Formulating Citizenship Education
Shared values and beliefs transcending identification with ethnic, confessional or national groups help states further social cohesion and political stability.1 Political stability, particularly in democratic societies, also depends on the active engagement and support of individuals, attainable only when individuals feel represented in (and by) state institutions.2 Thus, the teaching of citizenship education may contribute to political stability by conveying overarching values and beliefs, preparing children for ‘their roles and responsibilities as citizens’, and establishing a direct relationship between the state and its citizens.3
However, in deeply divided societies, the roles and responsibilities of good citizens and the legitimacy of the state are contested. Even the definition of citizenship is problematic when religious, ethnic or national groups mediate the relationship between the state and its citizens and, as in Lebanon, citizenship becomes ‘hyphenated’.4 This complicates the formulation of curricula for citizenship education in consociations. After surveying the available theories on citizenship education in deeply divided societies, this chapter will trace the initiatives to reform citizenship education after the three peace agreements in Lebanon, Northern Ireland and Macedonia.
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017 G. Fontana, Education Policy and Power-Sharing in Post-Conflict Societies, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-31426-6_5