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Marianna Papastephanou

In: The SAGE Handbook of Education for Citizenship and Democracy

Chapter 4: Philosophical Presuppositions of Citizenship Education and Political Liberalism

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Philosophical Presuppositions of Citizenship Education and Political Liberalism
Philosophical presuppositions of citizenship education and political liberalism
MariannaPapastephanou
Abstract

Much contemporary discourse of citizenship education relies on, or draws from, a new philosophical conception of liberalism that declares itself ‘political’. Political liberalism purports to be independent from any controversial philosophical presuppositions, and its basic principles and features are often presented as the most accommodating of difference and heterogeneity, so long as the latter is not illiberal, oppressive and fanatic. In this essay I argue that the often receptive and arguably uncritical way in which educational theory utilizes this view in citizenship curriculum debates works against a more encompassing idea of citizenship for justice and equality. I shall critique the above view, then, by unveiling the contestable epistemological and anthropological ...

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