On the [Im]possibility of Democratic Citizenship Education in Kenya: Spheres of Change

  • Jane Adhiambo Chiroma
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Global Citizenship Education and Democracy book series (GCED)


Violence in Kenya undermines the role of Kenyan higher education towards transitioning to democratic practices. This chapter engages liberal deliberative democracy concepts to explore the relationship between citizenship education and ethnic violence to re-imagine democratic citizenship education (DCE) in Kenyan higher education. First, it examines the notion that higher education can be a process and a place where citizenship education can be cultivated to potentially overcome ethnic violence, gender violence and discrimination which are prevalent in Kenyan society and education (Boit and Kipkoech, Res J Organ Psychol Educ Stud 1(2):78–82, 2012; Johnson, Prospects 43(3):329, 2013; Sifuna, Res Post-Compulsory Educ 11(1):85–105, 2006). Second, the chapter analyses a notion of DCE within the liberal tradition, which potentially describes DCE as a process of public engagement, which can create a sense of belonging necessary for human interaction. I will show that liberal DCE, as practised and experienced in Kenya, is thin and is already employed in conceptualising policies in Kenyan education system; yet, the anomalies and imbalances in Kenyan society still exist. Third, I will argue that Kenyan higher education system and policy provides potential meanings for DCE; however, it is limited, since education is engendered in a preconceived sense of belonging which is already actualised (Misaro et al., Res J Organ Psychol Educ Stud (RJOPES) 2(4):139–149, 2013). Fourth, I claim that DCE in becoming as an extension of a liberal idea of potentiality can address the challenges Kenya faces.


Kenya Higher education Ethnic violence Democratic citizenship education Public engagement Belonging potentiality Liberal in becoming Impossibility possibility potentiality co-belonging actuality university education Speech thought 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Adhiambo Chiroma
    • 1
  1. 1.Jos ECWA Theological SeminaryJosNigeria

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