Between citizen paralysis and praxis: Toward a critical pedagogy for confronting global violence

Main Article Content

Adam Davidson-Harden


This paper argues that to be effective methods of confronting global violence, contemporary critical pedagogies for citizenship must take into account the theoretical distance between citizen ‘paralysis and praxis’. This distance, the author posits, comprises the path between individual reactions of helplessness and powerlessness to disturbing global and local issues, and experiential or praxis-based educational opportunities that can help citizens transcend such feelings toward confronting and changing a violent world. To explore these themes, an interdisciplinary approach is taken that fuses insights from the psychology of stress and coping with a framework of peace education, and education for citizenship conceived as praxis responding to disturbing trends of global violence, drawing on the traditions of positive peace and a complex conception of violence rooted in Johan Galtung’s work. A core argument is offered in the form of a provocation to educators dealing with citizenship, peace or global issues to be attentive to inviting participants to consider paths for their own forms of ‘peace praxis’ that comprise the best hope for transcending individual reactions of helplessness in the face of global violence.

Article Details


The parties agree to the following terms of publication:

1. The Author grants and assigns the entire copyright for the Work to the Publisher who shall be the exclusive holder of the copyright.

a. The Inter-American Journal of Education for Democracy is the owner of all such copyrighted materials including electronic and all machine-readable formats. No material may be reproduced in any format without permission of the Publisher. The author retains the right to store and link an electronic version of the Work on his/her own personal website, as long as it displays the Journal’s copyright.

NOTE: A work prepared by a government employee as a part of his/her official duties is called a “Work of the U. S. Government,” and is not copyrightable. If it is not a part of the employee’s official duties it may be copyrighted. If the Work was prepared jointly, and any co- author is not an U.S. Government employee, that author must be delegated to the co-authors to sign the complete agreement.

2. The Author ensures the Publisher that he/she has the right to assign the copyright and that no portion of the copyright to the work has been assigned previously.

3. The Author may reprint the work in anthologies or books which are comprised of the Author’s writings, and agrees to notify the Editors of the Journal of any such reprints of the Work.

4. The Author agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the Publisher against any claim, demand, suit, action, proceeding, recovery of expense of any claim whatsoever arriving from any claims of plagiarism, libel, slander, obscenity, unlawfulness, or invasion of privacy or copyright infringement in the Work, that are finally sustained in a court of competent jurisdiction.

5. Permission to use previously copyrighted material shall be obtained at the Author’s expense from the copyright proprietor.

6. The Author is to submit camera-ready copy for graphs and figures with their manuscripts or provide the publisher with a separate .tiff or .jpeg file. Text in figures and graphs is to be Times New Roman or a similar sans serif typeface. Graphs and figures should be approximately twice final desired size.

7. The Author shall read and correct proofs of the Work when submitted to him/her, and shall return same to the Editors on the date specified by the Publisher.

8. It is understood that the Author receives no monetary compensation from the Publisher for the assignment of copyright and publication of the Work.


Author Biography

Adam Davidson-Harden, Queen's University

SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Education