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Civic Education as a Tool for Reviving Democratic Polity?

STRNADOVÁ, L. Civic Education as a Tool for Reviving Democratic Polity?. University of Manchester, 2018.
Jazyk publikace: eng
Anglický název: Civic Education as a Tool for Reviving Democratic Polity?
Rok vydání: 2018
Autoři: Mgr. Lenka Strnadová Ph.D.
Abstrakt EN: For a long time, researchers in the field of political science and political theory have been preoccupied with the fact that political participation of citizens in liberal democracies is declining. The worry is that trust in liberal democracy as the best system available is withering away. In reaction, various political actors and researchers explore the potential of expert, technocratic visions of democracy, democracy as corporation, managerial models of democracy, democracy without participation and the like. In sum, both certain political actors and so-called “realist” strands in democratic theory concur that the mass of citizens will always be ill-equipped to participate on an extensive scale (both from a motivational and epistemic point of view) in democratic process. Hence, trust in democracy will rather be restored via an emphasis on efficient outputs of elite-driven decision-making process than on securing civic participation. In my paper, I intend to discuss several arguments against more deliberative forms of democracy, particularly addressing the claim that people in general “naturally” lack motivation to participate and in liberal democracies (as opposed to non-liberal, non-democratic systems), we do not have effective instruments to motivate or enhance democratic participation without breaching the principle of equal respect and individual liberty. I explore mainly i. Whether it is acceptable for liberal political institutions to introduce from the top measures to support political participation and knowledge – for instance by introducing intensive and extensive programmes of civic education; ii. What is the relation between civic knowledge and (expert) truth; and iii. Whether and under which circumstances may these institutional measures bring about desired outcomes.
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