Volume 2, Issue 3  December 2019, pp. 102–119          Download PDF

Regular Articles
The Council of Europe Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture: Ideological refractions, othering and obedient politics

Ashley Simpson https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2731-52591, Fred Dervin https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9371-27172

1 Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, China ashley@mail.shufe.edu.cn
2 University of Helsinki, Finland fred.dervin@helsinki.fi

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v2n3.168


The popularity of the idea of interculturality, in different parts of the world, means that there are many differing meanings and ways in which the notion is understood, represented, and expressed. In contrast to the polysemy of the intercultural, democracy often appears on the surface to be understood through universalist and/or absolutist conceptualisations. Combining the intercultural and democracy thus requires problematisation. In this article we use The Council of Europe Reference Framework On Competencies For Democratic Culture (2018) as an example showing how the notion of the intercultural is constructed. We use a form of intertextuality in order to show the performance of competing ideologies found in this document. Some of the ideologies found within the texts clearly mark Eurocentric discourses and a stigmatization of the other. Also, the way in which the political is sanitized can engender a language of depoliticization and obedience. As a result, we problematise Critical Interculturality as a way to move beyond culturalist self-centered notions of the intercultural arguing that the political and the social cannot be separated from the intercultural when discussing democracy.


© Ashley Simpson, Fred Dervin

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Simpson, A., & Dervin, F. (2019). The Council of Europe Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture: Ideological refractions, othering and obedient politics. Intercultural Communication Education, 2(3), 102–119. https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v2n3.168

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