Call for Papers: (2-2018) European Identity and Citizenship in Textbooks/Educational Media


The special issue focus on the analysis of how textbooks and educational media frame citizenship education in the European context. We believe they (still) play central role in classrooms, not only by transmitting knowledge but also by structuring the teaching-learning processes and anchoring “the political and social norms of a society” (Schissler, 1989/90, p. 81). Based on this premise, with the special issue we want to explore: i) the ways in which textbooks and educational media deal with the concept of citizenship - do they provide normative definitions or do they propose citizenship as a multiple contested notion? Do they promote (or hinder) active engagement of young people in their social, political, economic and educational communities? Is Europe and/or the European Union presented as a community that offers young people the opportunity to practice citizenship? - and; ii) how textbooks are able to provide young people opportunities to acquire the skills and the practical competencies (i.e., critical awareness, media literacy, etc.) necessary to take part in contemporary political, economic and social life effectively.

Empirical as well as theoretical papers are welcome. Papers adopting a comparative perspective (e.g., cross national comparison of textbooks in the same discipline; comparison of books in different disciplines at the national level) are invited. 

We would be interested in knowing how authors respond to one or more of the following (overlapping) questions:

  • What kinds of representation of active citizenship emerge from textbooks in different disciplines and/or in different countries?
  • How do textbooks promote competences for active citizenship? How do teaching, learning and assessment activities proposed in textbook engage with the concept of active citizenship?
  • In which ways are contemporary young people and their role in society represented in textbooks?
  • Which discourses on Europe and European identity are conveyed by textbooks and educational material used in secondary education?
  • Which is the implicit and explicit pedagogy on cultural diversity in the school textbooks?
  • How do gender, ethnicity and culture intersect with the representation of active citizenship in contemporary history and civic education textbooks?

The issue will contain:

  • An editorial in which key themes are highlighted and articles are briefly summarized;
  • 6/7 articles of between 6-9000 words;
  • 4-6 book reviews (each approximately 4-800 words long) on issues to do with textbooks, citizenship, Europe and education.

The focus of the special issue will be education but the editors will welcome theoretical and empirical material that allows for consideration of issues using insights from a range of academic disciplines and areas (e.g. political science; psychological perspectives; international studies; history; economy ...).

This issue will be edited by Pedro Ferreira, University of Porto (Portugal); Cinzia Albanesi, University of Bologna (Italy); and Isabel Menezes, University of Porto (Portugal).


The following schedule will be used:

First submission by authors to editors until: 17 August 2017
Response to authors by editors by: 28 September 2017
Final submission from authors until: 17 December 2017
Final reviewing and papers ready for layout until: 15 February 2018
Publication: 15 May 2018


Guidance about the presentation of articles is available on the JSSE site at

Please use the online submission system to submit a paper.

The JSSE adopts the COPE Guidelines on publication ethics.