Ingerid S. Straume
University of Oslo
Even though the interrelationship between education and democratic politics is as old as democracy itself, it is seldom explicitly formulated in the literature. Most of the time, the political system is taken as a given, and education conceptualized as an instrument for stability and social integration. Many contemporary discussions about citizenship education and democracy in the Western world mirror this tendency. In the paper, I argue that, in order to conceptualise the socio-political potential of education we need to understand democracy in more political terms. This means that democracy can neither be seen primarily as a mode of associated living, nor a model for handling different life-views. A third alternative is Gert Biesta’s notion of democratic subjectification. Even though Biesta identifies depoliticising trends in citizenship education policies, I argue that his alternative still fails to be a sufficiently political alternative. What is lacking in Biesta is the explicit attention to political causes and the kind of collective activities that define a democracy: the creation of one’s own laws, norms and institutions. This capacity of the collective to question and govern itself is put in relief by Cornelius Castoriadis’s notion of “the project of autonomy”
Keywords Democracy  Educational theory  Politics/the political  Project of autonomy  Gert Biesta  Cornelius Castoriadis
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1007/s11217-015-9465-4
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism: Expanded Edition.John Rawls - 2005 - Columbia University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

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