Affect and Counter-Conduct: Cultivating Action for Social Change

  • Michalinos Zembylas
  • André Keet
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 13)


This chapter explores the entanglement between two partially connected concerns that offer the potential to animate current discussions on human rights teaching and learning: ‘affect’ and ‘counter-conduct’. Both terms are at the heart of HRE approaches that aim at cultivating resistance in children and youth so that they respond in critically affective and action-oriented ways to human rights violations and social injustices in ‘the everyday’. These concepts are used to explore: first, how to encourage children and youth to enact forms of counter-conduct that are critical in human rights struggles, rather than responses which are sedimented through the governing technologies of declarational approaches of HRE; and second, how these counter-conduct practices may constitute ethical and political practices that critique liberal and sentimental forms of affect about human rights violations. It is argued that theoretical insights that pay attention to counter-conduct and affect offer possibilities for reconsidering normalised ideas in HRE.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michalinos Zembylas
    • 1
  • André Keet
    • 2
  1. 1.Open University of CyprusLatsiaCyprus
  2. 2.Nelson Mandela UniversityPort ElizabethSouth Africa

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