Popular education, power and democracy: Swedish experiences and contributions

Ann-Marie Laginder, Henrik Nordvall, Jim Crowther

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

This book is an initiative of Mimer – The Swedish Network for Research on Popular Education. Mimer, whose secretariat is hosted by Linköping University, is an organisation governed by an interdisciplinary board consisting of leading researchers and popular educators, with the main aim of promoting research on popular education (www.liu.se/mimer). Popular education has become a significant field for educational activities in Sweden – as is portrayed and scrutinised in several of the contributions in this book. Over the years, research related to popular education has grown to become a dynamic field. Studies published in this field of research have, with a few excellent exceptions, been written in Swedish, and thus unfortunately been known only at a national or Nordic level. However, the subjects dealt with in this research are to a great extent universal; they most often deal with the complex struggles of social movements or the many ways in which ordinary people arrange and take part in education on their own premises. In recent years Mimer has decided to strengthen the efforts to break the language barrier which isolates the research debates on these matters from their international counterparts. This is based on the conviction that doing so will benefit not only the Swedish research community, but also make a contribution to scholars and popular educators interested in the Scandinavian tradition of popular education. We have repeatedly been asked by non-Swedish speaking colleagues and popular education enthusiasts to recommend a comprehensive book in English about Swedish popular education. Frustratingly, we have not been able to mention any research-based up to date examples. This was the starting point for this anthology, which was initiated by Ann-Marie Laginder, Associate Professor and Director of Mimer, in cooperation with Associate Professor Henrik Nordvall. The title of the book – Popular Education, Power and Democracy – emphasises the universal theme which we think is the most urgent one when it comes to communicating insights from research on the rich tradition of Swedish and Scandinavian popular education. Well-known Swedish researchers within the network and prominent international researchers were invited to contribute with different perspectives on this theme. We soon found out that we needed a coeditor outside Sweden. We were truly pleased when Jim Crowther, Senior Lecturer at Edinburgh University, coordinator of the international Popular Education Network (PEN) accepted the invitation to join us on the editorial group. His critical and constructive contributions to the quality of individual chapters have been crucial. His thorough and extensive experience in editing international anthologies and journals has been of invaluable assistance in the production of the book. Regarding editorial matters we want to thank Pat Brechin, who has done an excellent job in improving the English language in each chapter. We are also grateful for Eleonor Bredlöw’s good work in the final checking of references in each chapter. We want to extend a warm thank you to all the researchers who have contributed to the book. Thank you for all the time and effort you have put into writing these chapters and thus making this book what it is. This unique collection of articles provides a coherent approach to assessing the role of popular education in and beyond Swedish borders and we hope the book will be of interest to academics, students, practitioners and popular education activists worldwide. Ann-Marie Laginder and Henrik Nordvall
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeicester
PublisherNIACE - National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
Number of pages305
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-86201-581-4, 978-1-86201-582-1, 978-1-86201-583-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-86201-579-1, 978-1-86201-580-7
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Education Social aspects
  • Adult education
  • Folkbildning sociala aspekter
  • Vuxenutbildning
  • Pedagogy
  • Pedagogik


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