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Citizenship and Education in Liberal-Democratic SocietiesTeaching for Cosmopolitan Values and Collective Identities$
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Kevin McDonough and Walter Feinberg

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199253668.001.0001

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Citizenship and Education in Liberal-Democratic Societies

Kevin McDonough (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The essays in Part III of the book, on liberal constraints and traditionalist education, argue for a more regulatory conception of liberal education and emphasize the need for some controls over cultural and religious educational authority. Kevin McDonough’s essay, on multinational civic education, develops a conception of this that allows for both federal and minority national groups to reinforce conditional civic attachments. This ‘conditionalist’ view of civic education is necessary in multinational federal societies, he argues, because appeals to one set of national attachments may exacerbate rather than alleviate particular injustices in particular circumstances. For example, McDonough argues that when aboriginal women and children are the victims of injustice at the hands of tribal institutions and leaders, they must be able to appeal to their fellow non-aboriginal citizens and federal institutions for assistance, although this is not possible unless citizens – aboriginal and otherwise – have come to regard attachments to the minority nation as conditional rather than absolute. Similarly, citizens whose primary identification is to the federal society must be able to recognize that some of their fellow citizens legitimately have a minority nation as the object of their primary loyalty – otherwise, efforts to support federal intervention in minority national affairs will be vulnerable to forces of cultural insensitivity and arrogance, rather than of liberal justice.

Keywords:   civic education, conditional civic attachments, conditionalism, cultural authority, educational authority, federal institutions, federal national groups, federal society, liberal education, liberalism, minority national groups, multinational federal societies, multinationalism, primary loyalty, religious authority, traditionalist education

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