AN ONLINE RESOURCE  FOR CRITICAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION                 inspired by the January 25 Egyptian Revolution


Democracy Dialogue is curated by education professor Linda Herrera. The website began as a way to share transcripts and videos from an historical dialogue between Mohamed ElBaradei and Rajmohan Gandhi that took place in Egypt in 2012 during the turbulent post-revolution period. In this time of enormous hope mixed with  tremendous uncertainty, Herrera led a small delegation from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) to Egypt with the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi to engage in a dialogue with Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei about the Egyptian uprising, Gandhi's experiences during India's independence movement, and ways for navigating our times of uprisings, mass migrations, precarity, and struggles for democratic change.  For more background  on Democracy Dialogue and the ElBaradei-Gandhi encounter see articles in Mada Masr , Jadaliyya, and Illinois News Bureau.

On a broader level, this  project invites learners to engage with the ideas of a range of politically and socially engaged thinkers. The hope is that the media presented here can inform study groups, serve as material for courses, and offer direction to independent learners of all ages grappling with global democracy and critical citizenship education in our times of crisis and change.


Mohamed ElBaradei and Rajmohan Gandhi in Egypt. November 20, 2012

Mohamed ElBaradei and Rajmohan Gandhi in Egypt. November 20, 2012



Linda Herrera is a professor in the College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and director of the Global Studies in Education program. A social anthropologist with expertise in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Linda's core areas of research are global politics and education, the politics of international development, critical youth studies,  critical democracy, and social media and global change. She received her BA from UC Berkeley, MA from the American University in Cairo, and PhD from Columbia University.  Prior to joining UIUC in 2011, Linda lived and worked in Egypt (17 years) and the Netherlands (7 years)  where she taught in the Children and Youth Studies program at the International Institute of Social Studies. She has a column in openDemocracy's North Africa and West Asia page called, "Critical Voices in Critical Times."

Students from the Global Studies in Education program (GSE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) traveled to Malta and Sicily for the study abroad course, "Education & Refugees in the Mediterranean," led by Professor Herrera. Video by Tara Bayat

SELECTED publications

click image for a copy of Stand Up! Sit Down! Cultures of Schooling in Egypt (in Arabic, edited by L.Herrera, 2003).

click image for a copy of Stand Up! Sit Down! Cultures of Schooling in Egypt (in Arabic, edited by L.Herrera, 2003).

FREE DOWNLOAD of Herrera's edited volume,  ثقافة التليم في مصر  (Stand Up, Sit Down: Cultures of Schooling in Egypt, 2003) with chapters by leading Egyptian education scholars about school cultures and the politics of education in Egypt.              

Her more recent articles about youth and economic and political change include:

On Silencing the next generation: Legacies of the 1974 Ethiopian revolution on youth political engagement (with Eyob Gebremariam in Northeast African Studies)

Arab Youth: Disruptive generation of the 21st century? (with Abdelrahman Mansour) 

The Precarity of Youth: Entrepreneurship is not the Solution. In Mada Masr (Feb 11, 2017)

Linda is on the advisory board of Power2Youth


Members of the initial Democracy Dialogue team in Champaign, 2015  from left: Liangliang Amy Cai, Ga Young Chung, Fauzia Rahman, Usha Gandhi, Rajmohan Gandhi, Abdullah Mansoor. 

A group of international  graduate students in the Global Studies in Education program at UIUC contribute to Democracy Dialogue to ensure the project's global reach. They translate transcripts, add subtitles to videos, and organize social media  in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Urdu.

The team from 2015 met with Professor Rajmohan Gandhi and Usha Gandhi at the University of Illinois campus, Champaign, December, 2015. 

Photo Credits




The dialogue between Mohamed ElBaradei and Rajmohan Gandhi took place in Cairo, Egypt on November 19 and 20, 2012. The interviewers were Linda Herrera and Magdy Alabady. The Office of International Programs and the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) provided initial support for this project. The filming was done by Figleaf Studios, under contract by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Special Thanks to Usha Gandhi, Aida ElKashef, Rizwan Uddin, Abdelrahman Mansour, Christina Huang, Shiva Bayat, Tara Bayat, Alejandro Jaramillo and the photographer Mosa’ab ElShamy who generously has given permission to use his photos throughout this website and in the videos. The biggest debt of gratitude goes to Mohamed ElBaradei and Rajmohan Gandhi. They entered the dialogue with no conditions whatsoever in a genuine spirit of openness and exchange. 

From left: Linda Herrera, Mohamed ElBaradei, Rajmohan Gandhi, Magdy Elabady. Cairo, Egypt, November 2012


The videos, transcripts, and audio files displayed on this website are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. You can modify and build upon this work as long as the original author (Linda Herrera / is credited in the new work, and the new work is non-commercial and licensed under identical terms.