Adult Education and Learning in a Precarious Age: The Hamburg Declaration Revisited


Tom Nesbit and Michael Welton have recently edited the book, "Adult Education and Learning in a Precarious Age: The Hamburg Declaration Revisited", in which various international scholars critically assess how far the visionary statements of the Hamburg Declaration have been advanced and implemented. They review the recent development of the 10 themes of the Agenda for the Future, explore their local and global achievements through considering the results of the 2009 CONFINTEA VI conference and other related policy developments, and outline what is still necessary to realize the Declaration’s goals.

The book  is published in the New Directions in Adult & Continuing Education series (#138) and is available from Wiley Publishers.

Adult Education and Learning in a Precarious Age, UNESCO’s 1997 international adult education conference in Hamburg (CONFINTEA V) has been described as the high-water mark of international adult education policy-making. It produced one of the most utopian statements about adult education and learning of the past 25 years: the Hamburg Declaration on Adult Learning and Agenda for the Future.

Adult education was declared key to the twenty-first century in order to build “a world in which violent conflict is replaced by dialogue, a culture of peace based on justice . . . and the creation of a learning society committed to social justice and general well-being.” However, the Declaration also recognized that there were many practical challenges to its implementation as profound changes were occurring in social, economic, environmental, and political spheres.


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