In Northern Ireland citizenship education aims to develop active and engaged participants in democracy as we know it. But what if young people and the adults they know around them are largely sceptical about politics and democracy as we know it, see the vote as relatively worthless and despair about decisions that are made by elected leaders? Separate chapters identify what youth political disaffection is, what the policy makers behind citizenship education think it is about and why citizenship education misses the point. By misrecognising what political disaffection is, citizenship education renders itself unsuited to the task of resolving disaffection and instead can be seen as a social engineering tool intent on inculcating a passive acceptance of democracy. This book gives a clear and thorough account of education in contemporary N.I society and will be invaluable to teachers of contemporary social theory, politics and education, as well as to researchers and students, school teachers, youth workers and engaged citizens.