Gary Walsh


Research title: Does social justice require a ‘socially just’ citizenry

Research Summary

Thesis Title: 

Education for a Socially Just Citizenry? The role of education in developing post-capitalist social relations

What is the role of school education in producing justice-oriented citizens? How should educational practice and policy account for economic, cultural and political context in these endeavours? This philosophical study aims to explore the relationship between social justice and the civic identities of citizens developed through education.

It is commonly asserted that education is fundamental to the realisation of social justice, yet the role of education in this regard can lack conceptual clarity in theory, policy and practice. Social justice is a contested term with a variety of meanings and implications that change over time. The difference made by schools, educators, pedagogies and curricula in relation to social justice is similarly contested, and it is recognised that the education system itself can perpetuate social inequalities. This thesis examines theories and philosophies of social justice, linking them to a critique of citizenship education in the Euro-American tradition. The aim is to provide conceptual clarification of the role of education in strengthening the knowledge base, practices and social arrangements required for justice-oriented citizenship. I embark on a philosophical thought experiment, beginning with the provocation that social justice requires a socially just citizenry; a double helix combining justice-oriented citizenship with the creation and maintenance of a socially just order.


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University of Glasgow

College of Social Science PhD Studentship



(Apr) Philosophy of Education Society for Great Britain seminar

Education for a Socially Just Citizenry? Recording available here.

(Feb) Five Nations Conference 2021: Active Citizenship for a Hopeful Future

Citizenship Education and the Emotions of Justice: Pedagogies of Hope


Education Colloquium, University of Glasgow

Social Justice, Citizenship and Education: Creating the Socially Just Citizenry


Scottish Educational Research Association conference, Edinburgh.

Pedagogies of Anger and Hope: emotional responses to injustice and inequality


Political Studies Association Annual International Conference, Cardiff.

Can Character Education Contribute to Social Justice?


International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement, Glasgow.

Character Education and Human Flourishing.

Additional Information

Additional roles and responsibilities

Project Assistant: Stevenson Trust for Citizenship (University of Glasgow)


Curriculum for Equity

Hopeful Childhoods