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NECE 2015 ‘Us’ and ‘Them’: Citizenship Education in an Interdependent World


Welcome back! It’s that time of the year again and NECE is going into its 11th round. Titled “‘Us’ and ‘Them’”, this year’s NECE conference is all about the increasing divisions and polarization within European societies. Set in the historically and culturally charged city of Thessaloniki, over three days full of inspiring talks, panels and workshops, we will try to reimagine and define the role of citizenship education in these turbulent times.  

Picking up where we left off, this year’s NECE conference will build on the questions and topics that were at the core of the conference in Vienna last year. Whereas last year’s edition was concerned with various conflicts in and around Europe, this year’s focal point will be to critically reimagine and define the role of citizenship education in dealing with the increasing divisions and polarization within European societies.

What better place indeed to discuss these pressing issues than the city of Thessaloniki? A city that mirrors the diverse, multicultural and often turbulent history of Europe: A melting-pot, where early Europe and the Ottoman Empire crossed ways. Showplace of the atrocities of the 20th century with the extinction of the largest urban communities of Jews by the Germans. Focal point of Europe’s most current crises: The refugee-, as well as the European debt crisis. It’s fair to say, that this year’s NECE will indeed be taking place very close to the physical heart of the topics at hand.

Time to take action! 

NECE provides a unique platform for citizenship educators to meet other practitioners, activists and academics, to exchange experiences and thoughts, build up a transnational network and to exchange among various disciplines and perspectives. This year’s conference looks at  the phenomenon of ‘othering’ and asks what citizenship education does and should do in that context. In order to define concrete goals and potential actions, we will gather insights from research projects and publications - all in a transnational space of co-operation and interdisciplinary exchange. 

Over three days, from the 22nd until the 24th of October, there will be a tightly knit program with plenty of inspiring speakers, engaging workshops, talks and panels:

  • Yiannis Boutaris, mayor of the City of Thessaloniki, will hold an opening address. 
  • Josè Casanova from the University of Georgetown will hold a keynote on “Mental cartographies” in an interdependent world
  • Lizzie Doron will hold a keynote titled “Beyond ‘Us’ and ‘Them’: Personal Observations and Open Questions”

We explicitly invite you to shape the conference by getting involved: 

  • Leave comments in the comment-section of this blog 
  • Share your thoughts, inputs and conclusions on Twitter, using the #NECE2015
  • Submit your project to be discussed in the “Open Format” sessions on the first day  

Already in advance of the conference, this blog will provide some introductory information, interviews and interesting literature suggestions. Of course, the NECE blog team will also interactively react on your comments and suggestions. During the conference we will of course keep you posted about everything that you won’t have time to check out yourself: Interviews, articles and pictures will allow you to dive right into the NECE action - even if you can’t be there at all! Looking forward.
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