Call for Papers for an Edited Book
Institutions and Organizations as Learning Environments for Participation and Democracy? Opportunities, Challenges, Obstacles
Dr Reingard Spannring, University of Innsbruck, Faculty of Education
Prof Dr Wilfried Smidt, University of Innsbruck, Faculty of Education
Dr Christine Unterrainer, University of Innsbruck, Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science
Background and Book Concept
One part of the literature on participation, which is often motivated by the problem of social and political disengagement, is concerned with activities in relation to formal politics such as voting, membership in political parties and demonstrating. Another strand of discussion under the heading of participation refers to access to institutions and organizations such as the education system or the labour market drawing attention to inequalities and discrimination.This aspect harks back to the former in that lack of integration in education and labour market can contribute to social and political disengagement.
However, one can also consider these institutions and organizations as places of participation, as learning places for participation and as places for the deliberation and development of the common good. It is in this latter sense that we look at institutions and organizations that involve people at various stages of the life course.
We analyse and critically discuss which concepts of participation are meaningful in these contexts, how and how successfully they are implemented, and which obstacles to establishing and living a participative and democratic community are encountered. The edited book contains five sections referring to participation and democracy in institutions and organizations as learning environments. The sections represent the stages of the life course. Each of the five sections comprises two to three individual contributions, each focusing on a specific institution.