Call for Papers: Global Citizenship Education and Human Rights Education


Human Rights Education Review (HRER)


Special Issue 2025: Global Citizenship Education and Human Rights Education 

Call for Papers 

Guest Editors: Caroline Ferguson and Jia Ying Neoh


Human Rights Education Review invites submissions for a Special Issue on the intersection of Global Citizenship Education (GCE) and Human Rights Education (HRE), considering the role that HRE can play, in partnership with GCE, to enable hopeful futures. We welcome conceptual and empirical studies that explore the connections between human rights and global citizenship and expect this HRER Special Issue to uncover ways in which GCE founded in human rights is conceptualised and negotiated in a range of international contexts. In other words, it aims to explore ways are HRE and GCE interconnected, or not, within diverse contexts.

GCE responds to globalisation in multiple ways, informed by political and historical forces. Education for global citizenship founded in human rights is based on a cosmopolitan vision of our common humanity (Osler, 2011; Osler & Starkey, 2003; 2018). Yet the prevailing neoliberal environment and powerful interests of the Global North have frequently shaped global citizenship education as instrumental competencies for competition (Andreotti, 2006; Robertson, 2021). The proliferation of narrow expressions of GCE highlight the need for more meaningful and critical approaches (Ferguson & Brett, 2023; Smith & Neoh, 2023). Closer integration of GCE and HRE may confront the decontextualised limitations placed on both concepts (Rapoport, 2021). Transformative human rights also show potential for bringing empathy and compassion to citizenship education (von Berg, 2023). Exploring and expanding educational possibilities on rights, diversity and belonging may result in more inclusive global education agendas.

Across the globe, education policy is addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNESCO, 2017). The vision of Goal 4, on quality education, is to achieve an inclusive and equitable education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all. This vision is rooted in the principles of human rights, framed within the context of global citizenship in an ever more diverse and interconnected world. The partnership between HRE and GCE can make a significant contribution to fostering inclusivity and equity, thereby advancing ethical, sustainable, and peaceful futures. Across diverse national and societal contexts, the alliance between HRE and GCE is recognised in educational policies and curriculum frameworks as a fundamental objective of education. However, the conceptualization and implementation of HRE and GCE varies considerably across different contexts, resulting in their diverse and debated approaches. Tensions between universality and relativism persist, and the pursuit of inclusive and equitable education depends on further exploration, deliberation, and imagination across contexts to ensure that learners are able to access their rights.

We invite studies at a range of scales, critically addressing policy and practice in schools, universities, and communities, from studies of single classroom or programmes through to comparative approaches across nations. We welcome papers from various perspectives, encompassing philosophical, theoretical, and practical viewpoints, and originating from diverse national and societal contexts.

If you would like to make a submission in response to the Call for Papers send an extended abstract of no more than 300 words to Human Rights Education Review Managing Editor Kalpani Dambagolla to by 1 July 2024. Your abstract should include a short list of indicative literature on which you expect to draw, from the fields of both GCE and HRE. Please ensure you use the subject line HRER: Global citizenship and human rights education in your email. You will hear back from us by 12 July 2024. All invited manuscripts will be subject to double-blind peer review. For invited papers for this special issue, submission of the full paper is due through the journal platform by 13 January 2025. We expect to publish this Special Issue as Volume 8 (3) 2025. 


Human Rights Education Review

Human Rights Education Review is an award-winning journal, that publishes original research and scholarship. By publishing in HRER you have the opportunity of reaching the widest possible international readership. You can view previous issues of the journal here and learn more about HRER editorial policies. 


Guest editors

Dr Caroline Ferguson is an experienced schoolteacher, university lecturer, and consultant with a specialisation in Global Citizenship Education. Caroline graduated with a PhD from the University of Tasmania in 2023, conducting international and comparative research into articulations of Global Citizenship Education in international secondary schools, foregrounding student experience. Her work considers the philosophical and epistemological foundations of global citizenship, and possible ethical social justice-oriented approaches.


Dr Jia Ying Neoh is Lecturer of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney, Australia. Jia Ying graduated with a PhD from the University of Sydney, where she investigated the practice of citizenship education in primary schools in the state of New South Wales. Her research employs comparative and international perspectives, including an examination of the pursuit of inclusivity amidst diversity and diverse conceptions and practices of education for active and informed citizenship. She delves into discussions surrounding a potential East/West divide in this context.



Andreotti, V. (2006). Soft versus critical global citizenship education. Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review, 3(1), 40-51

Ferguson, C. & Brett, P. (2023). Teacher and student interpretations of global citizenship education in international schools. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 0(0).

Osler, A. (2011) Teacher perceptions of learner-citizens in a global age: cosmopolitan commitments, local identities and political realities. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43(1),1-24.

Osler, A., & Starkey, H. (2003) Learning for cosmopolitan citizenship: theoretical debates and young people’s experiences. Educational Review, 55(3), 243-254.

Osler, A. & Starkey, H. (2018). Extending the theory and practice of education for cosmopolitan citizenship. Educational Review, 70(1), 31-40.

Rapoport, A. (2021). Human rights and global citizenship in social studies standards in the United States. Human Rights Education Review, 4(1), 111–132.

Robertson, S. (2021). Provincializing the OECD-PISA global competences project. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 19(2), 167-182.

Smith, B. & Neoh, J.Y. (2023). Framing the global: Assessing the purpose of global citizenship in primary geography. Citizenship Teaching and Learning, 18(3), 313-330.

UNESCO, (2017). Education for sustainable development goals: Learning objectives. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

von Berg, P. (2023). How research into citizenship education at university might enable transformative human rights education. Human Rights Education Review, 6(1), 30–51.