‘Democracy depends on all of us: the price of liberty is not just eternal vigilance, but eternal activity’, said Abraham Lincoln. This is how British political theorist Sir Bernard Crick (2008: 18) underscored the vital importance of citizens’ active participation in liberal democratic societies. While this view is widely shared by scholars and policymakers in the West, there is also a broad consensus about the general decline of citizens’ interest in politics and the ‘disinclination on the part of growing sectors of the citizenry to become involved in political and civic life’ (Kivisto and Faist 2007: 136). A seemingly increasing proportion of the population in Western societies are neither vigilant nor active in the political sphere, and their willingness to commit and contribute to their community and become actively engaged in the public space has been dwindling. The ‘bowling alone’ diagnosis of Robert Putnam (2000) illustratively captures this alleged civic passivity, which, as he claims, weakens collective solidarity and mutual trust, and aggravates processes of social isolation and fragmentation.
KeywordsCivil Society Political Participation Muslim Community Active Citizenship Political Engagement
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