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Active Citizenship in the European Union: Policies, Barriers and Trends
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LLAKES Research Seminar
05 November 2012, 3.00 to 4.30 pm, Committee Room 1, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way

This event will map the current situation regarding citizenship concepts, policies and engagement across the 27 European Union (EU) member states. It will present findings from the Active Citizenship and the EU project, funded by the European Commission. The project has collected and analysed qualitative and quantitative data on concepts, policy, practice and engagement from European Union countries to give a picture of the state of play regarding Active Citizenship in Europe. The qualitative data was collected in the form of a country fiche compiled by experts from each EU country. Quantitative analysis was performed on existing data bases, including the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) International Citizenship and Civic Education database 2009, the European Values Survey 2008, the European Social Survey 2010, and the Eurobarometer 2011.

    The results of project show that the current and major influence on European concepts, policy and practice on engagement is the economic crisis. The concept of active citizenship and political rhetoric has shifted in a number of countries towards a more liberal communitarian concept of citizenship with a greater focus on volunteering and an enhanced cultural notion of the citizen. However, at the same time one of the first areas which have been cut by national policies has been the support for community projects. The countries with the highest debts in Europe are those in most need of a strong civil society to support democracy and yet it is those countries where civil society funding has suffered the most. Levels of trust of politicians in these countries have declined dramatically.

    The implications of these changes for policy and practice will be discussed.

    Dr Bryony Hoskins is an expert on Citizenship across Europe. Bryony started her career working in international organisations on Active Citizenship, at the Council of Europe and at the European Commission, where she created indicators on Active Citizenship and Civic Competence with the purpose of monitoring policy implementation on citizenship education across Europe. Since then she has led international and European research projects from the Institute of Education, University of London and the University of Southampton, where she is now based as a Senior Lecturer.

    Dr Germ Janmaat is a Reader at the Institute of Education, and has research interests that include: the formation of civic attitudes and identities amongst youngsters; and the role that education, broadly conceived, plays in fostering such attitudes and identities. He examines these issues using cross-national comparative research designs to capture the effects of national systems of education. He has published widely in the area in journals as varied as Ethnic and Racial Studies, International Sociology, British Journal of Educational Research, Compare, International Journal of Comparative Sociology, Comparative Education Review and Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies. Additionally he has written several books, both single- and co-authored, including Education, Equality and Social Cohesion (2006) and Regimes of Social Cohesion (2011), which examine how education is related to the macro-level phenomenon of social cohesion. He has recently been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for a proposal on the value-added effect of education on civic attitudes

    Directions to the Institute of Education

    Refreshments will be provided, and the seminar is free to attend, but pre-registration is requested.

    To register, please e-mail

    Last update: 29/10/2012  |Top