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Questioning paradigms

α Citizenship
Since the works by T.H. Marshall back in the Fifties, the concept of "citizenship" has undergone continuous revisions from many disciplinary perspectives (philosophy, social sciences, political sciences, law, pedagogy...). Its history in the XX Century is another face of the huge material changes in human interdependence that we use to call "globalization" - a far older process, in reality, which in a certain way traces back its origins to the very biological position of Hominidae (not just our species!) in life evolution. Despite the rich and rageous debate about citizenship and the construction of institutional frameworks beyond and inside the old "sovereign State" model (the "Myth of the State", as Cassirer put it), citizenship still needs to be reconsidered and deserves new studies both as a normative concept and as a key institutionalized category that decisively shapes society. This means delving into the biological, psychological, and social dimensions of "identity" and "belongings", "people(s)", the "group-individual" relationship, "sovereignty", "self-determination", "cooperation/competition/unity" as key legitimizing framework concepts for today State structures and international relations. The partly discovery and partly construction of global interdependence (well beyond humanity) does not just need a cosmopolitan turn in our culture and practices, it urgently calls for multi-level, multi-dimensional, multi-scales approaches in every sphere.
α Education
It's no wonder if parallel to the need to rethink citizenship, the last Century saw a proliferation of new attempts, trends, theories and subsequent methodologies or experiences and subsequent reflections about how and for what purpose we need to bring up new generations and keep cultivating ourselves: be it the traditional discipline of pedagogy or the new research field of the science of education, when we look back (and around us, still) at this sphere of human activity and reflection, we can see a situation that is very similar to the one concerning citizenship, as the push for change and experimentation of new paradigms in education is both driven by and halted by the institutional and political frameworks of our collective life. Paideia and polis, after all, are strictly interdependent - and so are education and citizenship today, despite all efforts our old paradigms and power structures make to conceal the inner and inevitable relationship between education (be it formal, non-formal or informal) and politics. The crisis of citizenship is inevitably also a crisis of education. This is why we need to collect evidences, test practical experiences and provide sound theoretical basis for a paradigm change in citizenship education. We are convinced this means something more than opening it to global and intercultural dimensions, orienting it to ethical values, human rights, social justice, STEM abilities and social and interpersonal skills: it must also mean raising awareness about both individual and social contradictions and realities. 
α Knowledge
Thinking about citizenship and educational paradigms means also working on the epistemic dimension of these subjects. An underlying epistemological issue drives in fact our research and active engagement in those spheres - but we are also convinced they are linked to structural factors that drive knowledge and cultural development in their turn. The epistemological issue is the following: nationalism and racism learn us to identify a more general methodological bias in dealing with cultural (we refer to the anthropological meaning of this term) matters, we propose to call it "static dualism" and to work on finding its material and mental basis through the neurosciences, logic and psychoanalisis. Dualism is not the evil in the fable, rather it is maybe a fundamental (and vital) feature of the human way to think, hence to know and communicate to each other: this is why its study encompasses both the natural and social sciences and the humanities. The way we create and use identities, language, symbols, institutions is in many respects "statically dualist", but the world we live in is not (rather it is dynamic, pluralist and partly unpredictable), as the natural sciences increasingly learnt us in the last centuries. Both at scientific and practical level, we are convinced "static dualism" is at the core of conservative resistance to the paradigm shifts we need to  fast-track today in front of the existential threats our species faces (and contributed to raise).