Reflections on Asian citizenship: What is Asian and what is not?

Wing On LEE

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Building on recent studies (Lee, et al, 2004), this paper aims to investigate how national contexts construct citizenship education in particular ways. The following issues will be addressed: (1) The subject based delivery of citizenship education in a Korean context; (2) The status of global citizenship education in Hong Kong and Shanghai; (3) New approaches to moral education in the People’s Republic of China; (4) The shift from cultural nationalism to political nationalism in Japanese citizenship education; (5) The political socialization of politically active students in Hong Kong; and (6) The role of lifelong learning in promoting citizenship education in different Asian countries. When addressing the above issues in their respective countries, a number of generalizations can be made about the East Asian cases: (1) ‘Strong states’ and politics in citizenship education; (2) Cultural manoeuvring for national citizenship education in Asian countries; (3) Eclectic conceptions of citizenship and citizenship education; (4) The fluidity and unpredictability of Asian citizenship. The paper concludes that issues such as regulated individualism in China, cultural and political nationalism in Japan, the ideological constraints and debates on social studies in Korea, and the role that Hong Kong schools and students play in defining citizenship and citizenship education all contribute to a broader academic discourse in the field of citizenship education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


Lee, W. O. (2008, November). Reflections on Asian citizenship: What is Asian and what is not? In W. O. Lee (Chair), Citizenship education for our global age: Tensions between national/regional values and universal human rights principles. Symposium conducted at the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA) Conference 2008: Educational Research for Innovation & Quality in Education: Policy & Pedagogical Engagements Across Contexts, National Institute of Education, Singapore.


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