Citizenship Education

Political Participation: enhancing competences


Fifth annual conference on citizenship education

A joint University of Groningen / TechYourFuture / LLAKES / AMCIS conference. The past four years the AMCIS / LLAKES conferences on Citizenship Education were held in Amsterdam, London and Örebro (Sweden).

In 2017 the conference will be hosted by the University of Groningen NL, in co-operation with TechYourFuture.

Dates: June 14 and 15, 2017 (Wednesday and Thursday).
Place: University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.
Conference fee: 50 euro (attendance is free for participants who present a paper etc.).
Refreshments and lunches will be provided.


There is broad consensus among policy makers and educationalists that fostering participation, especially political and social participation, is an important objective of citizenship education. Mainstream opinion is that pupils and students should be enabled and encouraged to vote and to become politically engaged and active. Education should counteract the decreasing voting turnout among the young generation and the declining party membership and declining interest in politics. The importance of enhancing competences for political participation raises many interesting questions. For example:

  • What is the relative influence of the school (curriculum, classroom management, school culture, etc.) on political participation? How does the influence of the school relate to the influence of the home environment (SES, parenting, etc.) and other factors?
  • What competences do citizens need in political participation? Which of these competences can be developed at school?
  • What are effective strategies to build a learning environment in which students’ civic learning is encouraged?
  • How to value alternatives to traditional forms of political engagement, like participation in protests, demonstrations, social movements, and pressure groups? What does this mean for citizenship education?
  • How to deal with discussions and disagreement concerning the (relative) worth, efficacy, and legitimacy of specific kinds of political participation, f.i. direct democracy versus representative democracy or aggregative democracy versus deliberative democracy?

At the conference these issues will be explored in presentations and discussions.

For information: p.a.van.der.ploeg (ad) and l.j.f.guerin (ad)