Civic Participation Course
Resources for Democracy
Description of project:
The project seeks to lay the groundwork for the creation of an established academic programme in Cyprus on the theme of Civic Participation that will provide students and CSO practitioners from Cyprus and the Euro-Mediterranean region with the theoretical understanding and practical knowledge in the field.
The project includes the development and delivery of a face to face course and two online modules that will be complemented with original audio and audio-visual academic material. Moreover, as part of the project, a workshop will be held in Cyprus, with the participation of academics and CSO practitioners from the countries of the region.
The face to face course, entitled, ‘State, Civil Society and Democracy’, took place between October to December 2014, and was offered free of charge by the University of Nicosia. The course, probably the first of its kind, was held in the buffer zone by a team of Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot and international academics and attracted participants from and Cyprus and overseas. The participants had the opportunity to explore how their lives are shaped by the relationship between the state and civil society and examine how civic participation, citizenship and state legitimacy are conceived. The group’s heterogeneity, provided an opportunity to the participants to share their experiences and reconsider their existing convictions.
The first online course started in February and attracted 145 participants from Cyprus and countries in the region. The course, which is set to run until May, is entitled “An Introduction to the Politics of Citizenship”. Throughout the lectures participants will be encouraged to re-evaluate their perceptions of citizenship and assess the impact of personal experiences, age, gender, ethnicity or religion on its conception. More importantly, the course aims to provide the basis upon which participants can grasp the nature of citizenship and why it is at the heart of any understanding of the relationship between state and civil society.
Several recorded discussions and interviews with academics and civil society practitioners will be utilized to enrich the learning experience. Part of this material has already been incorporated into the first online course and will be utilized for the following online course too. Resources produced during the project will be uploaded on the project’s website