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In the previous chapter I have not only indicated how the ‘agenda’ for lifelong learning has changed over the past decades, but have also asked whether, from the angle of democracy, we should be concerned about the erosion of the democratic rationale for and the democratic dimensions of lifelong learning. This raised a number of questions about the relationships between democracy and lifelong learning, such as whether a democracy needs lifelong learning; if so, what kind of learning it needs; and whether a democracy should perhaps be conceived as a society that has the capacity and will to learn about itself. I summarised this by asking whether it might be the case that a democracy can actually only exist as a learning democracy. In this chapter I engage with these questions is more detail through a discussion of three books that, taken together, provide important insights in the condition of contemporary democratic citizenship and in the (potential) role of learning.

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© 2011 Sense Publishers

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Biesta, G.J.J. (2011). Towards the Learning Democracy. In: Learning Democracy in School and Society. SensePublishers.

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