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

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


‘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.


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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bang, H. & E. Sorensen (1999). The Everyday Maker: A New Challenge to Democratic Governance’, Administrative Theory & Praxis 21(3), 325–341.Google Scholar
  2. Bauman, Z. (2005) Liquid Life (Cambridge: Polity Press).Google Scholar
  3. Becker, J., Dekker, P. (2005) ‘Beeld van beleid en politiek’, in Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau, De sociale staat van Nederland (The Hague: Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau), 328–362.Google Scholar
  4. Berlin, I. (1969) ‘Two concepts of liberty’, in I. Berlin, Four Essays on Liberty (London: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  5. Blokland, T., Savage, M. (2008) ‘Social Capital and Networked Urbanism’, in T. Blokland, M. Savage (eds), Networked Urbanism: Social Capital in the City (Hampshire: Aldershot).Google Scholar
  6. Blond, Ph. (2010) Red Tory: How Left and Right Have Broken Britain and How We Can Fix It (London: Faber & Faber).Google Scholar
  7. Boutellier, H. (2000) Crime and Morality: The Significance of Criminal Justice in a Postmodern Culture (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boutellier, H. (2005) The Safety Utopia: Contemporary Discontent and Desire as to Crime and Punishment (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers).Google Scholar
  9. Boutellier, H. (2013) The Improvising Society: Social Order in a Boundless World (The Hague: Eleven).Google Scholar
  10. Brink, G. van den (2002) Mondiger of moeilijker? Een studie naar depolitieke habitus van hedendaagse burgers (WRR voorstudies en achtergronden). (The Hague: Sdu Uitgevers).Google Scholar
  11. Caem, B. van, Steden, R. van, Boutellier, H. (2011) ‘The “Hidden Strength” of Active Citizenship: The Involvement of Local Residents in Public Safety Projects’, Criminology and Criminal Justice 11(5), 433–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carr, P. (2005) Clean Streets: Controlling Crime, Maintaining Order, and Building Community Activism (New York: New York University Press).Google Scholar
  13. Castells, M. (2000a). The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Vol. I: The Rise of the Network Society (1st edition 1996) (Oxford: Blackwell).Google Scholar
  14. Castells, M. (2000b) The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Vol. III: End of Millennium (1st edition 1998) (Oxford: Blackwell).Google Scholar
  15. Castells, M. (2004) Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Volume II: The Power of Identity (1st edition 1997) (Oxford: Blackwell).Google Scholar
  16. Dahl, R. (2000) ‘A Democratic Paradox?’, Political Science Quarterly 115(1), 35–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dekker, P., Hart, J. de (2005) ‘Goede burgers’, in P. Dekker, J. de Hart (eds), De goede burger: Tien beschouwingen over een morele categorie (The Hague: SCP), 11–19.Google Scholar
  18. Dijk, J. van (2006) The Network Society 2nd edn. (London: Sage).Google Scholar
  19. Dijk, J. J. M. van (2008) The World of Crime: Breaking the Silence on Problems of Security, Justice and Development across the World (London: Sage).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Faulks, K. (2000) Citizenship (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  21. Fiers, L., Jansen A. (2004) Het succes van buurtbemiddeling: Resultaten van het evaluatieonderzoek (Utrecht: Expertisecentrum Buurtbemiddeling).Google Scholar
  22. Fortuyn, P. (2002) Verweesde samenleving: Een religieus-sociologisch traktaat (Uithoorn: Karakter Uitgevers).Google Scholar
  23. Fung, A., Wright, E. Olin (2001) ‘Deepening Democracy: Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance’, Politics & Society 29(1), 5–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fung, A., Wright, E. Olin (eds) (2003) Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance (New York: Verso Books).Google Scholar
  25. Gruijter, M. de, E. Smits van Waesberghe, H. Boutellier (2010) Een vreemde in eigen land: Boze autochtone burgers over nieuwe Nederlanders en de overheid (Amsterdam: Aksant).Google Scholar
  26. Gunsteren, H. R. van (1988) ‘Admission to Citizenship’, Ethics 98(4), 731–741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gunsteren, H. van (2006) Vertrouwen in democratie: Over de principes van zelforgani- satie (Amsterdam: Van Gennep).Google Scholar
  28. Innes, M. (2004) ‘Reinventing Tradition? Reassurance, Neighbourhood Security and Policing’, Criminal Justice 4(2), 151–171.Google Scholar
  29. Komter, A. (2005) Solidarity and the Gift (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  30. Lijphart, A. (1968) The Politics of Accommodation: Pluralism and Democracy in the Netherlands (Berkeley: University of California Press).Google Scholar
  31. Mathews, D. (1999) Politics for People: Finding a Responsible Public Voice (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press).Google Scholar
  32. Mill, J. (1859) ‘On liberty’, in E. Robson (ed.), Collected Works vol. 18 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press).Google Scholar
  33. Neiman, S. (2008) Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-Up Idealists (Orlando, FL: Harcourt Books).Google Scholar
  34. Newman, J., Clarke, J. (2009) Publics, Politics and Power: Remaking the Public in Public Services (London: Sage).Google Scholar
  35. Rittel, H. W., Webber, M. M. (1973) ‘Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning’, Policy Sciences 4, 155–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rosanvallon, P., Goldhammer, A. (2008) Counter Democracy: Politics in an Age of Distrust (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  37. Sampson, R. (2012) Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect (Chicago: Chicago University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Scheffer, P. (2011) Immigrant Nations (London: Polity Press).Google Scholar
  39. Schinkel, W. (2008) Denken in een tijd van sociale hypochondrie: Aanzet tot een theorie voorbij de maatschappij (Kampen: Klement).Google Scholar
  40. Scholte, R. (2008) ‘Burgerparticipatie in veiligheidsprojecten: Een empirische verkenning’, in H. Boutellier, R. van Steden (eds), Veiligheid en burgerschap in een netwerksamenleving (The Hague: Boom Juridische uitgevers), 223–241.Google Scholar
  41. Spangenberg, F., Lampert, M., Moerland, M., Boerboom, H., Knoop, L. (2001) Burgerschapsstijlen en overheidscommunicatie (Amsterdam: Motivaction).Google Scholar
  42. Specht, M. (2012) De Pragmatiek van Burgerparticipatie; hoe burgers omgang met complexe vraagstukken omtrent veiligheid, leefbaarheid en stedelijke ontwikkeling in drie Europese steden (Amsterdam: Vu NSCR).Google Scholar
  43. Stewart, A. (1995) ‘Two Conceptions of Citizenship’, The British Journal of Sociology 46(1), 63–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stokkom, B. van (2008) ‘Bange burgers, doortastende dienstverleners: Voorbij de retoriek van burgerschap en zelfredzaamheid’, in H. Boutellier, R. van Steden (eds), Veiligheid en burgerschap in een netwerksamenleving (The Hague: Boom Juridische uitgevers), 267–289.Google Scholar
  45. Stokkom, B. van, Becker, M., Eikenaar, T. (2012) Participatie en vertegenwoordiging: Burgers als trustees (Amsterdam: AUP, Pallas Publications).Google Scholar
  46. Terpstra, J. (2008) ‘Burgers in veiligheid: Lokale netwerken en buurtcoalities’, in H. Boutellier, R. van Steden (eds), Veiligheid en burgerschap in een netwerksamen-leving (The Hague: Boom Juridische uitgevers), 243–265.Google Scholar
  47. Tonkens, E. (2008) Mondige burgers, getemde professionals (Amsterdam: Van Gennep).Google Scholar
  48. Tonkens, E., Hurenkamp, M., Duyvendak, J. (2006) Wat burgers bezielt: Een onderzoek naar burgerinitiatieven (Amsterdam: UvA/NICIS).Google Scholar
  49. Verhoeven, I. (2004) ‘Veranderend politiek burgerschap en democratie’, in E. Engelen, M. Sie Dhian Ho (eds), De staat van de democratie: Democratie voorbij de staat (Amsterdam: AUP), 119–143.Google Scholar
  50. Verhoeven, I. (2009) Burgers legen beleid: een analyse van dynamiek in politieke betrokkenheid (Amsterdam: Aksant).Google Scholar
  51. Verhoeven, I., Ham, M. van (eds) (2010) Brave burgers gezocht: de grenzen van de activerende overheid (Amsterdam: Van Gennep).Google Scholar
  52. Walzer, M. (2004) Politics and Passion: Toward a More Egalitarian Liberalism (New Haven: Yale University Press).Google Scholar
  53. Warren, M. E. (2009) ‘Citizen Participation and Democratic Deficits: Considerations from the Perspective of Democratic Theory’, in J. DeBardeleben, J. Pammett (eds), Activating the Citizen (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan).Google Scholar
  54. Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid (2009) Vertrouwen in de school: Over de uitval van ‘overbelaste’ jongeren (WRR 83) (Amsterdam: AUP)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Hans Boutellier 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Boutellier

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations