Politics, Citizenship Education Policy in Twelve Countries, and Cosmopolitanism: A Commentary
A close consideration of the case studies in this volume brings to the fore several strong points cutting across most of the countries. As I write this commentary upon my return from a two-week trip to China, my third such trip in recent years, preceded the month before with travel in France, one of many visits, I am particularly struck, in analysing these chapters, by the many different ways a society can be conceptualised and operationalised. In both countries visited and in many of the countries covered in this book, state governments loom large. These are oft ripe with tensions linked to long-term or even short-term diversity in hostile environments usually marked by repressive measures. Moreover, in many countries under consideration, the globalising context is perceived as problematic by policy makers and practitioners alike, who do not know how to prepare young people for this reality. Given this preamble and my wanderings, three strong points are of particular interest to me: (a) the infl uence of the state government on civics or citizenship education; (b) the centrality of diversity; and (c) a call for expansion of citizenship education to include globalisation, intercultural education, peace studies, gender education and so on, which I understand in terms of cosmopolitanism. These three topics will be discussed each in turn. In so doing, common directions, issues, future directions, need for further conceptual clarifi cation and the possible shape(s) of civics and citizenship education for the future will be interwoven in the fabric of my commentary. Look for the threads . . .