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Active Citizenship: From Panacea to Political Program — In Search of an Appealing Narrative

  • Hans Boutellier
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Part of the IIAS Series: Governance and Public Management book series (GPM)

Abstract

‘The Citizen’ is very much the focal point of current interest. (S)he is described in many ways, but at the very least (s)he must be active. ‘Active citizenship’ is en vogue. In the new appeal to citizenship The Citizen is no longer a subject of the state (as in the 1950s) or an individual to empower (the 1970s) or a consumer (the 1990s). No, the ideal citizen is a participant, and is preferably self-reliant (Mathews, 1999; Fung & Olin Wright, 2003; Warren 2009). This enthusiastic talk about the role of citizens is also a commentary on how they actually behave. Government and often other citizens, have two complaints about citizens — they are too outspoken and too passive. The lazy and noisy consumer, that unwanted creation of the post-war welfare state, is no longer welcome. The well-behaved and participating citizen is wanted.

Keywords

Social Capital Civil Society Good Life Citizen Participation Active Citizenship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Hans Boutellier 2014

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  • Hans Boutellier

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