Non-formal and disruptive - The radical potential of civic education?

Ronald Crouzé, Pieter Meurs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the turn of the century, citizenship and civic education enjoy a renewed attention by scholars, educators and politicians. This attention follows the apparent, worrisome state of democracy, the decline of social cohesion and the rise of populistic figures. Citizenship and civic education have figured as the preferred answer to these societal challenges. They focus on the acquisition of skills and attitudes required to be a full-fledged political member of society and thus on becoming a good citizen. In this paper, the value of these initiatives is recognized, but there is also critique: on the one hand towards an idealized notion of the good citizen, on the other hand towards citizenship as a mere form of political socialization. Using the idea of the political difference (the difference between politics and the political) this article explores how subversive and disruptive forms of citizenship-education can be considered as forms of democratic engagement. We build on the works of Carl Schmitt, Chantal Mouffe, and Jean-Luc Nancy to explore the consequences of the political for citizenship and civic education. This article advocates and underlines the importance of a space where citizens can question the boundaries of the societal order and redefine the political playing field.
Translated title of the contributionNon-formal and disruptive - The radical potential of civic education?
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)3-27
Number of pages24
JournalEthiek & Maatschappij
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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