The post conflict generation in Northern Ireland: Citizenship education, political literacy and the question of sovereignty

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Abstract

Twenty years ago, Northern Ireland’s previously prominent presence in the headlines of the yellow press dwindled to virtual non-existence. As the region’s three-decade long conflict went into abeyance and the daily death tally dropped, the vagaries of the region’s little-understood, political tensions were assigned to little-read columns hidden deep inside broadsheets. Brexit has, however, re-exposed the deep scars and political acrimony that still blight Northern Ireland. Northern Irish schools have seen the introduction of series of educational initiatives aimed at ameliorating enduring inter-community hostility, including the creation of a model of citizenship education designed to enhance pupils’ political understanding and literacy. Drawing on recent survey data on the attitudes and perspectives of 16-year-olds, this paper explores how citizenship is being delivered in schools in Northern Ireland and exposes young people’s level of engagement with current political issues, including the possibility of a united Ireland. Although results are largely in line with expectations, there are some indications that this generation may not be simply marching in step with the same drumbeat that has been followed by generations of their forebearers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number174619792211145
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalEducation, Citizenship and Social Justice
Early online date23 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 23 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Keywords

  • Northern Ireland
  • citizenship
  • political engagement
  • post conflict education
  • young people

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