The Narrative Approach to Civic Education

  • Ingo Juchler


Political reality has always been reflected in literature. In this introductory chapter, Prof. Juchler shows that political issues embedded in narrative literature can contribute effectively to a deeper understanding of real-world politics. Narratives studied in school- and college-level civic education stimulate the independent critical thinking that empowers young people to resist the simplistic perspectives of political demagoguery and the Manichaean world views of political and religious extremists. Juchler argues further that critical familiarity with narrative literature prepares civic education students to grasp and accept the plurality of values. This background engages their sympathies for the openness of pluralist democracies while sharpening their eye for the restrictive and repressive nature of all forms of dictatorship, absolutist ideology, and fundamentalism.


Civic Education Absolutist Ideology Manichean World View Independent Critical Thinking Tragedy Antigone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Arendt, H. (2000). Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft. Antisemitismus, Imperialismus, Totalitarismus. Munich: Piper.Google Scholar
  2. Beiner, R. (1992). Hannah Arendt on Judging. In R. Beiner (Ed.), Hannah Arendt. Lectures on Kant (pp. 89–156). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cobley, P. (2014). Narrative. London, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Cowell-Meyers, K. (2006). Teaching politics using Antigone. PS: Political Science and Politics, 39(2), 347–349.Google Scholar
  5. Czarniawska, B. (2009). Narratives in Social Science Research. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  6. Dadlez, E. M. (1997). What’s Hecuba to Him? Fictional events and actual emotions. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Deichmann, C. (2001). Fächerübergreifender Unterricht in der politischen Bildung. Wochenschau: Schwalbach am Taunus.Google Scholar
  8. Hrezo, M. S., & Parrish, J. M. (Eds.). (2010). Damned if you do: Dilemmas of action in literature and popular culture. Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  9. Juchler, I. (2012a). Der narrative Ansatz in der politischen Bildung. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Juchler, I. (2012b). Politisches Urteilen. Zeitschrift für Didaktik der Gesellschaftswissenschaften, 3(2), 10–27.Google Scholar
  11. Kundera, M. (1988). The art of the novel. New York: Grove Press.Google Scholar
  12. Mieth, D. (2007). Literaturethik als narrative Ethik. In K. Joisten (Ed.), Narrative Ethik. Das Gute und das Böse erzählen (=Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Sonderband 17) (pp. 215–233). Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  13. Nussbaum, M. C. (1995). Poetic justice. The literary imagination and public life. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  14. Rorty, R. (2003). Der Roman als Mittel zur Erlösung aus der Selbstbezogenheit. In J. Küpper & C. Menke (Eds.), Dimensionen ästhetischer Erfahrung (pp. 49–66). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  15. Sander, W. (2009). Bildung und Perspektivität––Kontroversität und Indoktrinationsverbot als Grundsätze von Bildung und Wissenschaft. Erwägen––Wissen ––Ethik, 20(2), 239–248.Google Scholar
  16. Shapiro, I., & Bedi, S. (Eds.). (2007). Political contingency: Studying the unexpected, the accidental, and the unforeseen. New York and London: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Watts, M. (Ed.). (2007). The literary book of economics. Wilmington: ISI Books.Google Scholar
  18. White, H. (1989). ‘Figuring the nature of the times deceased’: Literary theory and historical writing. In R. Cohen (Ed.), The future of literary theory. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Whitebrook, M. (1995). Real toads in imaginary gardens. Narrative accounts of liberalism. Boston: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
  20. Zuckert, C. (1981). On reading classic American Novelists as political thinkers. The Journal of Politics, 43, 683–706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingo Juchler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

Personalised recommendations