NECE - Networking European Citizenship Education – Conference
"1914-2014: Lessons from History? Citizenship Education and Conflict Management"


16-18 October 2014, Vienna (Austria)

Online Documentation of the NECE Conference 2014:
Please find detailed information on the programme as well as the workshop reports and thesis papers here.

For the on-site documentation with a variety of photos, interviews and articles as well as the workshop reports and thesis papers, please visit the »NECE Blog 2014«.

One hundred years after the start of the First World War, this 'great seminal catastrophe of the 20th century' (George F. Kennan), the NECE initiative is organising its annual conference in Vienna. The focus of the conference will be on current crises and conflicts inside and outside Europe. Internationally renowned experts, such as Aleida Assmann, Lynn Davies, Ivan Krastev, Luuk van Middelaar and Philipp Blom have already confirmed their participation and will enter into a dialogue with the participants.

Heinz Fischer, President of the Republic of Austria, will open the conference on 17 October.

The 2014 NECE Conference will address challenges in Europe against the background of its history of war and conflict in the 20th century. It will ask how citizenship education can deal with the great variety of conflicts in and around Europe today. These include conflicts at Europe’s periphery (Syria, Ukraine, Egypt) and the influx of refugees at the shores of the Mediterranean. Inside Europe political and social conflicts in the wake of the economic crisis have led to a serious loss of trust into the European project. The results of the 2014 European elections have given rise to fears that the populist earthquakes in France, the United Kingdom and other countries will have an impact on the European Union's future agenda. The implicit consensus that shaped the citizens’ attitude towards ‘Europe’ for a long time is fundamentally called into question. Nationalistic and xenophobic resentments represent a risk for Europe’s democratic constitution. The economic crisis has turned into a political one.

European philosophers from Hobbes to Kant dealt with peace and war in human societies centuries ago. However, it was not until after the catastrophes of the 20th century that European elites developed a ‘culture of constructive conflict management’ with the European Union as its most important institutional expression. Citizenship education focused on human rights and democracy was created only then. The variety of citizenship education formats and initiatives ideally provide citizens with opportunities for reflection, for dialogue, but also for controversial debates in order to negotiate, attenuate and solve the conflicts that inevitably arise in democracies.

The 2014 NECE Conference offers a platform for pursuing current issues in citizenship education in Europe: Are our current patterns of thinking and discourse still appropriate for dealing with the particular challenges and crises of the European democracies today? Workshops at the conference will deal, among other aspects, with the following questions:
  • How can new arguments and methods for dealing with the populist movements in Europe be developed?
  • What citizenship education instruments can be utilized for managing and solving conflicts? What role can dialogic approaches and attitudes play? Are there limits to intervention, for instance, in Ukraine or Egypt?
  • What are the tasks of citizenship education in terms of analysing power structures and fostering the participation of citizens? How much controversy can citizenship education bear?
  • How can we develop formats for handling conflicts, diversity and democracy as an ‘institutionalised uncertainty’ (Jan Werner Müller)?

PDF-Icon Programme (3.560 KB)
PDF-Icon Dossier of biographies (1.362 KB)
PDF-Icon List of participants
  • Picture gallery
  • »NECE Feature within "Dimensionen - die Welt der Wissenschaft" at«
  • »Keynote by Jan-Werner Müller published on eurozine«
  • »Keynote by Aleida Assmann published on eurozine«

    Conference venue

    Europahaus, Linzer Straße 429, 1140 Vienna (Austria)


Federal Agency for Civic Education (Germany)«
    »Austrian Federal Ministry of Education and Women's Affairs«
    »ProDemos - House for Democracy and the Rule of Law (the Netherlands)

    In co-operation with

    »Center for Citizenship Education (Poland)

    »Civic Education Centre (Czech Republic)«
University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)«
polis – The Austrian Centre for Citizenship Education in Schools (Austria)«
DARE – Democracy and Human Rights education in Europe (Belgium)«
euroItopics (Germany)«
    »Shaping Europe – Civic Education in Action (fellowship programme, Germany)«

    Supported by

    »Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany)
ERSTE Foundation (Austria)«
    »Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Germany)«
    »Federal Foreign Office (Germany)«

    Media Partner

    »Eurozine (Austria)«


    lab concepts GmbH (Germany)

    on behalf of Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb

    Phone +49 (0)30 252 932-56


    Federal Agency for Civic Education

    Petra Grüne

    Adenauerallee 86

    53113 Bonn

    Phone +49 (0)228 99515-289

  • Newsbox

    Announcement: NECE 2016, "Crossing Borders. Migration and Citizenship Education in Europe", 10-12 November, 2016, Zagreb, Croatia
    This year's conference will focus on the issues "migration" and "exodus"/"refugees" in Europe. How can citizenship education in theory and practice adapt to these processes challenging the societies in Europe. You will find further information regarding programme and registration shortly via

    Civic Education in Eastern Europe - bpb publishes collection of essays as free e-book in English and Russian
    The Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb) has published the book "Civic Education and Democratisation in Eastern Partnership Countries". The publication is available as a free e-book in English and Russian language.

    International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE) "Mobilities, Transitions, Transformations – Intercultural Education at the Crossroads"
    In Budapest, 5-10 September 2016: »«

    Relaunch of - Check out the new website here: »«

    Find the documentation incl. interviews and articles on the NECE conference blog!

    Please take a look at the new NECE Newsletter: »«

    Register now for EUROCLIO Annual Conference in Belfast: Reimagining Remembrance & Dealing with the Legacy of a Violent Past: »«
    Visit the »conference page« for more information.

    A new Council of Europe reference framework of competences for democratic culture!
    This book presents a new conceptual model of the competences which citizens require to participate in democratic culture and live peacefully together with others in culturally diverse societies. The model is the product of intensive work over a two-year period, and has been strongly endorsed in an international consultation with leading educational experts.

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