Education and Empire: Democratic Reform in the Arab World?
Democracy and related concepts—human rights, active learning, civic participation, gender empowerment, and global citizenship—have become the international policy mantras of the post–Cold War era, or what many have labeled a neoimperial order. These bedrock principles of global educational reforms are supposed to contribute to processes of democratization and the forging of a cosmopolitan citizenry that will value pluralism, prosperity, and peace. Yet it is often not evident when these principles are being used to support neoliberal economic reforms, geopolitical aspirations, and security objectives or when they reflect more genuine progressive, universal, and emancipatory methodologies for change. These issues are examined through an interrogation of international development interventions in Egypt since the 1990s, in the spheres of privatization, the growth of educational markets, and curriculum reform for citizenship and moral education.