LECTURE: Democratic Citizenship Education in Digitized Societies

March 23, 17h00 (CET)

Julian Culp (AUP)

Democratic Citizenship Education in Digitized Societies

Hybrid: Remote/American University of Paris

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In this paper I offer a new conceptualization of democratic citizenship education in light of the transformations of contemporary Western societies that the use of technologies of the digital net have brought about. My conceptualization adopts a deliberative understanding of democracy that provides a systemic perspective on society-wide communicative arrangements and employs a non-ideal, critical methodology that concentrates on overcoming democratic deficits. Based on this systemic, deliberative conception of democracy I provide an analysis of the public sphere’s normative deficits and argue that current political communication may be systemically distorted. This distortion, I maintain, is due to the economic imperatives that structure many aspects of the digitally transformed public sphere, the fragmentation of this public sphere, and the predominantly affective nature that is characteristic of a substantial part of political discourse. Drawing on this analysis, I suggest that practices of democratic citizenship education in digitized societies must not concentrate narrowly on the effective and responsible use of digital technologies. Instead, these practices should also focus on the economic and cultural conditions that are co-responsible for the structural problems of political communication as well as address the democratic deficits that are reflected in inadequate communicative arrangements.

Julian Culp is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Program Coordinator for Philosophy, and Fellow of the Center for Critical Democracy Studies at The American University of Paris. Culp is the author of Global Justice and Development (Palgrave, 2014) and Democratic Education in a Globalized World (Routledge, 2019), as well as of numerous articles in journals such as Philosophy Compass, Theory and Research in Education, Third World Quarterly and Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung. He also serves co-editor of the book series Philosophy of Education – Debates and Constellations (Brill and Mentis).

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