Kevin McDonough

in Citizenship and Education in Liberal-Democratic Societies

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780199253661
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601972 | DOI:

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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

Chapter.  14543 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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