Education for active citizenship: Images of participation in marine policy

October 15, 2014 to February 28, 2019
53 months
Funding Entity
Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology

This research is an analysis of the ways that people who live on islands, Iceland and the Azores, learn to be part of the governance system related to life on the sea. The processes of education, including informal, nonformal and formal, will be explored to understand how people are encultured into governance structures and how the issues and structures themselves are constructed.

This project follows the narratives of individual participants through the life-span of the inquiry in question. It evokes embodied feelings of having been respected as someone with valued opinions as a child,  and leads to investigative discussions about the same participants´ later experiences with procedures of public participation in policy creation. From these unique individual narratives, common experiences and trends will be drawn in the second and third steps of the research. The focus groups will allow participants to share in the discussion of each other´s experiences and of the critical examination of practices of public participation.

The aim of this project is to understand whether, and how, different forms of education influence participation in policy development; three objectives:

1. To understand the extent to which different forms of education support the belief that all individuals have important perspectives that should be considered during policy formation;
2. To understand how different forms of education support the belief that all citizens can or should actively participate in policy formation; and,
3. To understand how education supports the ability of individuals to engage in public participation of policy development. 


Upon consultation with participants and relevant agencies, Dr. Neilson will host a series of 2 to 3 workshops to present and discuss the results from the earlier steps of the research. This will add further perspectives in the process of creating agreed on products such as guidelines for local public participation, training procedures for educators and/or policy managers or curriculum to support public engagement. 


Sustainability and Education (SAE) group of the University of Iceland
Stefansson Arctic Institute, Iceland
UNU Fisheries Training Programme, Iceland
Association for the Conservation of Azorean Marine Heritage, Azores

iceland, azores, citizenship education, participation, marine policy