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The State, Civil Society and the Citizen

Exploring Relationships in the Field of Adult Education in Europe


Edited By Michal Bron Jr., Paula Guimarães and Rui Vieira de Castro

This book contributes to the setting out of a new, better informed and complex basis for discussions about the relationships between the State, the civil society and the citizen in distinct European countries and regions. It will be useful to researchers in the field of adult education, as well as social scientists interested in topics related to civil society, such as NGOs, social economists, and practitioners concerned with the trends that are forcing adult education to recontextualise its aims and practices.


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PART III Adult education policies. Shifts in discourses in international and national contexts


Chapter 5 Active democratic citizenship and lifelong learning. A governmentality analysis Andreas Fejes Citizenship, as enacted responsibilities rather than rights, has emerged as a sig- nificant and central concern within the European policy context in recent years (cf. Biesta, 2005; Jarvis, 2004; Lawy & Biesta, 2006). A central policy focus is the creation of a citizen, who feels responsible for others and a sense of belong- ing to a common European and national space. Educational sites, such as schools and adult education institutions, are identified as key locations in fos- tering such an identity. Such narratives can be seen, for example, in the commu- niqué from the conference that launched the European Year of the Citizen through education, where education for democratic citizenship (EDC) is pro- moted. Citizenship in Europe has to be based on values such as mutual understanding, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, solidarity, gender equality and har- monious relations within and among peoples, involving all stakeholders at grass-root level. Participants are convinced that EDC/HRE is instrumental in fostering and furthering these values among Europeans of different origins (Council of Europe, 2004). Here, the idea is that education will strengthen the feeling of being responsible for others, i.e. democratic citizenship is not only seen as legal statutes but as an activity and responsibility in relation to others. Based on such ideas, there have been studies conducted to see how effective implementations of such kinds of policies are and how the effectiveness can be improved (cf. European Commis- sion, 2007). One...

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