Studies in Philosophy and Education 33 (3):343-351 (2014)

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Abstract
The euphoria of the recent Arab Spring that was initiated in northern African countries such as Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and spilled over to Bahrain, Yemen and Syria brings into question as to whether democratic citizenship education or more pertinently, education for democratic citizenship can successfully be cultivated in most of the Arab and Muslim world. In reference to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates) in the Middle East, we argue that unless gender inequality, mostly instigated by religious-tribal and patriarchal perspectives, is eradicated, it would be impossible to engender any plausible conception of education for democratic citizenship in most of the Arab and Muslim world. Our thesis rests on an understanding that, firstly, education in the Arab and Muslim world is located in an impoverished view of education for Muslims; and secondly, that the notable absence of democratic citizenship is enhanced by gender-based discrimination in society especially in the professions and politics. We contend that education for democratic citizenship in the Arab and Muslim world is necessary and ought to be framed along a pluralist imaginary of citizenship. However, considering the continued prevalence of authoritarianism at politico-social levels our argument is that it seems feasible to enhance and at times disrupt the cultivation of national education drawing on some of the features of a pluralist imaginary of citizenship
Keywords Pluralist imaginary  Authoritarianism  Pedagogy of encounters
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DOI 10.1007/s11217-013-9393-0
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