Confronting Inequalities!? The Role of Citizenship Education

NECE Conference 2019, 24 - 27 October, Glasgow
Technology Innovation Center (TIC), Strathclyde University

(© Giuseppe Milo)

Set against the ongoing Brexit drama, NECE 2019 looks at the growing rifts and inequalities in Europe and its neighbouring regions that are at the heart of the political crises in many democracies. They are "tearing apart the fabric of our societies; (...) bringing new anxieties and new anger to our people, and new passions to our politics." (Paul Collier). This is particular noticeable in the United Kingdom (including Scotland and Glasgow) where - according to a UN report - a fifth of the population, 14 million people, live in poverty. (See Statement on Visit to the United Kingdom, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights)

NECE 2019 is proposing to discuss how the many forms of inequality - class, income, gender, race, ethnic origin, talent and geography - are affecting the rights of citizenship in our societies - in other words inclusion and exclusion in society, participation or non-participation in politics, and last but not least individual opportunities in life. Our aim is to explore the socio-economic, political, educational and cultural dimensions of inequalities and their impact on approaches and practices of citizenship education in schools and in civil society. One fundamental question will be how citizenship education as a profession can learn to deal with the effects that inequality and poverty have on the lives of young people and citizens living on the margins of society.

We also propose to start a conversation on how we as citizenship educators can better deal with the background of economic, financial and technological trends that are shaping our lives and affecting citizens and their status and prospects in society and politics. Is it "the economy, stupid" or the "stupid economy"?

Last but not least, as the effects of climate change and global warming have been triggering deep societal concerns and new citizens' movements – such as the transnational "Fridays for Future" school strikes - NECE 2019 will look at the ever more important global dimension of inequality. We will ask how approaches to globalise citizenship education may play a bigger role in the future.

Glasgow will be an ideal city to host a conference on inequalities and citizenship education. With its heritage of industrialisation, post-industrial decline and social movements it provides an opportunity to learn about the still existing evidence of extreme inequalities and poverty in the city. At the same time, a vibrant and active civil, tech and cultural scene is waiting for us to be explored. Last but not least a great number of initiatives and education experts are looking forward to presenting their work and to be part of NECE in October. Darren McGarvey, a rapper from Glasgow and author of "Poverty Safari; Understanding the Anger of the British Underclass", will open the conference with a critical examination of narratives that surround poverty and social deprivation. Other initiatives and speakers from Glasgow, Scotland and the UK are looking forward to be to be part of NECE in October. A Call for Papers and Projects will be out at the end of April. Attendance is free; including coffee breaks and meals.

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(Please note: formal registration will be open by mid-June).

More information on topics and logistics will be available soon here and on as well as via #NECE 2019

For a number of centrally located hotels in Glasgow please consult the PDF-Icon hotel suggestions.

Christoph Müller-Hofstede
NECE Coordination
15 April 2019
NECE is an initiative for networking citizenship education in Europe. A variety of activities have been developed within its framework to encourage the organisation of contacts, co-operation and synergies in the field of citizenship education. NECE is not an institutionalised network, but a forum that allows the spectrum of stakeholders involved in citizenship education to interact with one another. The initiative´s chief goal is to promote the Europeanisation of citizenship education, and to contribute to the creation of a European general public.
NECE Final
Through a number of activities, NECE aims to provide transparency about stakeholders and approaches in citizenship education, and to inspire transnational discussions on the topics and challenges facing the field. It brings together academics, practitioners, and policymakers at the European level, and stimulates knowledge transfer and information exchange on good practices – thereby raising awareness of the impact of citizenship education and fostering co-operation and projects. NECE is primarily directed at practitioners in citizenship and cultural education, along with scholars/experts and trainers. In pursuing its aims, the initiative also reaches out to stakeholders and multipliers from the media, politics and NGOs.

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During a NECE workshop preparing the conference of 2013 in The Hague, some forty participants explored various scenarios about the future of citizenship in Europe. Their inputs were used to create four different future images of Europe in 2030: Great Europe, Network of Nations, Unity of Communities and European Spring. The developed clip functioned as a valuable access for discussions during the conference.

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Scenario-Workshop for the NECE Conference 2013Panel DiscussionTeaser GalerieHaus der Kulturen der WeltUzupisWorkshop 1: Sandra Cvikić, Ivana Ćosić, Radmila Radic Dudic and Franziska Blomberg
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