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Translating Popular Education: Civil Society Cooperation between Sweden and Estonia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

By their very nature, attempts by civil society organizations to promote democracy abroad involve cooperation and contact across the borders of nation states. The dissemination of the ideas and practices of the promoters is often essential; in the case of Swedish democracy promotion, popular education or folkbildning has been important.

This thesis investigates the dissemination of ideas and practices by civil society organizations in Sweden and Estonia in the field of popular education. More specifically, a number of projects run by member organizations of the Swedish study association ABF (Workers’ Educational Association) and member organizations of the Estonian AHL (Open Education Association) are studied. These projects are also part of democracy-promoting activities whose funding comes mainly from Swedish donor agencies. The thesis aims to understand not only what has been spread but also how ideas and practices have been translated to fit the Estonian context. The primary theoretical concept used is therefore translation, even though one aim of the thesis is to systematize the field of study concerning processes of dissemination and to enrich the concept of translation with the aid of previous work on diffusion and socialization.

The main contribution of the thesis consists of the in-depth study of cooperation between Swedish and Estonian popular education organizations. It also contributes to the theoretical development of the concept of translation by identifying different phases in this kind of process and important elements of these phases. Popular education is an important part of Swedish democracy promotion and this study also contributes to this rather undertheorized subject, and also to the discussions of transnational civil society cooperation, by demonstrating an analytical framework that can be of use in future research into these issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Statsvetenskapliga institutionen , 2008. , 262 p.
Stockholm studies in politics, ISSN 0346-6620 ; 124Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 24Södertörn Political Studies, ISSN 1653-8269 ; 3
Keyword [en]
Translation, diffusion, socialization, popular education, civil society, Sweden, Estonia, transnational cooperation, democracy promotion, ABF, AHL
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7424ISBN: 978-91-7155-596-0ISBN: 978-91-89315-82-2OAI: diva2:198245
Public defence
2008-05-30, MB 503, Södertörns högskola, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Huddinge, 13:00
Available from: 2008-05-08 Created: 2008-05-08Bibliographically approved

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