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Abstract

In his article, "Democracy's Promise and the Politics of Worldliness in the Age of Terror," Henry A. Giroux draws attention to how the crisis in US-American democracy has been heralded and exacerbated by the nation's increasing skepticism -- or even overt hostility -- toward the educational system. Part of such a challenge means that educators, artists, students, and others need to rethink and affirm the important presupposition that higher education is integral to fostering the imperatives of an inclusive democracy and that the crisis of higher education must be understood as part of the wider crisis of politics, power, and culture. In an effort to rescue the possibility of political engagement and to emphasize the civic role of academia, Giroux examines the work of two major public intellectuals: Jacques Derrida and Edward Said. Giroux then connects Derrida's project of addressing the promise of democracy to Said's notion of worldliness. Focusing on Said's linkage of worldliness and wakefulness, Giroux argues that at the heart of opposing the new authoritarianism is making pedagogy and education central to the political tasks of reclaiming public space, rekindling the importance of public connectedness, and infusing civic life with the importance of a democratic worldly vision.

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