The article presents an introduction to the Special Issue on the French philosopher Jacques Rancière who raises a provocative voice in the current public debate on democracy, equality and education. Instead of merely criticizing current practices and discourses, the attractiveness of Rancière's work is that he does try to formulate in a positive way what democracy is about, how equality can be a pedagogic or educational (instead of policy) concern, and what the public and democratic role of education is. His work opens up a space to rethink and to study, as well as to ‘re‐practice’, what democracy and equality in education are about. He questions the current neutralisation of politics that is motivated by a hatred of democracy. This questioning is for Rancière also a struggle over words. Against the old philosophical dream of defining the meaning of words, Rancière underlines the need for the struggle over their meaning. The aim of the article is to clarify how and why education, equality, and democracy are a major concern throughout his work and to offer an introduction to the articles collected in the Special Issue.