necessitate fresh thinking in respect of these churches’ roles in Kenya’s civic and public spheres. The study approach is multidisciplinary drawing from Sociology, Gender and Theology, and utilizing social capital theories as a theoretical framework. The study employed a case study methodology, with study samples comprising leaders and members of JIAM, MMC and FEM selected based on gender, age, educational background and position in the churches as well as the duration of membership. Data was collected through in depth interviews (150 respondents equally spread within the three churches), participant observation (PO), Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) and content analysis of sermons, texts and televised messages. Findings from the study show that each church constitutes a significant presence in its respective community and engages civic and publiclife. The thesis contributes to the growing body of literature on religion and publiclife as well as broadening understanding of how and why Neo- Pentecostal Churches engage in issues in civic and publiclife.
Theoretically, it [social capital] provides a comprehensive explanation for why some communities or larger entities (municipalities, regions) are able to resolve collective problems co-operatively while others fail to bring people together in support of a common purpose (Billiet and Cambré, 1999: 241). Another factor is involved in this failure to bring people together for a common purpose – the institutional void, namely the absence of any meaningful form of governance below the county level. The institutional void identified in the Ratoath survey – as it concerns the participation of local residents in the process of articulation and aggregation of interests, both within the locality and across it – is filled by a range of informal practices and processes. However, the latter are characterised by a low level of legitimacy and do not ensure the inclusion of all groups within the locality. This was the case, as noted earlier, with the persistence of political patronage and also in the observed phenomenon of the exercise of belligerent pressure. Such a void does not help uphold the sense of competence in addressing local problems by local residents, and is associated, as seen, with a pessimistic outlook on the capacity of local residents to shape their own future. This perceived powerlessness and to some extent alienation from local publiclife is of course related to the fairly low level of social resources within the community required to promote and uphold civic engagement. In other words these low levels of social resources decrease the amount of social capital available locally.
There are assorted concerns over the technology infrastructure whether strategic enough to meet the rations of prospering effective communication of polity and citizenship regarding the diversity natures available on the sphere. Barney (2001) argues the internet as a deficient public sphere which rarely affords civic power in respect to impartial egalitarianism in publiclife. According to him, some social groups especial of remote ethnicity which are politically marginalized, including women might be sternly isolated from online participation symbolically as per the normal social settings set them out (ibid). Likewise, Barney and Papacharis (2002) debate on the internet surveillance and control that merely cast down the public sphere notion, in view of the industrial capitalism that devastates the social power and hence deteriorate democratic principles throughout the wired sphere (p. 58). Moreover, McLuhan (1962) contends over categorical uniformity formed in a global village due to a variety of social scenarios and experiments within. In this sense, how the individuality manipulates into the structured global community as instantly acts according to personal characters based on unlike socio-political backgrounds? In light of the social cybernetic sphere which is created with a number of variabilities and divisions among the players as well as discontinuity of the customs and rules in such a way that no common projections may prosper, on accounts of mysterious occurrence in the particular manner that demoralize the foundations of the tranquillity of the ideal sphere ( McLuhan, 1962 ). Nonetheless, the internet has an ironic account of universal discourse for the involvement of masses. Especially youths’ sympathy aimed at the civic engagement in professing publiclife provisional in the course of information flows through liberal networked space. In the proportion of the potentiality to rationalize two-way communication rather than the traditional media in consequence of some draconian laws and censorship pro the governing system and elites.
A main point of concern is that the scholarly literature systematically points to the existence of relevant inequalities in the civic and political engagement of certain groups in society. In addition to gender (for which the gap in electoral turnout has been decreasing over time to become non- existent in Britain), often ethnic, racial, cultural and sometimes religious minority groups are disadvantaged in their inclusion in (some forms) of publiclife. Ensuring the equality of the multiple religious, racial and cultural groups in their capacity to participate in British society and at the same time to express their beliefs and identities is a major goal for the 21st Century. Britain now hosts significant religious minorities of Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews and other smaller religions. It also has significant populations of people with origins in the Caribbean, Africa, India, the Middle East, East Asia and other European countries – many of whom identify with the cultures of the territories of origin of their ancestors, and often retain an associated language. The intersection of religious and ethnic identity poses new challenges for democratic and civic inclusion, in particular in what relates to the responsiveness of democratic and civic institutions in accommodating religious and ethic claims.
In his famous work on social capital , by analyzing the behaviour of American citizens about changes in civic participation, discusses how despite the rapid increases in higher education opportunities that might have fostered civic engagement they were dropping out of political and organized community life. Consequently, the author calls for individuals to enhance the education of young people about civic virtues, reconnecting with their neighbors, and increasing participation in politics. Only a higher level of civic education will raise the most vir- tuous civic activities (participation in publiclife, trustworthiness, and reciprocity) which help citizens to flourish and play an active role in their democratic communities. In order to answer to this challenge of fostering civic capacities, the incorporation of service learning and of curricular contents with civic education into collegiate course design has gained stronger and stronger acceptance. 1
Human behavior is significantly shaped by norms and values, which are the basis for attitudinal growth. The dominant features in Indian Society impinge much on cultural and other values of young people, include areas such as: family life, education, work and occupational activities, gender, class and ethnic relations, religion, mass communication, artistic and creative expression, sports, recreation, politics and economic environment. However, anti-social behavior is manifestation of the absence of well- accepted values, attitudes and norms within an individual and society, which reflects itself in crime, violent action, breakdown of parental authority in family life, corruption in publiclife, obscenity in the media, indiscipline in schools and sporting activities and low productivity at the workplace etc. In accordance with above mentioned sequences civic education is becomes indispensable, which accounts for development of citizenship through education.
stitutions of the political state based on the rule of law and equal participation in publiclife is the only buffer against the insipid forces of ethnic nationalism which exclude different (other, minority, foreign) forms of cultural expressions on the one hand, and against the hollow idea of world-citizens wherein it re- mains profoundly unclear as to which democratically elected bodies, if any, ac- tually do represent citizens and make them act in accordance with their rights and responsibilities on the other, the defense of the civic nation-state appears to be of utmost importance. In other words, civic responsibilities, cultural and po- litical rights, both collective and individual, and articulations of one’s personal preferences should be defended in a democratic state. In this respect, ethnic identity is but one of the elements for citizen identity, which is based on the separation of national (in terms of a state) and ethnic (in terms of received cul- tural background) markers. Such a modern state arises from the development of a secular, universalist and democratic polity in which citizens as equals be- fore the law may enjoy the right, though not necessarily the obligation, to orga- nize their life according to their preferred cultural, religious and political stocks of meaning.
, 1945, p. 1) The last public announcement issued by the so- called representatives of the Fashi people demonstrates that there were two opposing local factions in this incident, each claiming legal vindication for their irreconcilable position. Although on the surface they expressed an understanding and respect that they could not formally engage in the legal process, all officials, local gentry, and common people involved in this dispute made every effort to justify their behavior and win the moral support from a broader public audience. In addition, they seemed to appreciate the power of the print media and learned that they could use it to their benefit by constantly infusing new information to shape public opinion. The juxtaposition of all announcements in newspapers presented to the reading public stirred a debate reflective of the counterarguments heard in the court. The nature and function of these public announcements show that the newspaper and particularly the section of public announcements provided local people with arenas for exchanges over their morality and legal rights as a method of engaging in civic activities.
Both countries have seen big campaigns to cultivate and enlighten the public through schools in the last 10 years. In Denmark, the History and Danish curriculum were partly standardized in 2009 by the incorporation of mandatory History and Danish canons. The aim was to strengthen historical consciousness and national identity. 13 The Danish literature canon was presented already in late 2004 and included 14 Danish authors that students must read during their school time. In 2005, the committee to create a history canon started its work. The final list ignores the history of Danish im- migration and emigration, reaffirms the importance of (some form of ) cultural homo- geneity, and ‘inspires the view that Danish history is characterized by a progression from peacefulness and justice to an even higher degree of peacefulness, liberality, just- ice, and modernism through non-violent steps and peaceful revolutions ’ (Jørgensen 2014). Moreover, in 1995 the History curriculum plan stated that the task of the subject was to promote the student’s ‘insight into how humans are created by history as well as being creators of history ’ (Undervisningsministeriet [Ministry of Education], 1995b). In the 2009 curriculum plan ‘ creators of history ’ was removed and instead the students should now know that they are created by history so they can ‘ reflect on their oppor- tunities of action’ (Undervisningsministeriet [Ministry of Education], 2009a), further downplaying a critical, reconstructive approach to national identity.
Positive participation. As noted above, although conventional wisdom tends to view civic engage- ment as promoting institutional trust, there may be contexts where this expectation does not hold. While positive civic participation sometimes generates social capital, this pattern is not the inherent outgrowth of engagement, but rather hinges upon the nature of associational life in a particular con- text. For instance, Dominican civic associations have been extensively politicized as a result of penetration and control by political parties, and associational activism often has clientelist goals (Espinal et al., 2010). In this context, the capacity for citizen engagement to foster genuine social capital, as opposed to creating opportunities for political advancement or personal enrichment through clientelism, may be highly constrained (Choup, 2003, 2006). Thus, participation is less likely to foster institutional trust, as social capital and interpersonal trust, which are the primary mechanisms for translating engagement into pro-regime attitudes, are unlikely outcomes of civic participation in the Dominican Republic. Building on previous scholarship, then, we expect the positive potential for civic engagement to be tempered in the Dominican context (Espinal et al., 2006; Finkel et al., 2000).
When it comes to civic attitudes and involvement, interest in politics is not necessarily important in being “a good citizen”. The IMAS study has a qualitative component, focused on University students, which reveals the following attitudes: young people do not speak of politics when they socialize, as they avoid confronting their political options; they are more interested in NGO activity that the process of government; they consider that civic involvement does not include a political dimension, with the exception of voting; for them, social activism means mainly charity and environmental actions; their involvement in student organizations is not mainly intended to defend the rights of the students, as it is to promote other kinds of activities; if the students are involved in political parties, this involvement has more of a practical dimension, which does not contribute to developing abilities of civic participation (IMAS 2011, 12-23).
The study used data from the British National Child Development Study (NCDS), a prospective cohort study originating in the Perinatal Mortality Survey . The latter examined social and obstetric factors associated with still birth and infant mortality among over 17,400 babies born in Britain in 1 week in March 1958. Surviving members of this birth cohort were followed up on nine occasions in order to monitor changes in health, educa- tion, social and economic circumstances. The follow-ups were in 1965 (age 7), 1969 (age 11), 1974 (age 16), 1981 (age 23), 1991 (age 33), 1999/2000 (age 41/2), 2004–2005 (age 46/47), 2008–2009 (age 50), and a sequential mixed-methods follow-up in 2013 (age 55). Data about educational development, health behaviours, physical devel- opment, well-being, family life, economic circumstances, employment, social participation and attitudes towards life were collected. There have also been sub-sample sur- veys of the cohort. For example, participants were contacted at age 20 to map their examination achieve- ments; and at age 44 to collect biomedical markers. Fur- ther information about the NCDS can be found on the Centre for Longitudinal Studies website (www.cls.ioe.ac .uk/ncds). Data for the NCDS sweeps are accessible (http://www.cls.ioe.ac.uk/ncds). The initial response rate to NCDS was just over 98% of all births in Great Britain in that week; although responses to subsequent waves var- ied (see Additional file 1). Power and Elliot  described respondent profiles.
After learning how to counterfeit her husband’s signature, Madame Roland further exercised civic influence from her salon by editing correspondence with his name, such as the letter he wrote to Louis XVI calling for war with Austria. Boldly, the letter proclaims, “The Declaration of Rights became a political gospel, and the French constitution has become a religion for which the People are ready to perish.” 11 While researchers cannot
The continuing education course has been existing for more than 20 years. With starting the cooperation in the academic year of 2005/06 a new organisational structure has been implemented. A Control Board (Steuerungsgremium) consisting of four researchers from both cooperating universities is responsible for the organisation, the finances and the formal and content orientation. Additionally an interdisciplinary composed Advisory Board (Beratungsgremium) has been installed. The Advisory Board supports the work of the Control Board. At the moment the implementation of a Think Tank has experimental character and is now in a pilot phase. The continuing education course offers the only CE programme in Austria and completes with an academic degree. The master programme takes at least six semesters and after writing a masters thesis the students are awarded the international degree: Master of Science (Civic Education). Additionally to the MSc grade a short-cycle version is also offered and completed with the academic title “Academic Civic Educator” (Akademischer politischer Bildner). Providing this special CE programme we are confronted with some direct impacts of Austrian “school reality”. School authorities do no care for this degree, when they choose teachers for several positions. The allocation of teachers in schools, in further education or for jobs in commissions e.g. for approbation for school-textbooks at the BMBWK are not based on additional qualifications. Furthermore there is a tremendous surplus of teachers of history in most of the schools. They have to teach CE-lessons in the classes, with or without an adequate education. Neither the Academic Civic Educator nor the Master of Science (Civic Education) guarantees a professional advancement and at least financial aid. The main reasons for teachers to participate the university programme are private and personal engagement, willingness in further education and interest in CE.
authorizes them (Bhaba 1994: 130). Mimicry thus becomes a re-ar- ticulation of “presence”. The theoretical clauses of nationalism, employed to chalk out the modes of operation in the public-sphere, carry the legacy of European Enlightenment. They are designed not to represent the cultural texture of the nation-space, but to organize the allocation of resources – a project dubiously labeled as “devel- opment” – gaining leverage from patriotic clichés now and then. Brennan notes how the emergent Anglophone fiction of the erst- while colonies, such as the works of Marquez and Rushdie, be- comes: a pointed exposure of the “empires old clothes” worn by a comprador elite who “[…] take on the nationalist mantle only to cloak their people more fully with the old dependency” (Bhaba 1990: 57). Industrialization in Europe implied a consolidation of isolated agrarian units or self-sufficient rural communities en- meshed in a web of social rituals, by a process of reconfiguring them around “a centralizing polity” (Pecora 2001: 295). The “pas- sive revolution”, a transmission of this ethos of nationalism to col- onized cultures was, as Gellner states, “a diffusion of the economic and technological superiority” of the departed colonizers among a class of nationals capable of running the complex state apparatus:
Studies related to political processes, such as political representation, are very suitable to obtain concrete conclusions, and provide alternative roads for increasing political change. The findings above show that the main role of political representation is orientation and activation of the masses into political processes, and their influence, direct and indirect, onto the political life, within a political system. Above all, this depends on the organizational nature of an electoral system, which may be representative or proportional. In the case of Kosovo, this phenomenon has been rather evident, and the whole political system function has been determined by the nature of the electoral system. This has gained in sensitivity, due to the political position of Kosovo’s society under international administration, where it may be stated that in Kosovo, the international community has experimented with several voting systems to suit the position.
For decades, social scientists have endeavored to categorize the factors that affect the well-being and quality of life of communities. An underst and ing of these factors can play a critical part in developing successful sustainable development policies for neighborhoods and communities. The presence of educated or accomplished person in an area and the number of reputable families were the focus of early models of societal well-being, while neighborhood elements such as traffic flow, pollution, and walkability are the emphasis of recent models according to Ghorbanian (2011). At the national level, well- being has been equated to the material condition of a country, measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). At the individual and community levels, socio-economic indicators include income, education, and employment. However, GDP and the other socio-economic indicators do not capture all the aspects of human life. Consequently, it was increasingly recognized that new measures were needed. In addition, Kwiatek-Sołtys and Mainet (2014) describe new labels that have been developed to qualify new dimensions of attractiveness, such as ‘smart cities’ or ‘green cities’, depending on social, environmental or technical aspects. Alternatively, several studies have examined the concept of “subjective” well-being. Subjective well-being refers to persons’ individual perception of their environment and their satisfaction with elements of the physical, social, and economic environment. In Campbell and Converse’s (1972) highly influential work “The Human Meaning of Social Change”, they developed this concept of subjective well-being indicators, which was grounded in the Western notion that the ultimate purpose of the human experience is “happiness” and hence the crucial measure of social good is the degree to which it provides this happiness. Kahneman and Krueger (2006) contend that direct reports of subjective well-being could have a useful role if they are done in a credible way. Numerous studies have supported this premise and have documented the increasingly important role that quality of life plays in the community and economic growth and development (Kesebir and Diener, 2008; Lucas and Diener, 2008). Kwiatek-Sołtys and Mainet (2014) attempted to identify criteria and components of the quality of life focusing on subjective aspects and perceptions of the quality of life and attractiveness of small towns in Europe.
follow in their wake. In 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau reported an estimated 301.6 million people living in the U.S., of which 37.8 million were identified as aged 65 or older (12.5 percent). As the baby boomer generation continues to age coupled with the ongoing success of modern medicine there will be a considerable influx of older adults into society. It is estimated that by 2030, when the youngest baby boomers reach retirement age, there will be approximately 363.5 million people living in the U.S., 71 million of whom will be aged 65 or older, or nearly twenty percent of the total population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). There are many differences between this group and previous generations including higher education, more ethnic and racial diversity, and thanks to advances in medicine the expectation that old age is a normative stage of life (Carstensen, & Hartel, 2006, p. 1).
Generally, petitions are defined as formal requests to an authority, usually a governmental institution. In most liberal democracies, the citizen’s right to petition government, parliament and/or other public entities is codified in legal documents, in many instances even in constitutional law or practice (e.g., UK, USA, FRG). With regard to electronic petitions (e-petitions) which involve new information and communication technologies, it is necessary to distinguish between formal and informal types (Mosca & Santucci 2009): Formal e-petitions refer to institutionalized and at least to some extent legally codified e-petition systems operated by public institutions. Informal e-petitions, on the other hand, are systems established and managed by non-governmental, private organizations. Thus, the procedural requirements for launching informal e-petitions and collecting signatures online are not subject to public law. Of course, informal e-petitions usually seek to address public institutions after a certain number of signatures have been collected. Empirically, two main types of informal e-petitions can be distinguished: e-petitions initiated by NGOs as part of political campaigns, and e-petition platforms operated by private organizations (both commercial and not-for-profit) which provide the internet-based infrastructure to initiate e-petitions and collect signatures online.
The expression “civic hacking” goes back to Barack Obama’s presi- dential campaign. Early enough, the format of civic hackathons has been vividly discussed by the actors themselves through a number of guides, textbooks and “howtos” circulating on the web and in printed form, such as “Civic apps competition hands book” (Eyler-Werve and Carlson 2012). The notion of civic hacking has been progressively institutional- ized, with the official National Day of Civic Hacking held by Code for America and a network of governmental partners in 2013. This event, firstly US-only, went world-wide on its second edition in 2014. Code for America played an important role in framing civic hacking from its early days. Under the influence of this organization fostering civic hacking in the US “from the top”, the early press interest to civic hacking focuses first of all on the state-driven civic hacking efforts around elections, re- forms, public services efficiency, public budget and so on (Sterling 2013; Williams 2013; Lachance Shandrow 2013). In this sense, civic hacking was first seen as a movement of technologists who help improve the gov- ernment.