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Workshop 8: The role of conflicts and power structures in citizenship education

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Workshop 8: The role of conflicts and power structures in citizenship education

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Democracy is not a rule-free space – political power is the reflection of the relationship of tension between executive power and citizens’ will, which demands active participation and co-consultation in the existing power structures. However, in these contexts, too, conflicts are ever-present and should not necessarily be evaluated negatively. On the contrary, they are “a side-effect of coexistence in all societies that is unavoidable, and necessary for social change” (Ropers).

What position and role is citizenship education assuming in this context? How controversial is it permitted to be during the teaching of structures of dominance, power and conflict? How are conflicts and dispute acknowledged and experienced as part of the political and as part of a pluralistic society? Is what is controversial in society, politics and science also treated controversially in citizenship education or are central controversies dismissed? Do we need to re-politicize citizenship education and what would that mean for the profession?

This workshop considers the role of conflict in the concepts and practices of democracy and citizenship. It critically reflects on contexts of formal and non-formal citizenship education. Do we need to critically examine the established concepts of learning democracy in schools and the dominant discourse on democracy and political participation? The workshop presents inputs and case studies in order to spark a debate with practitioners and experts of citizenship education.


Interner Link: Vedrana Spajic-Vrkas, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
Interner Link: David Chandler, University of Westminster (UK)
Interner Link: Bastian Küntzel, Incontro Training (Poland)

Moderation: Marinko Banjac, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)