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Won No, Ashley Brennan, and Daniel Schugurensky
This collection brings together writings on three related areas of theory, research, and practice that do not interact as often as they could: participatory democracy, civic engagement, and citizenship education. We believe academics, practitioners, and policy-makers working in these fields can benefit from each other’s contributions. That was the spirit of the Conference ‘By the People: Participatory Democracy, Civic Engagement, and Citizenship Education,’ hosted by the Participatory Governance Initiative of Arizona State University (ASU) in December 2015 in Tempe, Arizona. The conference coincided with the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. It was the fourth of a series that started in 2003 at the University of Toronto, Canada, followed by another in Toronto in 2008, and the third in Argentina in collaboration with the Universidad Nacional de Rosario in 2010.
Approximately 200 participants from all over the world gathered at the conference at ASU. Among them were undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, researchers, elected and appointed officials, teachers and school administrators, community organizers and practitioners from a variety of governmental and non-governmental agencies. During three days, conference participants exchanged ideas, research findings, and practical insights. They also shared lessons learned from the successes and failures of different types of projects. The conference had 55 sessions, organized in 12 roundtables, 37 panels, 4 workshops, and 2 plenary sessions.
After the conference ended, we invited presenters to submit a paper based on their presentations. The result is this volume with 34 chapters organized alphabetically in three main parts: the first deals with participatory democracy, the second with civic engagement, and the third with citizenship education.
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We believe that it is important to create more spaces to share and discuss theoretical insights, research findings, and reflections from practical interventions in the three fields to develop more synergies and interdisciplinary collaborations. We hope that this volume, which constitutes a sample of the approximately 200 presentations made at the conference, makes a modest contribution towards this effort.
Participatory Governance Initiative
Arizona State University
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