Development as pedagogy: engaging the Somali polity in the restoration of their civil society

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University of New Brunswick


The aim of this work is to reimagine the act of development in Somalia as a pedagogical process. I do this by identifying how neo-liberal and imperial systems have guided development policy in a manner that instrumentalizes Somali citizens, making them agents of thin neo-liberal development, all the while not allowing them to work towards their own human flourishing. Using the works of John Dewey and Paulo Freire, I characterize the path to a humanizing form of democracy in Somalia as being possible only through a mutual process of conscientization and praxis, taken up by both the agent of development as well as the recipient. In essence, the dialectic that is formed is one where the Somali associative community represents the antithesis to the democracy of the West, and it is only through a mutual act of co-construction and praxis that a liberatory synthesis can be fashioned.