Education for global citizenship in a divided society? Young people's views and experiences

Ulrike Niens, Jacqueline Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Global citizenship education has been suggested as a means of overcoming the limitations of national citizenship in an increasingly globalised world. In divided societies, global citizenship education is especially relevant and problematic as it offers the opportunity to explore identities and conflict in a wider context. This paper therefore explores young people's understandings of global citizenship in Northern Ireland, a divided society emerging from conflict. Results from focus groups with primary and post-primary pupils reflect some theoretical conceptualisations of global citizenship, including an awareness of global issues, understandings of environmental interdependence and global responsibility, though other elements appear to be less well understood. We argue that global citizenship education will fail to overcome engrained cultural divisions locally and may perpetuate cultural stereotypes globally, unless local and global controversial issues are acknowledged and issues of identity and interdependence critically examined at both levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-118
JournalComparative Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 9 Feb 2012


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