Issues in Civic Engagement

Undergraduate Program Status

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Code: 
Course Description: 

One way to think about civic engagement is that it means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It also means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes. This course provides a forum for discussing a selection of topics on civic engagement through mainly contemporary literature. Topics discussed are the relationship between civic engagement and civil society, UN’s stance on civic engagement, transnational advocacy, youth engagement, ethical issues in civic engagement and contemporary challenges. This will be an interactive course requiring students to labor with the readings by answering questions posed every week. Students are also asked to relate readings to their experience from their own communities in the form of thinking of ways they can help their community. An important part of the course requires students to work together and create a project proposal for the needs of an organization and the local community. This course will connect with a similar one offered by Bard College, Annandale, NY. It is possible that for a number of sessions students from both courses will connect for joint sessions. 

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will be able to:  

  • Understand core notions of citizenship and their connection to civic engagement. 

  • Develop the capacity to think critically about the context, impacts, challenges and opportunities of civic engagement activities, including those in which students lead or participate. 

  • Understand the contexts civic engagement takes place in - at different levels (local, national, global) and between/across state and non-state organizations/ groups, as well as in countries with different levels of political, socioeconomic development and diversities of population. 

  • Develop an understanding of the ethical implications of civic engagement activities, particularly for students engaged in civic engagement activities. 

  • Be able to prepare a project proposal for a local civic engagement project.