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ERIC Number: EJ794275
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 10
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0141-8211
Is the European (Active) Citizenship Ideal Fostering Inclusion within the Union? A Critical Review
Milana, Marcella
European Journal of Education, v43 n2 p207-216 Jun 2008
This article reviews: (1) the establishment and functioning of EU citizenship: (2) the resulting perception of education for European active citizenship; and (3) the question of its adequacy for enhancing democratic values and practices within the Union. Key policy documents produced by the EU help to unfold the basic assumptions on which democratic principles and values are being promoted through education; while the literature produced primarily in political and social science challenges these assumptions. By doing so, the author argues that citizenship of the Union is creating new mechanisms of exclusion rather than promoting social equality and a strong sense of belonging to a bonding multicultural community, which are at the very core of democratic participation processes. Thus, the rhetoric embedded in the integrative process of the Union--based on the recognition of equal opportunities, access and democratic participation of all EU citizens--is founded on a limited interpretation of democratic citizenship rather than its concretisation as a multiple citizenship. As a result, the mechanisms in place at European level are creating specific patterns of social exclusion supported by educational reforms. Most citizens are therefore being excluded, due to the distinction between active and non-active citizens, which results from institutional demand on individual's conduct, whereas little, if any, attention is paid to actual institutional practices. On the contrary, this shift in paradigm--i.e. from the institutional demand on citizens to the recognition of citizens as performing subjects--challenges the "activism" embedded in recent debate on citizenship. Therefore it needs to be properly addressed, from a multicultural perspective, if education and learning processes are to sustain full democratic participation of all citizens and the construction of a multicultural Europe.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A