Citizenship and Citizenship Education

This theme attempts to understand citizenship concepts and policies, and their implications for citizenship education, adopting comparative methodologies and perspectives. A particular focus is on the way citizenship education is constructed in different national contexts shaped by local values and ideologies. A key area of concern is how nation states respond to globalization and globality in constructing citizenship in the 21st century. Of equal importance is the response of citizens in balancing the local and the global as they exercise citizenship responsibilities including expanded notions of civic engagement and civil society.

Citizenship, Human Rights and Social Justice

This theme explores issues about human rights, democracy, rule of law, equity and social justice, particularly in relation to ethnicity, poverty, gender, disabilities and sexual orientation, and the interactions between these elements, the self and civil society. It also studies how education could contribute to the cultivation of active citizenship and the strengthening of civil society through teaching and practising these important values and principles. One significant area to explore is the discussion for the civic missions of school, particularly the cultivation of democratic citizens, and the ways that schools have to be engaged in the preparation of “social justice oriented” citizens through teaching and practicing citizenship in schools.

Public Governance

This theme explores the complex linkages among public governance and trust and their impact on governance. Research in the theme include focus on Asian practices and institutions in Governance and Citizenship, as well as the understanding of Asian administrative traditions and thought on the state and its links with the society. A vital part of the governments’ trust building efforts will need to be directed at protecting citizens, who find themselves increasingly powerless against international economic crises and climate changes. Social protection for those unable to fend for themselves will be an integral part of the efforts to rejuvenate social and political institutions. Building and unleashing the creative potentials of individuals and communities by supporting their cultural and artistic endeavour will also be a part of governments’ renewal efforts. The dynamic triangular relations between political trust, public governance and government capacity forms the focus of research by the group.