) The advancement, transfer and sharing of knowledge: relying primarily on research, training and teaching activities. 3) Standard-setting action: the preparation and adoption of international instruments and statutory recommendations. 4) Expertise: provided to Member States for their development policies and projects in the form of "technical co-operation". 5) Exchange of specialized information. Even though UNESCO’s budget is relatively small compared to other agencies such as the UNDP, UNESCO plays a crucial intellectual role within the UN system. 1 The large majority of its actions and programmes are related to the exchange of ideas, to the elaboration of new educational models, to the preservation of cultural heritage, to the definition of ethical guidelines and the studies of new policy making options. It is in relation to this specific activity, which we may define as upstream action, that UNESCO’s role and impact should be evaluated. 2 In other words, UNESCO does not usually deal directly with the implementation of the educational, scientific and cultural projects but stimulates the action and the commitment of its Member States. Clearly, UNESCO does not possess enough resources to have a direct impact on the reality it wishes to change nor it has the power to make sure that its Member States do implement what UNESCO’s directives. However, an organisation like UNESCO cannot really be analysed and assessed only in relation to its direct financial and political resources. Compared to other agencies, UNESCO exercises a different form of influence, which is directly linked with knowledge, expertise, intellectual guidance, consultation and moral authority. If studied in relation to this specific perspective, UNESCO, especially during the last twenty years has proved extremely successful in mobilising external commitment, political consensus and intellectual resources for the project it has undertaken. Moreover, UNESCO has been often the original source of several concepts and ideas, which have later heavily influenced the political choices of the UN and of various nation states. To mention a few examples, the concepts of sustainable development, cultural rights and cultural diversity, life-long education, cultural heritage, bioethics, environmental education and culture of peace, which have served as inspiring principles for several UN programmes as well as for the policy making activity of various countries, have been originally elaborated within the UNESCO intellectual framework.3 1 In 2000-2001 the regular budget was $544.4 millions whilst the extra-budgetary resources arrived at $250 millions – Sources: UNESCO Website. 2 In the terminology employed by the international organisations, upstream action means that the organisation is responsible to elaborate, prepare, organise and coordinate the programmed action whilst the actual implementation is entrusted, usually, to the Member States or to the NGOs involved in the programme. This implies that the largest part of the project is carried out by the personnel, and with the resources, of the Member States or of the NGOs. 3 UNESCO has got 188 Member States and relative National Commissions, 6000 UNESCO Clubs, 6668 Associated Schools and maintain official relations with 344 NGOs and 131 IGOs – Sources: UNESCO Website. 6 For those who continue to uphold a realist view of international relations, UNESCO is no more interesting than an additional case study on the failure of the international law utopia. Yet, for those who believe that ideas and actions are mutually constitutive and that social discourses contribute to shape reality, UNESCO represents a very interesting case study in the intellectual, political and social construction of a phenomenon called globalisation. Within this frame of analysis, we have chosen to pay a specific attention to the role that science and humanism have played in the emergence of UNESCO’s vision of globalisation as well as in the formation of UNESCO self-perception in an increasingly ‘global’ world. For this reason, this study has a special focus on UNESCO’s intellectual and operational transformation experienced during the Directorate of Federico Mayor, soon after the end of the Cold War. During the first General Conference, many delegates urged UNESCO to contribute to the diffusion of peace through the formulation a working philosophy capable of surmounting the existing religious, ethical and political divisions. Science was soon proposed as the universal basis for such a philosophy. Accordingly, the biologist and humanist Julian Huxley was appointed as the first Director General of UNESCO (T. V. Sathyamurthy, 1964: 19-26). Very soon, the Cold War caused the gradual demise of these expectations. Yet, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in what was perceived as a favourable international context, UNESCO began to re-evaluate the utopian vision of its founding fathers. During the Nineties, under the leadership of Federico Mayor, UNESCO launched its own program for the diffusion of a science-based culture of peace on a global scale: the Culture of Peace Program (UNESCO, 142 EX/Dec.1993:18). In UNESCO’s perspective, the CPP constituted the interdisciplinary programme that most faithfully reflected the true nature of UNESCO’s philosophical mission. According to the CPP, the combination of a scientific education with the universal values of humanism was a suitable basis for the development of a new philosophy of peace. Science could, for instance, prove the falsity of theories of the biological origins of violence and war and even provide a universal set of values and a new basis for spirituality (D. Adams, 1991: 10-11, 1995: 16-19). In this vision, science is expected to foster a culture of human rights and cooperation capable of eradicating the evil of warfare. 4 With the help of a system of universal scientific education, mankind could eventually achieve its highest aspiration: the long awaited universal community free from violence, diseases and injustice. In two very different periods, then, UNESCO seems to have undertaken the task of elaborating a universal philosophy of peace with a view of eradicating the ideological sources of violence and conflict and of encouraging the establishment of a universal community of humankind. In UNESCO’s view, only a global philosophy of peace, resting on the evidence provided by 4 R. Kaveh, A Study in the Political Philosophy of Globalisation – The case of UNESCO’s Culture of Peace Program, MA thesis, 1996, Thesis Collection, University of Kent at Canterbury, p. 14 7 scientific findings and supported by projects of universal education, could provide a universal common ground for a better understanding among different cultures and a constructive direction for the inevitable advancement of globalisation. However, the diffusion of such a philosophy does not merely constitute a pragmatic undertaking. In UNESCO’s view, the culture of peace is also, and in particular, an ethical and spiritual project, which openly aims at constituting a philosophical basis for a common spirituality and ethics. The interaction between science, politics and spirituality is a recurrent phenomenon in western history ever since modern science was conceived in the English Puritan circles in the seventeenth century. It must be clarified that the interaction between science and politics may not have spiritual implications. Herbert Spencer, for instance, developed a very interesting conception of evolutionary ethics and politics which, however, did not entail a spiritual dimension (P. L. Faber, 1996: 39-50). Comte and Saint-Simon, on the other hand, envisioned the interaction between science, ethics and politics as a spiritual project. Allegedly, some of the contemporary political questions raised by the interaction between science, spirituality and politics in UNESCO’s most recent programmes can be better understood by going back to one of the crucial moments in the history of our modernity: the Battle of the White Mountain. More specifically, this battle triggered a series of events that led some English Puritans to generate an utopia based on the interaction between science and spirituality. Such a utopia presented some modern characteristics that have, arguably, been re-evaluated by UNESCO in its understanding of a phenomenon that, paradoxically, seems to have no specific place and no specific expiration date, i.e. globalisation. The variety of philosophical and political problems raised by the presence of a spiritual dimension in the interaction between science and politics truly inspired the initial steps of this study. How did the interaction between science and spirituality emerge? What are the conditions that have facilitated its manifestations ever since? To what extent are these manifestations historically and philosophically linked? What are the political and philosophical implications they entail? And, finally, how does this interaction relate to the broader phenomenon of globalisation? This study is an attempt to answer such questions not in general and at an abstract level but by focusing, theoretically and empirically, on UNESCO. The focus on UNESCO, however, does not exclude an evaluation of the philosophical and political implications of the interaction between science and spirituality in the context of globalisation. On the contrary, in fact, UNESCO constitutes an empirical basis for a philosophical evaluation that does not intend to disregard concrete reality. This introduction not only includes a brief presentation of the object of this study but it also addresses the methodological questions as well as the research design and its structure. First, I begin 8 with a brief historical presentation of the elements and events that constitute an important framework of the interaction between science and spirituality. 5 Second, the key problems are presented and the aims of the research defined. In the third section, the methodological approach of this research is presented and discussed in relation to the traditions of the history of ideas, on the one hand, and to the sociology of knowledge, on the other. Given its various goals, various methodologies needed to be applied, ranging from an historical approach, partially inspired by Foucault’s genealogy, to quantitative methods to critical discourse analysis (CDA). The research design concludes t...
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