This book develops and applies a unified interpretation of John Rawls' theory of justice as fairness in order to clarify the account of citizenship that Rawls relies upon, and the kind of educational policies that the state can legitimately pursue to promote social justice. Costa examines the role of the family as the "first school of justice" and its basic contribution to the moral and political development of children. It also argues that schools are necessary to supplement the education that families provide, teaching the political virtues that support just social institutions. The book also examines the questions of whether civic education should aim at cultivating patriotic feelings, and how it should respond to the deep cultural pluralism of contemporary democratic societies.

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