Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law Stanford University


Human Rights and Citizenship: The Emergence of Human Rights Education

Working Paper

David Suarez
Francisco Ramirez - Stanford University

Issued by
CDDRL Working Papers, page(s): 40
August 2004

A recurring theme in the sociology of education is that schooling produces citizenship or a sense of membership in the nation-state. Much of the literature on civic education explores this theme, either lamenting school failures in this arena or fearing that hyper-successful schools will create massive conformity. Different though these perspectives are they share the premise that schooling is designed to produce national citizens with the national heritage and the nation-state as the crucial and bounded referential standards. This premise is challenged by the development of the human rights movement and its more recent human rights education focus. Human rights has emerged as an influential discourse and this discourse is changing from a solely legal to a broader human rights education focus. Civic education, once the central curricular area for teaching national citizenship, now teaches global citizenship and incorporates a rights discourse that extend beyond national borders.