Call for Papers: (3-2017) Character Education and Citizenship Education

The Journal of Social Science Education will publish a special issue in August 2017 on the theme of ‘Character education and citizenship education’.

This issue will be dited by Ian Davies, University of York, UK; Tilman Grammes, University of Hamburg, Germany; Hiroyuki Kuno, Nagoya University, Japan.

We wish to explore the connections (explicit or otherwise) between character education and citizenship education. We wish to provide a platform for debate and discussion in which there are opportunities for the presentation of theory and concepts in the field, their history and tradition, empirical research, including practitioner research. Local project reports from within and beyond Europe are welcome as well as comparative studies.

We would welcome writing that explores any relevant work. This would include the philosophical bases of citizenship education and character education; their histories and contemporary characterizations in relation to policy, professional action and perceptions of a wide range of stakeholders (including young people, parents and others). Work that considers either citizenship or character will be accepted. Work that compares the fields of character and citizenship will also be obviously very strongly relevant to this issue. 

Throughout we are keen not to place unhelpfully narrow boundaries around the characterizations of ‘citizenship’ and ‘character’.

“Character” may mean different things to different people. It could include an emphasis on virtues; it could be related to values and to moral education concepts of different kinds.; some see it as being principally about spirituality and individuality. It has been seen by some as being attached to particular political philosophies including neo-liberalism. For some it is conservative; for others radical.

We recognize that ‘citizenship’ may be defined and discussed in various ways. Some of the different formulations include using citizenship as a means to identify those who do not belong; it may be seen as the way in which rights are achieved and duties formally agreed. It might allow for narrow nationalism or expansive approaches to being a citizen of the world. It may be conservative or radical. We are interested in clarifying and promoting forms of democratic citizenship but this would not exclude considerations of other approaches.

Bernard Crick, who was extremely influential in the development of citizenship education, devoted much time to considering political virtues. His well-known statement “politics is ethics done in public” seems to suggest at least the possibility of a connection between citizenship and character. 


We are reluctant to impose a very rigid framework but we would be interested in knowing how authors respond to one or more of the following (overlapping) questions:

  • What are the philosophical roots and contemporary theoretical debates about character education with regard to citizenship education and social studies/social science education?
  • What do the concepts of character and/or citizenship mean to young people, professionals, policy makers?
  • What is done in the name of citizenship and/or character education? What sort of teaching, learning and assessment activities occur?
  • What impact does character and/or citizenship education have?
  • What are the likely and desired futures of character education with regard to citizenship education?


The issue will contain:

  • An editorial in which key themes are highlighted and articles are briefly summarized;
  • 6 articles of between 6-9000 words;
  • 4-6 book reviews (each approximately 4-800 words long) on issues to do with character, citizenship and education.

The focus of the special issue will be education but the editors will welcome theoretical and other material that allows for consideration of issues using insights from a range of academic disciplines and areas (e.g. political science; psychological perspectives; international studies etc.).

Guidance about the presentation of articles is available on the JSSE site at


Those wishing to discuss matters about the special issue should contact:

Professor Tilman Grammes, University of Hamburg, email: or
Professor Ian Davies, Department of Education, University of York, UK, tel: +44(0)1904 323452; email: or
Professor Hiroyuki Kuno, Nagoya University, Japan, Email:

Articles and reviews should be submitted to Tilman Grammes

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