Citizenship and education in an age of extremisms

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This chapter aims to show the ways in which contemporary liberal democracies find themselves in an “age of extremisms”, an age defined by the increasing dominance of extreme ideas and practices across the political spectrum, including in the mainstream. Nation-States partially bear responsibility for this situation through their responses to extremist movements, and because of these responses, the very pillars of liberal democracy, such as human rights and social justice, are today under threat. Crucially, in this age of extremisms, both citizenship and education have been formally drawn into counter-extremism policy across the Western world. This shift in policy has important implications for, and raises vital questions about, citizenship and education as ideas, principles and practices. The chapter will explore these issues and questions. It will use a range of academic and non-academic sources, but its examples are mainly drawn from the UK context and its primary analytical thrust is sociological.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Citizenship and Education
EditorsAndrew Peterson, Garth Stahl, Hannah Soong
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-67905-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-67827-6
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2018


  • Citizenship
  • education
  • extremism
  • terrorism
  • policy
  • liberal democracy


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