1st Edition

Practices of Citizenship in East Africa Perspectives from Philosophical Pragmatism

Edited By Katariina Holma, Tiina Kontinen Copyright 2020
    260 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    258 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Practices of Citizenship in East Africa uses insights from philosophical pragmatism to explore how to strengthen citizenship within developing countries. Using a bottom-up approach, the book investigates the various everyday practices in which citizenship habits are formed and reformulated. In particular, the book reflects on the challenges of implementing the ideals of transformative and critical learning in the attempts to promote active citizenship.

    Drawing on extensive empirical research from rural Uganda and Tanzania and bringing forward the voices of African researchers and academics, the book highlights the importance of context in defining how habits and practices of citizenship are constructed and understood within communities. The book demonstrates how conceptualizations derived from philosophical pragmatism facilitate identification of the dynamics of incremental change in citizenship. It also provides a definition of learning as reformulation of habits, which helps to understand the difficulties in promoting change.

    This book will be of interest to scholars within the fields of development, governance, and educational philosophy. Practitioners and policy-makers working on inclusive citizenship and interventions to strengthen civil society will also find the concepts explored in this book useful to their work.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at

    https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9780429279171, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license

    1. Introduction Tiina Kontinen & Katariina Holma 


    2. Practices and habits of citizenship and learning Katariina Holma & Tiina Kontinen 

    3. Pragmatism, social inquiry and the method of democracy Henrik Rydenfelt 

    4. John Dewey’s notion of social intelligence Veli-Mikko Kauppi, Katariina Holma & Tiina Kontinen 


    5. Contextualizing citizenship in Uganda Henni Alava, Twine H. Bananuka, Karembe F. Ahimbisibwe & Tiina Kontinen 

    6. Contextualizing citizenship in Tanzania Ajali M. Nguyahambi, Haji H. Chang’a, Benta N. Matunga, Rehema G. Kilonzo & Tiina Kontinen 

    7. The everyday and spectacle of subdued citizenship in northern Uganda Henni Alava 

    8. Gendered citizenship in rural Uganda: Localized, exclusive and active Alice N. Ndidde, Karembe F. Ahimbisibwe & Tiina Kontinen 

    9. "A good believer is a good citizen": Connecting Islamic morals with civic virtues in rural Tanzania Ajali M. Nguyahambi & Tiina Kontinen 

    10. Habits of contributing citizenship: Self-help groups in rural Tanzania Rehema G. Kilonzo, Benta N. Matunga, Haji H. Chang’a & Tiina Kontinen 


    11. Participatory methodology in exploring citizenship: A critical learning process Karembe F. Ahimbisibwe, Alice N. Ndidde & Tiina Kontinen 

    12. Learning in a Ugandan gender advocacy NGO: Organizational growth and institutional wrestling Tiina Kontinen & Alice N. Ndidde 

    13. The crafting of "critical education": Experiences of a Ugandan NGO Twine H. Bananuka & Vaughn M. John 

    14. Social accountability monitoring as an approach to promoting active citizenship in Tanzania Ajali M. Nguyahambi & Haji H. Chang’a 

    15. Conclusions Tiina Kontinen & Katariina Holma


    Katariina Holma is Professor of Education at the University of Oulu, Finland.

    Tiina Kontinen is an Academy of Finland Research Fellow at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

    "This vital collection offers fresh insight into the nature of citizen engagement. Challenging liberal and universalist framings of democratic participation, the authors focus on people’s everyday habits, practices and experiences of cooperation for livelihoods and survival. Citizenship is repositioned as a gradual, learned and contextual process that spans public and private life. This highly empirical and theoretically innovative work by African and European scholars is essential reading."Jethro Pettit, Emeritus Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK

    "Practices of Citizenship is the product of an exciting partnership between scholars in Tanzania, Uganda, and Finland. It represents an innovative attempt to bring philosophical theories of citizenship and pragmatism into dialogue with empirical research in Uganda and Tanzania. The book takes local definitions of citizenship as a starting point and creatively looks at how practices and habits of citizenship are acquired, learned, and maintained in a variety of contexts, ranging from violent state-citizens relations in northern Uganda to gendered citizenship in an NGO, and Islamic morality in rural communities. This is a fascinating new approach to the study of citizenship in Africa."Professor Aili Mari Tripp, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    "This collection of essays draws from the perspective of philosophical pragmatism, which here means a focus on local practices and habits of citizenship in Tanzania and Uganda. The result is a set of case studies on the ways in which citizenship practices and habits interact concretely with local culture and context. This approach illuminates empirically the local workings and dilemmas of citizenship, and also suggests a different starting point and approach to political reform: one focused more on transformative experiences than on the promulgation of ideals, and tailored to the exigencies of these local situations and dilemmas. The authors call this "growth into citizenship." Their approach echoes in many ways John Dewey’s insight that democracy is not at heart a set of political institutions, but first and foremost a system of conjoined living."Professor Nicholas C. Burbules, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    "This is a fantastic book that, through diverse voices, finds a way to the heart of key debates surrounding development, citizenship and learning. By building a dialogue between philosophical pragmatism and development research, it provides a refreshingly new take on the everyday experiences of citizenship amongst diverse communities in East Africa that can provide lessons for anyone interested in how citizenship and development articulate. It makes for a great read, bridging strong theoretical foundations, methodological openness and excellent empirical discussions and examples, all the while acting concretely to address North-South research asymmetries. Through this, the book is able to offer an important counterpoint to dominant interrogations and discussions of citizenship and development, grounded in the authors’ rich understandings of the histories, critical moments, institutional formations and development trajectories that shape experiences of citizenship in East Africa." —  Professor Matt Baillie Smith, Centre for International Development, Northumbria University, UK