Cosmopolitan Citizenship Education: Realistic Political Program or Program to Disillusioned Powerlessness? A Plea for a Critical Power Perspective within Global Citizenship Education


  • Andreas Eis University of Kassel
  • Claire Moulin-Doos University of Kassel



Purpose: The aim of the research is to determine to what extent one can talk about “cosmopolitan citizenship” not only programmatically, but also as an already functioning entity. And what role can and should civic education play in the development of such a citizenship?

Methods: A working definition of citizenship at the national, supranational, and global level is developed with the help of political theory and European and international law. Several theses on the understanding of cosmopolitan citizenship in Global Citizenship Education and Education for Sustainable Development programs are discussed thanks to a policy analysis of, for example, UNESCO documents.

Findings: Supranational programs and German curriculum-recommendations are mostly reduced to the level of rights-holders and if “political action” is envisaged then it is mostly focused on its individual dimension of (private) social responsibility i.e. in its post-political dimension. This lacks analysis of global power conflicts and of the question of democratic participation on supranational policy regulation. 

Practical implications: There are implications for curriculum development and implementation of educational policy.

Author Biographies

Andreas Eis, University of Kassel

Professor for didactics of political science education, University of Kassel

Claire Moulin-Doos, University of Kassel

research assistant in didactics of political science education, University of Kassel


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