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By Jack Demaine

Citizenship and Political schooling at the present time brings jointly essays from prime researchers world wide together with dialogue of politics and schooling in England, the us, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Norway and the broader eu Union. The participants research important matters surrounding the engagement of voters in politics and political associations, relatively the function of schooling in encouraging energetic citizenship.

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Extra info for Citizenship and Political Education Today

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How we address these issues will depend upon shifting discourses and narratives that have become available to us in a variety of social contexts. As Castells (1997: 359) puts it, the ‘sites of this power are people’s minds’. Indeed, one of the central issues this chapter will seek to address is how we might provide fertile ground for what I shall call the cosmopolitan imagination. Many in the social sciences have neglected the idea of the imagination. Castoriadis (1997) has argued that all societies are dependent upon the creation of webs of meaning that are carried by societies institutions and individuals.

This would witness the creation of the material conditions for an enlightened, educated and participatory democracy through a socialist transformation of society. Such a society would create the conditions for free, open and authentic expression. Williams offers an ‘ideal type’ of free communication when he writes: A good society depends upon the free availability of facts and opinions, and on the growth of vision and consciousness – the articulation of what men have actually seen and known and felt.

Citizenship, on the other hand, is more often thought to be about membership, belonging, rights and obligations. In institutional terms the terrain of citizenship is usually marked out by abstract legal definitions as to who is to be included and excluded from the political community. Yet increasingly ideas of symbolic challenge and exclusion remain central and defining within society. The power to name, construct meaning and exert control over the flow of information within contemporary societies is one of the central structural divisions today.

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