Final call for papers. Deadline: 15th November 2020


The geopolitical transformations that took place in the wake of the 9/11 al Qaeda attacks have been marked by the end of multi culturalism in many western democracies and the resurgence of a defensive, exclusionary politics of national identity.

Political debates have pivoted around the incompatibility of Islam with democratic values and widespread anxiety about refugees and asylum seekers, ‘bearers of alien customs’ (Virdee and McGeever, 2018, 7) crossing the borders of the ‘Western citadel’ (Beck, 2002, 49). In Europe and the UK, the immigration debate has led to the introduction of citizenship tests, language and civic values exams and other tests of naturalization and compatibility with Western liberal values.

In the UK this hardening of national discourse has shaped educational policy and practice effectively making education a securitized site of the domestic war on terror. In 2012 the introduction of fundamental British values as a requirement of the regulatory framework of the teachers professional standards (DfE, 2014) and the imposition of the Prevent duty (2015) on teachers to give due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism have altered the relationship between teachers and students so that teachers have become the de facto instruments of state security. These developments are part of a wider civic nationalist (Ignatieff, M, 1993) turn in education policy that opposes those who adhere to state sanctioned civic values to those who are positioned as suspect because of cultural difference.

In 2018 OfSTED Chief, Amanda Spielman, stated that young people in Britain are vulnerable to exploitation by extremists and therefore require the teaching of British values, because, ‘if we leave these topics to the likes of the EDL and BNP on the one hand and Islamists on the other, then the mission of integration will fail’ (Spielman, in Weale, 2018).

In her 2019 speech at the Wellington Festival of Education, she reiterated this message stating that ‘it is so important that all these values are taught, understood and lived’ and that ‘school is how and where we make sure that every young British citizen ends up with the same level of understanding’ (Spielman, in Weale, 2018.

The new civic nationalism represents an exclusionary liberalism, demonstrated by Spielman’s insistence that OfSTED inspectors question female Muslim primary school children about the Muslim veil and her warning that religious minorities cannot expect ‘cultural entitlements’ (Weale, 2018).

This call for papers is aimed at critical scholars who are mapping the terrain of the civic nationalist turn in education in order to analyse its political incitements and to make visible its effects on the student and teacher subjects of its discourse. We welcome papers that focus on a variety of educational settings and age phases. We envisage papers that are based on research in the UK and in international contexts that address (but are not limited to) the following topics:

Empirical studies critically analysing the following:

  • The experiences and dilemmas of educators implementing and enacting policy requirements e.g. fundamental British values, Prevent
  • Student experiences and perceptions of civic nationalist educational policy and practice
  • Teacher and student identities in civic nationalist ethno-policy spaces
  • Critical theory and methodology papers which discuss and contribute to debate and literature on the critical instruments available to researchers investigating civic nationalist policy and practice.

For this issue, the following submission types will be considered:

  • Original Research Articles (5000-7000 words)
  • Academic/Experimental/Policy Papers (1500-3000 words)
  • Think pieces (1500-2500 words)
  • Book Reviews (1000-1500 words)

Submissions should be made at