Spanning citizenship spaces through transnational coalitions : the case of the Global Campaign for Education
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How do changing patterns of power and governance affect how and where citizens mobilise collectively to claim their rights? This paper presents a case study of the Global Campaign for Education (GCE), a civil society coalition that came together in 1999 to mobilise people across the world in a campaign for the right to quality, free education for all. The paper interrogates the experience of the GCE to better understand how advocacy movements meet the inherent difficulties of mobilising across different levels of governance to achieve globally recognised rights. The GCE is widely perceived as a successful example of a campaign coalition. Its deep, pre-existing roots in collective organisation in the global South were the foundation for this success. Inclusive and representative formal structures, collective framing of campaign issues and careful recognition of the different roles played by actors in different locations were key factors in building the campaign coalition. The case study discussed the way that involvement in a global campaign affects the citizenship identities of those involved. A sense of global citizenship amongst activists added to rather than replacing a sense of local and national citizenship; as governance is multiscaled, so citizenship can therefore be multidimensional. The challenge is how to continue to build and sustain inclusive and democratic coalitions which span multiple sites and spaces of citizenship. Keywords: education; right to education; global citizenship; campaigning; Global Campaign on Education; transnational social movements; global governance; NGOs; MDGs; citizen action.