Education as an Instrument of Democratization and Governance

  • Edna A. Co
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


A traditional perspective on education and democratization is to view students as a potent force in the articulation of democracy, and to focus on students as activists and actors in the field of education. Although students do have a crucial role to play in democratization by way of social mobilization and political activism that puts pressures upon state institutions regarding democratic issues such as education, this chapter takes another viewpoint on the equation of democratization and education. It posits that due to policy negligence (particularly the negligence on education), democratization in a larger sense, and particularly students’ engagement, are powerfully threatened. As such, policy as a highly political process and instrument creates a social exclusion of large segments of the youth in various ways. Such policy therefore needs to be challenged. Social exclusion of the young through the inaccessibility to education is an erosion of democracy and equally raises questions of governance. That education is essential to the life of a nation is a truism that persistently bears repetition among many governments, policy makers, and even among the youth and the students themselves. Just like the health service, the other basic social service that ought to be available to all among developing nations is education.


Civil Society Social Exclusion Basic Education Youth Development Private High Education 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

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  • Edna A. Co

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