Kuenzi, Michelle. “The Role of Nonformal Education in Promoting Democratic Attitudes: Evidence from Senegal.” Democratization 2005 12(2): 1-21.
Civic education has been considered a way in which the behaviours and attitudes associated with democratic citizenship can be fostered among the members of a society. Since the emerging democracies are hard-pressed to develop a political culture supportive of democratic rule, civic education has been identified as one way such a political culture can be constructed. Recent studies, however, point to the limited reach of such programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. Based on survey data, others have failed to find even a relationship between formal education and democratic attitudes in parts of Africa. On the other hand, despite the prominence nonformal education has gained in many developing countries, such as those in Africa, the effect of nonformal education on political attitudes has not been subject to empirical testing. Using data from a survey involving a probability sample of 1,484 Senegalese citizens, this article examines the effects of education, both formal and nonformal, on political attitudes among rural Senegalese. Both nonformal and formal education are found to increase the likelihood that people will embrace democratic, tolerant attitudes in Senegal.