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Democratic Education and Agonism: Exploring the Critique from Deliberative Theory
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0327-9989
2018 (English)In: Democracy & Education, ISSN 1085-3545, E-ISSN 2164-7992, Vol. 26, no 1, p. 1-9, article id 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Due to the current political challenges facing democratic societies, including an apparent presence of populist rhetoric, the question of how political discussions should take place in democratic education is as urgent as ever. In the last two decades, one of the most prominent approaches to this question has been the use of deliberative theory. However, the deliberative approach has been criticized from an agonistic perspective for neglecting the role of emotions in political discussions. Deliberative theorists have in turn responded to this critique and argued that the agonistic approach tends to put too much emphasis on students’ emotions and identities in political discussions. Recently, as a contribution to this debate, the idea of assimilating agonism with deliberation has been suggested as a way of overcoming the differences between agonism and deliberative theory.

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the educational debate between agonism and deliberative theory by exploring the deliberative critique from the vantage point of agonism. I claim that the deliberative critique of agonism is unfounded and based on a misreading of Mouffe’s agonistic theory. Furthermore, I argue that the attempt to assimilate agonism with deliberation is not compatible with Mouffe’s agonistic theory

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Portland, Oregon, USA: Lewis & Clark College, Graduate School of Education and Counseling , 2018. Vol. 26, no 1, p. 1-9, article id 1
Keywords [en]
Education, agonism, deliberative theory, political emotions, democracy
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-67106OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-67106DiVA, id: diva2:1210379
Available from: 2018-05-28 Created: 2018-05-28 Last updated: 2018-11-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Om det politiska i samhällskunskap: Agonism, populism och didaktik
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Om det politiska i samhällskunskap: Agonism, populism och didaktik
2018 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Democratic education can be seen as being constituted by a political dimension in two senses. In one sense, democratic education is political because it has a politically formulated goal to educate citizens. In another sense, the practice of democratic education is in itself political, in that it constitutes a space in which students encounter different visions of and opinions about what society should be like. In the intersection of these two meanings of “the political” we find the teacher. How can teachers navigate and approach “the political” in their classrooms? Which conceptions of conflicts, emotions and identities are useful when approaching the political as an educational problem?

This thesis formulates an agonistic perspective on the political in social science education. In four articles, the thesis explores agonism and populism in relation to social science education. In focus are questions about the role that emotions, conflicts and identities should play in democratic education. Three of the four articles are theoretical investigations into the problems and potentialities of agonism and populism. The fourth article is empirically based on interviews with social science teachers and classroom observations. By synthesizing the results from these four articles, an agonistic perspective on the political in social science education is formulated. The agonistic perspective consists of four concepts: political emotions, hegemony, political presence and simplification. With these concepts, the agonistic perspective provides a theoretically informed starting point for teachers to reflect on and approach “the political” in social science education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2018. p. 138
Series
Örebro Studies in Education, ISSN 1404-9570 ; 58Örebro Studies in Educational Sciences with an Emphasis on Didactics ; 17
Keywords
Social Science Education, Democratic Education, Agonism, Populism, The Political, Political Emotions
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69664 (URN)978-91-7529-269-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-12-14, Örebro universitet, Forumhuset, Hörsal F, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-10-17 Created: 2018-10-17 Last updated: 2018-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Tryggvason, Ásgeir

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