Claustropolitanism At The End Of The World: Rethinking Post-pandemic Globalization And Higher Education

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This theoretical article develops a new trope for understanding globalization after the COVID-19 pandemic. Science fictional genres are filled with - and fuelled by - dystopic narratives of endings, wars, apocalypses, famines and – indeed – zombies. Yet the benevolent cosmopolitan sociology developed by Ulrich Beck, Zygmunt Bauman and Scott Lash at the turn of the 21st century, did not provide a rationale or understanding for September 11, the Global Financial Crisis, or the pandemic. Beck’s ‘zombie concept’ was no match for the – metaphoric – zombie hoards over-running popular culture and higher education. Multiculturalism and the belief in the public good were crushed by an unregulated banking sector, a lack of funding for public health and public education, and a political system run on post-expertise, opinion and subjectivity. In response to this intellectual gap, absence and lack, this article develops a post-disciplinary claustropolitanism. Deploying the research from Paul Virilio and Steve Redhead, a new intellectual dance is commenced, between ‘end times’ and ‘new times,’ to provide momentum for higher education at the end of the world. Claustropolitanism is a lens to understand the foreclosed times of unemployment, under-employment, inelegant university and industry ‘partnerships,’ and a declining respect for expertise. Why was it necessary to enforce the sloganized salve of ‘Believe the science’ during a global pandemic, when scientific methods were required to enable the survival of millions of citizens? Noting this post-pandemic paradox, this article reveals the consequences of toxic globalization, and how claustropolitanism can renew a commitment to trans-localism, and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Languages & Translation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • claustropolitanism
  • cosmopolitanism
  • Paul Virilio
  • popular culture
  • Steve Redhead


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