SUMMARY OF MASTER THESIS IN EDUCATION
KEY CONCEPTS:DemocratizationEducation and developmentMozambique
Focus and research questionsThe object of this thesis is to study the process of democratization in Mozambique and the role that education for citizenship can play in this context. Prior to focusing on the concept of education for citizenship, however, I need to outline and discuss the context within which this education is to be placed. Hence, I need to explore the contemporary Mozambican society, and the historical events contributing to the present level of democracy in the country. At present, the development aid agents play a decisive part in the development of Mozambique. I therefore also intend to investigate the partnership between Mozambique and its donors. This constitutes a thesis of three connected and overlapping research questions, two of which are subordinate to the last one. These are as follows:I will first investigate the present Mozambican democracy by focusing on the country’s recent history, and I explore my first research question:What characterizes the present Mozambican democracy and the transition it goes through?I then explore the aid relationship between Mozambique and its donors and some trends in the development aid policy. The main focus will be on the dilemma of conditionalities within the development aid partnership, as I address my next research question: What characterizes the development aid partnership in this context? By investigating these two sub questions, I intend to provide a basis for the understanding of the main concern of this thesis. It is of interest to explore what role education for citizenship could play, and which role it does play, in the context of democratization in Mozambique. This is the focus of my final and main research question:Which role does education for citizenship play in the Mozambican context?All questions will be explored through a combination of theoretical and empirical sources.
MethodologyThis study is a case study that consists of one theoretical part of literature studies and one empirical part of qualitative interviews from my fieldwork in Mozambique. The methodological implications are discussed in chapter 2. The literature review is outlined in chapters 3-6: Mozambique’s history is outlined to provide an understanding of the present conditions for democratization (chapter 3). The aid relationship and its inherent dilemma of conditionality are discussed (chapter 4). The term democracy and the problem of its transfer are considered, and the concept of education for citizenship is discussed (chapters 5 and 6, respectively). This theoretical outline constitutes a beginning of the discussions concerning my research questions, which are additionally addressed through the analysis of empirical data in chapter 7. My empirical data were collected during a field study in Mozambique. By a convenience sample I conducted 15 qualitative semi-structured and open-ended interviews. They have been analyzed according to categories detected in the theoretical material and in the empirical data itself.Sources and dataThis study draws on a variation of different disciplines: The historical outline and the democracy theory are part of the tradition of political science; the discussions concerning education are within the tradition of science of education, and partly relying on the subject area of critical pedagogy. The outline of the aid relationship is based on the growing amount of literature on the field, as well as other research done on the field of education and development in Mozambique. I have additionally made use of international and national policy documents and statistics.The empirical data have been collected through my interviews with different stakeholders within the education sector in Mozambique. This data rely on information received from the government and governmental institutions, universities, international and bilateral development aid partners and representatives for civil society -mainly non-governmental institutions working with democratization and/or education in Mozambique.
ConclusionsIn a study like this, clear and straightforward conclusions are difficult to uphold. There are nevertheless some tendencies that I have found interesting. When exploring my first research question What characterizes the present Mozambican democracy and the transition it goes through?, I have support from literature studies when claiming that Mozambique’s present democracy is characterized by people’s lack of democratic experience. My empirical data show similar results, as there are many obstacles to democracy in the present Mozambican society that might be explained through this lack of democratic experience. I argue that this lack of democratic experience leads to a need for information and increased participation, and that education for citizenship could play an important role here. When it comes to the concrete transition into democracy, the term democracy is first emphasised in the literature review. Democracy theorists have divergent understandings of the term, and it can be applied differently to different contexts. There are implications of the African context that need to be taken into consideration when a democracy is to be created in Mozambique. Nevertheless, my empirical data show that the Mozambican transition into democracy can in many ways be characterized as a pure transfer of a Western-type democracy. My informants lament this and appeal for a democracy adjusted to the Mozambican context. This democracy-transfer is maintained partly through the conditionalities tied to aid. The donor community has a powerful impact on the Mozambican society, and this brings me to my second research question: What characterizes the development aid partnership in this context? There is no doubt that the external partners can play an important role in encouraging and securing a democratic development. But literature shows that development aid is an issue of great controversies, as conditionalities are part and parcel of the development aid relationship. I have studied the education sector, and the new Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) is warmly welcomed in this context. It seems to entail positive features that deals with some of the problems inherent in the aid relationship, to provide good means for democratization. But this depends on whether the development aid partnership functions according to its intentions, and reality shows that it does not. My empirical data concord with this: my informants view the SWAp as positive for the creation of a genuine partnership. But they also point to a lot of difficulties within the SWAp. There are divergent understandings and cultural differences within the partnership. Conditionalities are present, and a lack of trust characterizes the relationship. One might question to what degree one can call this relationship democratic, and a genuine partnership. This situation illustrates the need for increased Mozambican ownership to policy planning, and increased participation by the ordinary Mozambicans. I argue that education for citizenship could be instrumental in this respect. Through the discussions concerning my two first research questions, I have provided a basis understanding for the exploration of my last research question. I have argued that the Mozambican democracy is still not consolidated, that the development aid partnership does not necessarily contribute positively in this context, and that education for citizenship could be instrumental in this situation. The question is, however, what this concept of education for citizenship could be, and how it functions in Mozambique. Hence, my final and main research question becomes: Which role does education for citizenship play in the Mozambican context? The theoretical outline provided shows that there are at least two aspects of education relevant in this context. Education for citizenship will include socialization into the political culture of a democratic society, through conveyance of common values. This is important, as education for citizenship plays a role when it comes to nation building, especially in a multiethnic society like Mozambique. Education is also put forward as a change agent, through emphasis on the critical aspect of education for citizenship. Critical consciousness is important, as people are to create, and participate in, democracy. In my empirical data there is a tendency of strong emphasis on the aspect of socialization. This might be no surprise, considering that Mozambique has been in a state of war and conflicts for a long time. The need for co-existence and unity demands common values and common effort. There was a clear tendency in my material that the focus on co-existence repressed the emphasis on the critical aspect. This resulted in a somewhat naïve view of critical consciousness, and in my opinion this shows that there is a lack of awareness concerning the importance of the critical aspect.I am concerned that this might have negative impact on the Mozambican education for citizenship’s ability to contribute to democratization. I believe that the critical aspect is important for the democratic development of Mozambique; for the Mozambican people’s ability to influence their own society and its just development. Hence, the present situation in Mozambique makes it easier, to some extent, to understand the posing of conditionalities, as the critical aspect might be encouraged by the external partners to promote a democratic development. My material has nevertheless showed that there is a question to what degree the Mozambican society is ready for these changes at this point. I am thus not of the opinion that education for citizenship will solve all the problems in Mozambique, or that the critical aspect of education could be forced upon them. I nevertheless insist on the importance of awareness concerning this matter in the situation that Mozambique is in. If so, the critical aspect of education for citizenship could be a tool for the Mozambican people to influence not only their own government, but also the powerful development agents that have such a great impact on their country.