That's all, folks!


So this is it. Three days, eleven workshops, seven keynotes, twelve thousand liters of coffee, tea, wine and beer and roughly fourty-five thousand two hundred and twelve calories later, NECE 2014 is over. It's been fun! Great keynotes, lively debates, a variety of very diverse workshops, a colorful project market and of course: great people. Networking, meeting new friends and seeing familiar faces, above all NECE is about bringing together people from diverse backgrounds in order to share experiences and hands-on reports about the many challenges that citizenship education is facing today and to share the progress that is being made.

Missionaries and monestaries: Europe at a crossroads


The final cornerpiece of this year's NECE conference was marked by Luuk van Middelaar's opening statement on the state of Europe and its capacities of dealing with conflicts, followed by a lively discussion with Philipp Blom and Ivan Krastev.

 

Parallels and paradigms

Workshop 6 - Stopping racism early on


Europe, we have a problem. Recent studies paint a rather bleak picture of our willingness to deal with immigration in a positive way. Indeed, racist sentiments and hate crimes seem to grow right along with the number of people seeking refuge on our continent. What can we do about this dynamic? What role should citizenship education play in countering it?

You can't have your cake and eat it, too

Workshops, networking and the project market: a look back on friday


So, friday was intense! From opening keynotes and already lively dicsussions in the morning, the project market and a wonderful lunch at midday to the many, many workshops in the afternoon, speakers and participants had a lot of input. Here are some impressions from the day.

 

Workshop 10 | Citizenship education in conflict regions: Challenges, options and dilemmas

 

Workshop 11 - Peace education and reconciliation work as twin fields of citizenship education


Conference participants from seven countries and different professional backgrounds joined Ragnar Müller and Borislava Daskalova of DARE (Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe) for their workshop this afternoon. The attempt to come up with recommendations as a result of the discussion surely showed: There are no easy answers to complicated questions in citizenship education.

Workshop 4 - The rise of populism in Europe: What should we know? How should we react?


In recent years, populist and right-wing parties, as well as ultra-conservative and eurosceptic movements, have experienced a massive surge all across Europe. Viktor Orbans Fidesz in Hungary, the Sverigedemokraterna in Sweden, the Front National in France, the Alternative für Deutschland in Germany. How can citizenship education respond to these developments? What causes of populism can we identify in the first place? The workshop with Nick Startin and Ivan Krastnev, hosted by Caroline Hornstein Tomic set out to discuss these questions.

Wake up, you giant!


Jan-Werner Müller

The end of history will mean the end of great ideologies. This is what Francis Fukuyama proclaimed in his famous essay 'The End of History' after the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the consecutive disintegration of the Soviet Union. However, it would not be a happy end. Instead, it would feel more like a living museum. That Europe has by no means become a museum was the first, but maybe also the last reassuring message of today's first lecture by Jan-Werner Müller.

FOCUS GROUP: Hard-to-reach learners and youth


Who are ´Hard-to-reach learners´ (HTR)? A simple working definition may be: Educationally and/or socially and/or economically disadvantaged people who are often forgotten by the mainstream of citizenship education or left behind in schools or other educational facilities. Some community groups may move in and out of a state of being hard-to-reach as their social circumstances change. The Hard-to-reach Focus Group explored the concept of being hard-to-reach in the context of citizenship education.

Different lenses and lessons from the past


Philipp Blom

In today's second keynote Philipp Blom, author, journalist and historian, began by asserting that certainly things have changed for the better in Europe since the end of the Second World War. The question, he asked, is whether they have changed because we actually learned from history.

Do you remember?


In the very first keynote of this year's NECE conference, renowned social scientist and professor at the University of Konstanz, Aleida Assmann, chose to address the issue of a common European culture of remembrance. Taking the year 2014 as her starting point, Assmann began by questioning a common criticism, which holds that commemoration is a rather artificial concept, forced upon a society to serve an, often political, purpose of the present. For being an artificial concept, Assmann argued, the resonance has been "pretty impressive".