Special Issue Call for Papers, 20:2, 'Citizenship Education and Social Action: Towards Emancipatory Education
Vanja Lozic (email@example.com)
Saila Poulter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Deadline for online abstract submissions: 31 December 2023
Notification by 31 January 2023
Article publication: July 2025
Form for online submission of abstracts
The journal Citizenship, Teaching & Learning is currently accepting papers for their upcoming issue (middle of 2025) titled ‘Citizenship Education and Social Action: Towards Emancipatory Education’. The call for papers aims to showcase how education can encourage social and political action and promote emancipatory leadership in both formal (such as school, college, and higher education) and informal (including community, organisation, family, and peer group) contexts. One of the most significant challenges for any democratic society is to empower young people to become lifelong engaged, active citizens. Numerous youths in Europe are experiencing a setback caused by worldwide challenges such as the climate crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the emergence of populist political movements, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, rising social and economic inequality levels have left young citizens feeling more vulnerable and disconnected. However, they often believe they lack the necessary knowledge, skills, and opportunities to make a meaningful impact on their communities and society. This can lead to decreased participation in active democratic engagement.
The overarching purpose of citizenship education has been typically understood within the context of supporting political socialisation, a process whereby young people learn the political norms, values, and behaviours allied to groups, communities, or nation-states in which they live. It is a cognitive and relational process that informs youth transitions to adult citizenship and is undertaken in a range of formal, informal, and non-formal spaces and places. It highlights that young people experience citizenship during such transitions are influential in both being and becoming a citizen (Gifford, Mycock and Murakami 2013). The fragmented and uneven nature of the political socialisation of young people across Europe means that civic inequality is experienced from childhood, which can impact throughout young people’s adult lives. Contemporary civic socialisation is no longer about conforming to institutional norms, behaviours, and values. It increasingly focuses on supporting and facilitating young people to become creative agents in their civic self-actualisation.
Civic education should offer more than just standard policy programs to encourage young people to engage in active citizenship. This requires rethinking central educational concepts such as subjectification, freedom, empowerment, and emancipation. For instance, Levinas (1991) challenges the idea of a free and rational subject as an ideal for modern education. For civic education to exist in an ethical sense, it is necessary to consider learning and being ‘outside’ dominant and privileged social orders, which Biesta (2014) calls subjectification and as a personal ‘coming into the world’. Therefore, emancipatory education is about how individuals can be(come) subjects in their own right and not just remain objects of the desires and directions of others. Emancipation, in its different forms and definitions, operates with the impact of education on the person and human freedom. For hoping for a change in society, Freire (2018: 39) suggests that personal and societal freedom may be achieved when one stops being ‘afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled’ and ‘to meet the people or to enter into dialogue with them’, which can empower to fighting at the side of oppressed. Thus, articulating one’s voice means listening to the voice of others, entering a dialogue and engaging in human responsibility and collective action (Levinas 1991), not a self-centred journey of finding ‘the self’.
Analysing empirically and reflecting philosophically, methodologically, and/or conceptionally on emancipation and subjectification at different institutional levels is the starting point of the special issue of an edited volume, ‘Citizenship Education and Social Action: Towards Emancipatory Education’. We invite abstract submissions focusing on empirical, methodological, conceptual, and philosophical analyses of the ways education in general and citizenship education in particular can work towards these normative ideas and goals. We are also looking for contributions that highlight and examine openings, dilemmas, and challenges that educators, civil society (including NGOs) and other agents working with children and youth encounter in their work with these issues.
Exploring these perspectives on citizenship education in formal and informal environments will bring new knowledge about how to approach social and political change, social action, and civic engagement of young people. It is also vital to address criticality educational programmes, which instil certain knowledge, skills, and values without more profound reflection on the meaning of education. Becoming active and reflexive citizens, prepared to critically reflect and act on power asymmetries and oppressive social order and lead their peers in undertaking social action, requires safeguarding the space for individual freedom and involvement. Thus, there is a need to explore how social and physical spaces and local and national contexts, where civic engagement, learning, and participation occur, provide emancipation possibilities. Additionally, we would like to see research that voices individuals and groups marginalised due to ethnicity, gender, sexuality, racialisation, religion, and other processes of othering. Finally, it is of interest to highlight conceivable ways of organising anti-oppressive education and emancipatory educational approaches.
We are inviting abstract submissions focusing on the theme from multi-disciplinary perspectives and in formal and informal emancipatory contexts. We welcome papers examining this theme, including but not limited to:
- Conceptional and philosophical analysis of the emancipation of young people.
- Conceptual and empirical analysis of the emancipatory aim of citizenship and civic education.
- Empirical analysis and practical examples of leadership towards anti-oppressive education, political subjectivity and emancipation, and transformation of social spaces young people dwell in.
- Explorations of emancipation in formal and informal learning and social contexts.
- Analysis of the role of educational and other institutions, as well as professionals that are engaged there, in the actualisation of the emancipatory role of education and other. institutions and social spaces young people reside in.
- Examples and analysis of social action among youth.
- Research articles (5,000–8,000 words)
- Book reviews and book review essays (up to 3,000 and 6,000 words)
- Abstracts/proposals (500 words): 31 December to the online form
- Decisions made: 31 January 2024
- Deadline for submission of papers: 31 August 2024
- Publications: July 2025
- Vanja Lozic, Associate professor, Malmo University (Sweden)
- Saila Poulter, Senior University Lecturer, University of Helsinki (Finland)
Biesta, G. (2014), The Beautiful Risk of Education, London: Paradigm Publishers.
Freire, P. (2018), Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York, London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Gifford, C., Mycock, A. and Murakami, J. (2014), ’Becoming citizens in late modernity: A global-national comparison of young people in Japan and the UK’, Citizenship Studies, 18:1, pp. 81–98.
Levinas, E. (1991), Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence, Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publisher.
General Call for Papers
Citizenship Teaching & Learning (CTL) is global in scope, exploring issues of social and moral responsibility, community involvement and political literacy. It advances academic and professional understandings within a broad characterisation of education, focusing on a wide range of issues including identity, diversity, equality and social justice within social, moral, political and cultural contexts. The journal exists as an international forum in which scholars and researchers can present a wide range of work including philosophical discussion, policy analysis and evaluations of professional and community initiatives. The intended readership and subject matter of the journal connect with those who are concerned with a diverse range of academic and professional work locally, nationally and internationally, across age phases, in relation to beginning and experienced educators, within schools and elsewhere.
The journal publishes scholarly and research-based articles on a wide range of citizenship topics in which conceptual issues are explored, policy matters are discussed, experiments, surveys or evaluations are reported and examples of practice are described and analysed. Material is welcomed on issues concerning identity, diversity and equality in a wide range of contexts that illuminate local, national and international contexts.