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
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