2019 ECPR General Conference, Hamburg (Germany) – SG CITIZENSHIP SECTION PROPOSAL

“The people want” active citizenship[1]: 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.


Please submit your panel ideas to a member of the SG Citizenship Steering Committee: Tuuli (tuuli-marja.kleiner@fernuni-hagen.de), Nora (nora.siklodi@port.ac.uk), Trond (trond.solhaug@ntnu.no) or Gal (galle@openu.ac.il).

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.

[1] (Achcar 2013)


Political Citizenship and Social Movements – University of Portsmouth – 27-28 June 2016 (Registration)

Clip 2016-01-19 à 20.28.34Citizenship Study Group and the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Standing Group on Citizenship:
Political Citizenship and Social Movements

University of Portsmouth, 27-28 June 2016
Sponsored by University of Portsmouth’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Citizenship, ‘Race’ and Belonging Research Group and the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence

The call of papers for this conference is now closed. We had a wonderful level of interest – with all slots filled – and we are now ready to take registration for the event. You will find all the information on the
registration portal (with map and accommodation)

Although registration is free, we must have delegates details prior to the event. Places are also limited and can be reserved on a first come/ first serve basis.

Recent cultural, social and political events reveal how citizenship and social movements collide and interact in increasingly nuanced and complex ways. Occupy, the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, Gezi Park, Sans Papiers, No Borders demand that we re-assess this relationship and think beyond the classification of citizenship and formal political membership. Aided by technological transformations, social movements emerge as both local/global in orientation – from environmental rights, animal rights, gender and sexual rights, migrant and refugee movements to demands for colonial reparations and indigenouslandclaims. Whilst traditionally understood as the enactment of civilor political ‘citizenship’, scholars have begun to explore how social movements themselves provide alternative spaces for the play, disruption and even (re)theorisation of citizenship. Importantly for Citizenship Studies, the participation of those without formal rights in social movements complicates our sovereign understanding of the citizen. Equally, whilst civil and political citizenship has usually been studied and understood as a product of European history, exploring social movements helps us recognise the global dimensions of being political as well as its radical contingency. This two day interdisciplinary conference addresses these issues by exploring how citizenship and social movements continue to reshape each other.

In exploring the interrelationship between citizenship and current social movements we call for papers across several fields of study, including political philosophy, political geography, sociology, legal studies, education and political studies. In order to understand how citizenship studies can help us understand social movements and how social movements reconfigure citizenship we are interested in research on:
Participation; social movements as resistance; protest and contemporary rights claims.

The development of social/political trust, social movements and political subjectivity.

The role of identities in citizenship and social movements.

Mobilisation, new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and social and political movements.

New trans-nationalisation of citizenship and social movements.

Social movements as sites for education, practice and learning.

This will be a two-day event organised around a series of keynote talks and paper presentations that will allow for the exchange of ideas and experiences.

We especially welcome abstract submissions from postgraduate and early career researchers as well as established researchers. Each speaker will be given 15 minutes to present their paper and 10 minutes each for questions.

For inquiries, please contact:

Dr Nora Siklodi (University of Portsmouth, UK) nora.siklodi@port.ac.uk (Conference chair; Contact for academic and University of Portsmouth inquires related to this event)

Dr Kristoffer Halvorsrud (University of Newcastle, UK) k_halvorsrud@hotmail.com (Contact for abstract and booking related inquires, as well as BSA Citizenship study group inquires)

Prof. Trond Solhaug (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway) trond.solhaug@plu.ntnu.no (Contact for ECPR Standing Group on Citizenship inquires)

Citizenship as field

This year Norway celebrates the 100 year anniversary for women’s right to vote. A group of courageous women used clever rhetoric to carefully explain women’s disadvantaged political position and argued that justice in terms of equal right to vote should prevail. It took almost 100 years (since 1814) for the rights to come true. Before and after 1913 voting rights is a story of struggle for expansion and inclusion of new groups of citizens.  Currently there is debate over expanding the rights to 16 year old adolescents. Most of these debates over rights are fueled by considerations of justice and injustice. Continue reading