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In a volume published in 2004, the English sociologist Colin Crouch highlighted the effects that several countries have been subjected to as a result of the forces of globalization. Among these is having to deal with a phase of Post-democracy characterized chiefly by the increased power of economic forces that have progressively usurped political spaces and democratic decision-making mechanisms. Fourteen years later, the term has become even more pertinent and complex due to the increasing spread on the international scene of forms of authoritarian “democracy” that have grown out of neo-populist and often openly xenophobic sovereign political movements. These two regressive forms of post-democracy (one spawned by neo-liberalism and the other by populism) today represent a historical challenge for the world of education and culture because it is on this ground, as well as on purely political and economic grounds, that decisive battles are being contested. To what extent are the processes of even informal learning and socialization for both young people and adults affected by these trends? How can they resist or at least try to resist them? We are dealing here with both material and immaterial challenges which call into question the very idea of modern justice and democracy and demand new cultural initiatives, vision and practices from educational operators and scholars (in schools, universities, in training). In particular, they cut cross four important dimensions of the educational systems – ethical-political socialization, difference, inclusion and innovation – all of which appear to be burdened by a host of antinomies.

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