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About this book

Johannes Ph. Backhaus applies the Model of Education Reconstruction (MER) to the context of a social accountability intervention in Cambodia. This book is not an evaluation but adopts a qualitative perspective on the learning approach applied by the researched intervention. The research found that the learning intervention does not systematically include learners’ pre-existing social knowledge. It would potentially benefit from systematically harvesting and reinforcing pre-held convictions to sustainably motivate participation. It does not address potentially sensitive topics while interviewees show a sophisticated and holistic understanding of these. Finally, there are inconsistencies between the program’s aims and objectives. In sum, the piloted approach offers pathways on how to beneficially include qualitative perspectives on similar development interventions.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
This statement by the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, sums up a common democratic idea: democracy creates a freely accessible public space in which different interests compete for agreement to their political ideas, visions, and suggestions. Apparent in Obama’s statement is the dependency of democratic systems on the active involvement and engagement of citizens. Democracy is generally believed to allow any society to live together peacefully and prosper economically and culturally, with citizenship education conveying the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities which the respective society deems most important for its citizens.
Johannes Ph. Backhaus

Chapter 2. Country Context and Current Political Situation

Abstract
This chapter describes the environment for this dissertation and concludes with various implications this has for data collection. Because this dissertation examines a project supporting civic and/or political engagement, this chapter begins with a description of Cambodia’s current political system and political culture. Based on this, conclusions for the data collection are drawn. Historical events or developments are mentioned if they are relevant to the current political climate.
Johannes Ph. Backhaus

Chapter 3. Decentralisation and Social Accountability

Abstract
Following the brief illustration of the political situation in Cambodia, this chapter describes the programmatic environment of the researched programme. It is embedded in decentralisation efforts, in the course of which the concept of social accountability is implemented.
Johannes Ph. Backhaus

Chapter 4. Introduction of the Research’s Conceptual Framework

Abstract
After providing the background on the current political situation in Chapter 2 and the programmatic background of the researched programme in Chapter 3, this chapter focusses on introducing the main methodology adopted and applied in this dissertation as well as the main conceptual framework. First, this dissertation is embedded in didactics of political education and the relationships among ‘terms’, ‘concepts’, ‘figures of thought’, and ‘dimension’ will be explained. Having established this basis, the Model of Education Reconstruction (MER) is introduced – first, how it was originally developed and then how it was adapted for this dissertation’s research. The conceptual framework citizen consciousness is then introduced and adapted.
Johannes Ph. Backhaus

Chapter 5. Normative Anchor: Academic and Programmatic Citizenships

Abstract
As the first step in applying the adapted Model of Education Reconstruction, the normative anchor focusses on identifying and justifying the governing principles of interventions for political education. In addition to the above-mentioned challenge of having parallel discourses in many social sciences (Chapter 4.1), Lange (2010, p. 63) refers to the necessity of a normative anchor to legitimise the intentional interference with learners’ political perceptions based on defined standards.
Johannes Ph. Backhaus

Chapter 6. Subject-Specific Anchor: (Global) Citizenship Education

Abstract
After establishing the normative anchor, the adaptation of the Model of Educational Reconstruction moves to the next methodological step in which subject-specific aspects are discussed. While the previous chapter focussed on citizenship constructions and their normative implications, this discussion centres on (global) citizenship education which has been argued to be the relevant subject when looking at the researched project as an intervention of political education.
Johannes Ph. Backhaus

Chapter 7. Conceptual Anchor: Empirical Citizenship Constructions

Abstract
Following the discussion and specification of the normative and the subject-specific anchor, the analysis moves to the final anchor in the adaptation of the Model of Educational Reconstruction. Its results add the learners’ perspectives to the previously discussed aspects regarding citizenship constructions and global citizenship education.
Johannes Ph. Backhaus

Chapter 8. Centroid: Peculiarities, Similarities, Differences, and Limits

Abstract
This final step in the Model of Educational Reconstruction connects the concepts identified in the normative, subject-specific, and conceptual anchor by systematically and structurally relating them to each other. It aims to express individual characteristics of the different perspectives as well as the learning-supportive interrelations among them. (Kattmann et al. 1997, p. 12) Generally, the centroid can be characterised as a process during which fundamental decisions about the learning intervention are made.
Johannes Ph. Backhaus

Chapter 9. Conclusion

Abstract
After adapting the Model of Educational Reconstruction to a selected intervention for increased citizen engagement and implementing its modified form, this chapter concludes this dissertation’s research by bringing together the different elements and aspects which have been raised, addressed, and discussed. Considering that the dissertation touched on different areas, it seems appropriate to separate this conclusion into three sub-sections outlining conclusions for (1) the methodology and the conceptual framework, (2) the academic discourses on citizenships and citizenship education, and (3) the I-SAF programme. In the section on the relevance of this research (see Chapter 1), a promise was made to qualitatively contribute to four aspects: contemporary citizenship constructions in Cambodia, participants’ citizenship constructions, the programme’s inherent citizenship construction, and its potential blind spots.
Johannes Ph. Backhaus

Chapter 10. Academic and Programmatic Outlook

Abstract
This dissertation offers many starting points for future research and programmatic adaptations. This final chapter indicates a few of these which are based on discussions the author has had at his university and with the cooperation partners. After finalising the analysis, the results were presented at the AGORA Institute, Leibniz University of Hanover, before the author met with the funding and implementation partners in Cambodia in November 2018. The following suggestions resulted from the different discussions and presentations.
Johannes Ph. Backhaus

Backmatter

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