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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Liberal democracy, education and social justice in Africa
Author:Amukugo, Elizabeth Magano
Year:2013
Periodical:Journal for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences (ISSN 2026-7215)
Volume:2
Issue:1
Pages:144-157
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:democratization
liberalism
inequality
elite
social justice
education
Abstract:From the 1990s onwards many African countries embraced a system of 'liberal democracy', based on market economic models. The introduction of liberal democracy has been blamed for much of the social wretchedness across Africa. There is indeed an inherent contradiction between the theory and practice of liberal democracy, in terms of its promises to the citizenry and the reality on the ground. This article explores the way in which liberal democracy as a system of governance puts limitations to education's capacity to play a transformative role within society. The author suggests that liberal democracy advocates equality of opportunities for all at the expense of social justice and that this prevents education from playing its role as a tool for achieving greater equity within society through promoting human, social and economic development. A constitutional democratic government should guarantee not just freedoms and equality of opportunities in abstract terms, but significantly improve socioeconomic conditions for all its citizens. This will only be possible if strict mechanisms are created that prevent government elites from manipulating the system for their own benefit. Importantly, quality of educatiinvn would need to be guaranteed for all and would need to be free of charge from primary education up to university level. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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