Facing challenges to the civic purpose of higher education, some scholars and administrators turn to the rhetoric of engagement. Simultaneously, the political philosophy of cosmopolitanism has gained intellectual favor, advocating openness to the lived experiences of distant others. We articulate linkages between these two discourses in an extended case study, finding that a cosmopolitan ethos of engagement in a rural context can improve (1) understanding among people ordinarily separated by spatialized social-ecological differences, (2) prospects for longer term environmental sustainability, and (3) the visionary potential of collaborative inquiry. Despite globalization of food systems and neoliberal shifts in fishery management, an annual fisheries forum facilitates coalitions that overcome dichotomies between technocratic and local knowledge, extending benefits to fishing communities, academia, and public policy. Iterative and loosely structured capacity building expands informally through affective processes of recognition and care, as decentralized leadership supports collective mobilization toward alternate futures.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Brewer, J.F., N. Springuel, J. Wilson, R. Alden, D. Morse, C. Schmitt, C. Bartlett, T. Johnson, C. Guenther, and D. Brady. 2017. “Engagement in a Public Forum: Knowledge, Action, and Cosmopolitanism.” Antipode, 49(2), 273-293.
© 2016 The Author. Antipode © 2016 Antipode Foundation Ltd.
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