Democracy and education in contemporary local-global contexts

Stewart Riddle


This special issue takes up the call of the 2017 Re-imagining Education for Democracy Summit to seek new ways to resist growing educational inequality and reframe educational policy and practice to better meet the diverse needs of communities. In a time of enormous challenges and complexity, where “thick” democracy is reduced to “thin” choice in markets, collective action and resistance is reconstituted as individual competition and civic virtue is measured by “likes” or clicks on social media, it becomes vital that educators and researchers find ways to speak back and resist the de-democratization of education across the world. In this issue, contributing papers provide a range of local and global perspectives on the problem of democracy in education, across multiple contexts, including schools, universities, and informal and non-traditional learning sites. Added to this are a range of international empirical research evidence from Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, and US, providing rich comparisons between systems, nation-states, and diverse communities. Each paper considers the question of how we might address the issue of democracy and education, applying a range of methodological, conceptual, and empirical tools to specific local-global education concerns. Taken together, they provide international and comparative perspectives on the different ways education might be re-imagined for democracy.


democratic education; democracy; inequality; social justice

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