As in many other countries, political educators in Britain are confronted by the problems of creating a coherent character for citizenship in a semiotic society (of sound bites, signs and symbols, and 'disassociated impacting') and of sustaining 'the grand narrative' of 'the Enlightenment Project' (the alleviation of human suffering by the use of reason and the accumulation of knowledge, the celebration of life through active citizenship and common

culture) against the pessimism of the post-modernists (for whom the grand narrative is dead and citizenship an eighteenth-century archaism and a forlorn enterprise).