CERES-AEIF FIRST WORKSHOP
Role of Civic Education and engagement in Shaping and Boosting Societal Change in Morocco
October 22, 2011 | COS ONE Club, Agadir, Morocco
CERES (previously the North-South Center for Social Sciences (NRCS)
Faculty of Arts and Letters-Ain Chock, Hassan II University of Casablanca
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY, USA
State Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF), US Department of State
Many observers have placed great hope in the democratization of Arab World. Yet, authoritarianism remained during decades the norm, and movements toward democracy were both slow and uneven. For many experts, the democratic change in this region didn’t happen because most of them suffered from obstinate domestic and external constraints that made democracy appear like an unachievable dream. Yet, despite the prevailing despair, a more insightful look at the state of political change processes under way in the region may give some signs of hope. When analyzing this trend, Morocco can be given as an enlightening and particular example. However, there is a certain uncertainty regarding the extent to which these reforms can generate real outcomes in terms of democratic takeoff since many unfavourable factors still exist and key pre-requisite conditions are still lacking. Thus, we presume that the democratization process in Morocco will continue to face many challenges unless a strong democratic culture and practice and civic engagement are promoted, mainly among decision makers, educators, and students.
The present Workshop, as the first action scheduled in the implementation process of the above one-year State Alumni Funded Project, aims at:
analyzing the underlying factors and dynamics behind the current socio-political transformations in many Arab countries, including Morocco, and the related scenarios highlighting the long-term change in concerned countries;
engaging an open debate between participants from various disciplines and horizons (scholars, civil society actors, educators, etc.) on the role of civic education and engagement in sustaining the democratization process in Morocco,
getting insight in how mainstreaming civic engagement and democracy values in curriculum and research, along with related decision-making processes and advocacy, can be one of the recommended paths toward an open and democratic Moroccan society.
Launching the Platform for Civic Empowerment and Sustainability (CIVES) as a new civil society actor in Morocco with the ambitious, but legitimate, objective to contribute in boosting the current dynamics in Morocco by research, curriculum development, advocacy and interaction with relevant decision making processes transnationally, nationally and locally.