Educating Citizens in a Globalising World: Exclusion, Inclusion and Innovation for Social Justice (Working Group “Education for Global Justice and Citizen Engagement”)

For a wide range of actors, global citizenship persists as an idea for more engagement in global poverty. Governments, Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), universities, trans-national corporations, activists, and volunteer organisations each appeal to notions of global citizenship to extend rights and responsibilities across borders. Given the disparate groups of advocates involved in promoting global citizenship, there are, unsurprisingly, correspondingly disparate forms of global citizenship. Towards a typology, the broad categories of “critical” and “soft” have proved useful for both academics and practitioners. Yet, conceptualisations often have a particular focus which excludes knowledges and voices silenced in the multiple processes of globalisation and uneven development. Exclusions are clear along the lines of gender, race and class, where access to and practices of global citizenship require levels of economic or social capital not available to disadvantaged and

marginalised groups. Global citizenship is championed by many, but available to few, and even those few are silenced minorities. And even to those who practice some form of global citizenship, we might ask: to what end?

With the focus of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on lifelong learning, we have an opportunity to really broaden our understanding of what it means to educate citizens and the multifaceted ways in which we can do that. These opportunities, however, come with the challenges of a globalising world: exclusion, inclusion and how they persist in ideas of global citizenship as a mode of engagement in global poverty.

Focusing in on types of global citizenship, we invite discussion on inclusion and exclusion within the promotion and practices of citizenship education. Where education is understood broadly as including schooling, life-long non-formal and informal spaces for learning, communication and influencing public perceptions, education through NGOs and social movements and experiential and voluntary opportunities for learning. We are interested in a broad range of interpretations on how we might conceptualise education for citizens, challenge exclusive practices and promote social justice and development.

We invite papers that contribute to the following areas (this is not an exhaustive list):

The role of education for citizens in:

  • considering exclusions to global citizenship on the basis of nationality, race, class and/or gender;
  • challenging intellectual political hegemony;
  • rethinking perceptions of globalisation and development;
  • addressing economic, social, and environmental challenges;
  • promoting civic agency or political engagement;
  • questioning dominant ideologies;
  • exploring alternative  paradigms of development and globalisation;
  • overcoming inequalities and removing barriers to agency and well-being;
  • fostering engagement in the adoption of the SDG agenda.


Eleanor Brown and Mark Griffiths