“The people want” active citizenship: New ideals, new practices and new settings?
The political, social and economic hardships inflicted by the intertwining of neoliberal modalities and different forms of non/democracy, have garnered new impetus to the ideals, practices and settings of active citizenship. Apparent through the apprehensive responses to the 2008 economic meltdown, heightened during the Arab Spring and bolstered in the midst of the (more recent) migration crisis, the facets of active citizenship have begun to really penetrate the actions of institutionalized political actors across the world. Through novel causes, forms and levels of intensity – all of which may, at first, seem unrelated to spatial settings (i.e. cities, states or regions) –, active citizenship is clearly shaping the everyday lives, actions and attitudes of millions of people to an extent that has, perhaps, never been done so hitherto. While divisions linked to class, cultural, and generational cleavages may assist in explaining some of these developments, important questions remain about their long-term implications for democracy, globalization and policy-making more generally. We are also searching for answers about whether, why and how have recent developments begun to modify individual and collective levels of attitudes and practices. For example, how have previously dominant identity categories in inter- and in an intra-community manner – e.g. the ‘us’ and ‘them’ dichotomy that has been based on citizenship and civic characteristics as well as on dividing ethnic ones – been affected? Whether and how can and have educational systems help addressing current challenges to democracy and existing political and social structures? In order to really answer these questions, our understanding and research of active citizenship needs to be revisited and, preferably, taken beyond the paradigmatic frameworks of citizenship studies, New Social Movements, civil societies and (radical) democracy. While such frameworks seemed adequate for when and where the discourse of the rights-bearing citizen was taking hold in our societies, the proximity and affinity between the aforementioned examples clearly calls for a closer look and essential revision of some of our theoretical approaches and empirical predispositions.
The ECPR Standing Group on Citizenship therefore invites panel proposals that recognise the gravity of the current historical moment and the opportunity it provides to reconsider our understanding and approaches to active citizenship and what ‘the people want’ when they practice active citizenship. To cover the various facets of active citizenship, we invite panel proposals addressing any of the following – and related – issues:
- Ideals and challenges of active citizenship; including its meaning and significance; as well as any revisions and/or recent advances which has strengthened, altered or potentially defied theoretical expectations.
- Practices, realisations and attitudes linked to active citizenship, including empirical explorations of the activism, struggle and dispositions of citizens and non-citizens which may occur; and the involvement and responses of legal, political, educational and economic institutions.
- Settings of and localities for active citizenship, including possible ideological as well as socio-spatial divisions – that is within and between non/globalized and non/democratic regions, states and urban settings; as well as the related divisions that emerge within and between classes, generations and cultures.
- Educational structures and practices which address/affect active citizenship, participation and social change.
DEADLINE FOR PANEL PROPOSALS
Please submit your panel ideas to a member of the SG Citizenship Steering Committee: Tuuli (firstname.lastname@example.org), Nora (email@example.com), Trond (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Gal (email@example.com).
All panel proposals must include the following information:
- Panel abstract (200-250 words)
- Panel Chair (and, if applicable) Co-chair (incl. Affiliation)
- At least 3x Paper Givers (incl. Affiliation)
DEADLINE for panel proposals to reach the Steering Committee: 10 NOVEMBER 2017.
 (Achcar 2013)