Mycock, Andrew (2008) Dilemmas of Devolution: Citizenship Education and the ‘Politics of Britishness’. In: PSA British and Comparative Territorial Politics Specialist Group Conference, 10-11 January 2008, University of Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

Recent calls for British values to be promoted in citizenship classes, raise as many questions about civic and national identity in the UK as they purport to answer. In particular, to what extent is talk of promoting ‘Britishness’ in schools any longer relevant in the post-devolution era? It is increasingly apparent that British values and culture have a variety of meanings for the multitude of social groups across and within the devolved state. Moreover, while the introduction of statutory Citizenship lessons in England was undoubtedly an important event in British political history, citizenship education is treated very differently within the curricula of each home nation. This paper examines the different approaches and attitudes towards citizenship education in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales exploring their relationship with the ‘politics of Britishness’ and attempts to promote national identity. The implications of this policy divergence for the future of British citizenship are then considered, before the paper concludes by arguing for greater joined-up thinking on citizenship education across the UK.

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