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Citizenship under Fire:
Democratic Education in Times of Conflict
Sigal R. Ben-Porath

Paperback | 2009 | $35.00 | £27.95 | ISBN: 9780691141114
192 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4
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Citizenship under Fire examines the relationship among civic education, the culture of war, and the quest for peace. Drawing on examples from Israel and the United States, Sigal Ben-Porath seeks to understand how ideas about citizenship change when a country is at war, and what educators can do to prevent some of the most harmful of these changes.

Perhaps the most worrisome one, Ben-Porath contends, is a growing emphasis in schools and elsewhere on social conformity, on tendentious teaching of history, and on drawing stark distinctions between them and us. As she writes, "The varying characteristics of citizenship in times of war and peace add up to a distinction between belligerent citizenship, which is typical of democracies in wartime, and the liberal democratic citizenship that is characteristic of more peaceful democracies."

Ben-Porath examines how various theories of education--principally peace education, feminist education, and multicultural education--speak to the distinctive challenges of wartime. She argues that none of these theories are satisfactory on their own theoretical terms or would translate easily into practice. In the final chapter, she lays out her own alternative theory--"expansive education"--which she believes holds out more promise of widening the circles of participation in schools, extending the scope of permissible debate, and diversifying the questions asked about the opinions voiced.


"Sigal Ben-Porath examines the relationship among civics education, war and a quest for peace. She draws on examples from Israel and the US to understand how ideas about citizenship change when a country is at war, and what educators can do to prevent some of what she regards as the more harmful of these changes."--Talya Halkin, The Jerusalem Post

"The topic of this timely and important book is the challenge to democratic commitments and civic education posed by long-term conflict . . . . Ben-Porath is sensitive to the constraints imposed by public sponsorship of schools, and she has endeavored to find a balance between patriotism and the protection of civil liberties and minority rights. In adopting this stance, she has developed a position that should be acceptable to anyone in a position of authority who can be brought to acknowledge the peril to democracy inherent in protracted conflict."--Randall Curren, Muna Golmohamad, Theory and Research in Education

"With Deweyan insight, Sigal Ben-Porath's timely book focuses on the critical challenge of 'democratic education in times of crisis.' . . . [It] should be read and discussed widely and will significantly impact the way many of us think about the democratic purposes and possibilities of civic education for the twenty-first century."--Elizabeth Beaumont, Review of Higher Education

"This is an important book. It reminds readers that peace is the ultimate goal in times of conflict and that schooling plays a vital role in achieving peace."--Choice

"Citizenship under Fire remains an important contribution to literature on democratic citizenship education."--Meg P. Gardinier, Comparative Education Review


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Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments ix
CHAPTER 1: Citizenship in Wartime 9
CHAPTER 2: Education as War by Other Means 33
CHAPTER 3: Peace Education: Anger Management and Care for the Earth 57
CHAPTER 4: Feminist Contributions to Expansive Education 76
CHAPTER 5: Multicultural Education: Acknowledgment and Forgiveness 93
CHAPTER 6: Expansive Education 113
Notes 131
Index 151

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