Given the catastrophic history of the 'short 20th century' (Hobsbawm), the crucial question facing the new millennium-all over the world-is that of the future social as well as political development. At the centre of our engagement with this question should lie reflections on participatory forms of democratisation in as many societies around the globe as possible, so as to make globalisation more than simply an economic theme. Such reflections - as the contributions in this book show - from this perspective would also examine the possible ways in which relations might be constituted within political socialisation, participation and education. These concepts are in turn to be explored in the substantive discussions of 'democracy' and 'democratisation' in relation to individuals as well as political systems. If educational policy is social policy, if a democratic society demands citizens who are educated and thus capable of political action, the themes 'Political Education' and 'Political Socialisation' need to be addressed anew, and this is equally important for a rethinking of the future of the 'political' more generally. The contributions to the book contribute to a challenging debate.
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The Editors: Heinz Sünker is professor of social and educational sciences at the University of Wuppertal/Germany, Russell Farnen is professor of political science at the University of Connecticut/USA, and György Széll professor of sociology at the University of Osnabrück/Germany.
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