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Education and Empowered Citizenship in Mali

Jaimie Bleck

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Explores the connections between access to education and political engagement in Mali.

Primary school enrollment has nearly tripled in Mali since 1991, when the country made its first transition to multiparty democracy. Jaimie Bleck explores the effect of this expanded access to education by analyzing the relationship between parents’ and students’ respective experiences with schooling and their current participation in politics.

In a nation characterized both by the declining quality of public education and by a growing number of accredited private providers, does education contribute...

Explores the connections between access to education and political engagement in Mali.

Primary school enrollment has nearly tripled in Mali since 1991, when the country made its first transition to multiparty democracy. Jaimie Bleck explores the effect of this expanded access to education by analyzing the relationship between parents’ and students’ respective experiences with schooling and their current participation in politics.

In a nation characterized both by the declining quality of public education and by a growing number of accredited private providers, does education contribute substantially to the political knowledge and participation of its citizens? Are all educational institutions (public and private, Islamic and secular) equally capable of shaping democratic citizens?

Education and Empowered Citizenship in Mali is informed by Bleck’s original survey of one thousand citizens, which she conducted in Mali before the 2012 coup d’état, along with exit polls and interviews with parents, students, and educators. Her results demonstrate conclusively that education of any type plays an important role in empowering citizens as democratic agents. Simply put, students know more about politics than peers who have not attended school. Education also appears to bolster participation of parents. Bleck finds that parents who send their children to public school are more likely to engage in electoral politics than other Malian citizens. Furthermore, Bleck demonstrates that increasing levels of education are associated with increases in more engaged forms of political participation, including campaigning, willingness to run for office, and contacting government officials.

Reviews

Reviews

Through a nuanced analysis of Mali in comparative context, Bleck persuasively argues that schools can teach students the tools of political participation and allow parents to connect with the state.

A theoretically important, methodologically rigorous, and original contribution to our understanding of education and democracy in Africa. Bleck's insights are grounded in a deep knowledge of and engagement with politics in Mali, but are also keenly relevant for many other parts of Africa and the developing world.

Using original data from Mali, Bleck documents how state education can create empowered citizens and that broadening political participation is intimately tied to the state’s ability to provide public education. This book will be essential reading for students of democracy, education and development in Africa and beyond.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
232
ISBN
9781421417813
Illustration Description
12 line drawings, 1 map
Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. Research Design and Methodological Approach
3. Politikini Fanga Malila / Power and Politics in Mali
4. Mali's Evolving Educational Landscape
5

List of Abbreviations
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. Research Design and Methodological Approach
3. Politikini Fanga Malila / Power and Politics in Mali
4. Mali's Evolving Educational Landscape
5. Can Education Empower Citizens?
6. Schooling and Parents' Engagement with the State
7. Educational Expansion and Democratization in Africa
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Jaimie Bleck
Featured Contributor

Jaimie Bleck

Jaimie Bleck is the Ford Family Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.