Civic Education

  • Civic Education for Human Rights

    The success of democracy depends on the formation of the social capital conducive to the maintenance of democratic patterns of behavior. Civic education is the most important instrument of the formation of such social capital and is, therefore, an essential responsibility of the democratic state. The concept of social capital, introduced in the social science theory by such authors as Pierre Bourdieu (1984) and James Coleman (1988), implies that the quality of democracy depends on the relations between citizens, particularly on the acceptance of such values as trust in others and willingness to accept them as equals. Consequently, the way in which human rights are perceived in a society has profound importance for the quality of political life and constitutes the crucial component of democratic political culture.

  • Promotion of National Heroes as Civic Role-Models during Democratisation

    The paper considers the relationship between remembrance narratives on national heroes and proliferation of political attitudes, values and behaviours during democratisation. It discusses the impact of interpretations of the past on the development of civil society in the context of public education as an instrument of identity politics. Comparing the experiences of Chile, Estonia, Georgia, Poland, South Africa and Spain, the authors present the role of national heroes in the legitimisation of behaviours and attitudes, new elites and national unity. The discussed results prove that the establishment of a pro-democratic system of civic education increases chances for successful consolidation of democracy in post-authoritarian countries.

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