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ERIC Number: EJ847740
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-0160-5429
Recasting Postcolonial Citizenship through Civic Education: Critical Perspectives on Zambia
Abdi, Ali A.; Shizha, Edward; Bwalya, Ignatio
International Education, v35 n2 p47-64 Spr 2006
Since the early 1990s and, perhaps, as one effect of the emergence of the uni-polar world, there have been a lot of "democratizing" activities in the Sub-Saharan context, with Zambia, a central African country of about 10 million, at the forefront of these processes. While democracy, in one form or another, has come to Zambia, socio-economic underdevelopment continually pervades the land, and even at the political level, the opening-up process has been at best limited, if not still totally in favor of the elites. In this article the authors critique these issues via the prospect of enlarging citizenship (civic) education possibilities for a more viable and inclusive social development. Citizenship is more than a set of political rights or responsibilities granted or mediated by the state. Citizenship, as well as the political education that aims to enhance it, is grounded in the practices, experiences, and meanings articulated and acted upon by individuals and social groups and is actively negotiated by individuals, including those that may be selectively marginalized in one context or another. The agency of individuals and groups should be considered when defining and constructing notions of citizenship. This is the essence of democratic governance in contemporary societies. For this to happen, adequate political or citizenship education provisions should be in place. These could be structured formally or informally, either through formal civic education provided by the state or informal structures of civil society. Based on these understandings of citizenship, this article contends that with current civic space not reflecting the promise of democracy in the post-Kaunda era, more citizenship education programs should be incorporated into learning platforms, which should be conducive to the realization of expansively inclusive democratic processes and relationships. Among the issues discussed in this article are a brief conceptualization of democracy in the Zambian public space, political education and youth, public participation and the economy, political education and the civil society, and how civic education can be effectively incorporated in the public schooling system. Before ending, the authors share a synopsis of a work by Bratton, Alderfer, Bowser, and Temba (1999) that provides an interesting window on the effects of civic education on political culture in Zambia.
College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 420 Claxton Complex, 1126 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996. Tel: 865-974-9505; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Zambia