Global Education in Europe at Crossroads: Which Contributions from Critical Perspectives? (4-2020)


Editors of this issue: Dalila P. Coelho, João Caramelo, and Mehmet Açıkalın

The Journal of Social Science Education will publish a special issue in 2020 on the theme of ‘Global Education in Europe at Crossroads: Which Contributions from Critical Perspectives?' 

Specially in the last 15 years, Global Education has expanded significantly in Europe from policy to curricula (Hartmeyer & Wegimont, 2016). Global Education is key for envisioning future education and research, amidst complexity and uncertainty (Bourn, 2015), and vital to address global challenges like those in the 2030 Agenda. Global education is also relevant in the appeal to reconstruct citizenship beyond national(istic) and simplistic imaginaries and promote a global awareness, belonging and action, often translated in the idea of being a “global citizen” (Sant et al., 2018). However, the field of Global Education faces many crossroads, at the epistemological and conceptual levels, as well as methodological and political. Emerged as an action field, Global Education has not yet overcome a certain imbalance between theory and practice, and despite recent developments, it still struggles with theoretical fragility and a slow adoption by Higher Education (Bourn, 2015). Moreover, Global Education discourse often accommodates at once humanist, critical, neoliberal or even neo-colonial views (Andreotti, 2011), with substantially different intents and effects.

Critical and postcolonial perspectives of Global Education are useful in recognizing these nuances and promoting social justice, questioning inequalities, working as a platform for a situated, self-aware and politicized understanding of current challenges, discourses and agendas (including the 2030 Agenda). They are also potentially relevant in addressing Europe’s historical challenges, particularly in countries with a colonial legacy (Coelho, Caramelo & Menezes, 2019).

Mostly focused on higher education, where Global Education is expanding (Horey et al., 2018) and the “global dimension” has multiple layers (Haigh, 2004), this special issue intends to offer a wide European perspective on the field. This call aims to promote a dialogue between research and pedagogical experiences from northern, eastern and southern European countries, with significantly different socio-historical and political backgrounds, as well as standpoints and agendas regarding Global Education itself. The call encourages submissions to situate topics discussed against this type of framing, and has a particular interest on critical and postcolonial analysis. Theoretical issues or postcolonial implications for Global Education at other levels of education (Crossley & Tikly, 2004; Andreotti & Souza, 2012) are also welcomed.

The issue will contain:

  • An editorial in which key themes are highlighted and articles are briefly summarised;
  • 4-6 articles of between 6-9000 words;
  • 2-4 book reviews (each approximately 4-800 words long).

The following schedule will be used:

First submission by authors: 20 May 2020
Review and response to authors: 31 July 2020
Final submission from authors: 15 September 2020
Final reviewing and papers ready for layout: 15 November 2020
Publication: 15 December 2020

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

Please use the online submission system to submit a paper.

The JSSE adopts the COPE Guidelines on publication ethics.

For matters about this special issue please contact:

Dalila P. Coelho (  



Andreotti, V. (2011). Actionable Postcolonial Theory in Education. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Andreotti, V. & Souza, L.M. (eds.) (2012). Postcolonial perspectives on global citizenship education. New York: Routledge.

Bourn, D. (2015). The theory and practice of development education. A pedagogy for global social justice. Oxon: Routledge.

Coelho, D.P., Caramelo, J. & Menezes, I. (2019). Mapping the field of Development Education in Portugal: narratives and challenges in a de/post/colonial context. Journal of Social Science Education, 18 (2): 110-132. DOI:

Crossley, M., & Tikly, L. (2004). Postcolonial perspectives and comparative and international research in education: a critical introduction. Comparative Education, 40(2), 147–156.

Haigh, M. (2004). From Internationalisation to Education for Global Citizenship: a Multi-Layered History. Higher Education Quarterly, 68(1): 6– 27.DOI:10.1111/hequ.12032

Hartmeyer, H. & Wegimont, L. (eds.) (2016). Global education in Europe revisited. Strategies and structures. Policy, practice and challenges. Münster: Waxmann.

Horey, D., Fortune, T., Nicolacopoulos, T., Kashima, E., & Mathisen, B. (2018). Global Citizenship and Higher Education: a scoping review of the empirical evidence. Journal of Studies in International Education, 22(5): 472–492.

Rizvi, F., Lingard, B., & Lavia, J. (2006). Postcolonialism and education: negotiating a contested terrain. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 14(3), 249-262. doi:10.1080/14681360600891852

Sant, E., Davies, I., Pashby, K., & Shultz, L. (2018). Global citizenship education: a critical introduction to key concepts and debates. London: Bloomsbury.