The thesis aims to shed light on the political background to Citizenship, a statutory subject introduced in New Labour’s first term in government. Firstly, it seeks to clarify why this new subject was introduced into the National Curriculum in England, and what actors and ideas were decisive in shaping it; and secondly, why the subject was revised a few years later, what determined the direction of the review and how the results were reflected in the programmes of study. The main focus in both cases is on the political processes and in particular the role of the then New Labour government. The thesis argues that the introduction of the Citizenship subject was helped by a benevolent political and social context, but driven forward through the pulling of strings by especially significant individuals; in particular David Blunkett, the then Education Secretary, and Bernard Crick, Blunkett’s former Professor and mentor. Thus, the Citizenship subject, introduced in schools in 2002, was largely in agreement with Blunkett’s personal ideas on the importance of active citizenship. In terms of the revision of the subject a few years later, the thesis argues that this mainly came about due to major national and international events leading to a change in the political climate. In the aftermath of these events, Britain experienced a shift in the public debate towards a stronger emphasis on diversity and identity issues, mainly focusing on how best to foster integration, shared values and community cohesion. The shift of attention was reflected in the New Labour government’s discourse and policy, and the revision of the Citizenship curriculum should be seen as part of this picture. In this respect, the thesis shows how New Labour, rather typically for a centre-left party, sought to strike a balance between the use of a ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ approach, as well as between, on the one hand, the promotion of integration, and, on the other, appreciation of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity.